Thomas Lowry's Ghost
Earth Day, Minneapolis (1970)
(image via MHS Visual Resources Database)

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Earth Day, Minneapolis (1970)

(image via MHS Visual Resources Database)

Intersection of 26th & Nicollet, Minneapolis (1938)
(image via Hennepin County Library - Minneapolis Photo Collection)

Intersection of 26th & Nicollet, Minneapolis (1938)

(image via Hennepin County Library - Minneapolis Photo Collection)

Postcard of the Minneapolis skyline (1939)
(image via)

Postcard of the Minneapolis skyline (1939)

(image via)

Easter at the Phillis Wheatley House, Minneapolis (1927)
(image via MHS Visual Resources Database)

Easter at the Phillis Wheatley House, Minneapolis (1927)

(image via MHS Visual Resources Database)

Ads for Minneapolis-area record stores, early 1980s.

(images via)

Milwaukee Road Depot. Washington and 3rd Avenues, Minneapolis (1922 & 1948)

(images via MHS Visual Resources Database)

The Bismark Bar. 119 Washington Ave North, Minneapolis (ca. 1902)

Cussler was the owner of the bar, which was the second bar of that name in town. Group of 5 men and a dog are posed in front of the bar. Note signs advertising Gluek’s Beer.

(image via Hennepin County Library - Minneapolis Photo Collection)

The Bismark Bar. 119 Washington Ave North, Minneapolis (ca. 1902)

Cussler was the owner of the bar, which was the second bar of that name in town. Group of 5 men and a dog are posed in front of the bar. Note signs advertising Gluek’s Beer.

(image via Hennepin County Library - Minneapolis Photo Collection)

Herman’s Lunch, 16 S. 9th St. Minneapolis (1955)
(image via MHS Visual Resources Database)

Herman’s Lunch, 16 S. 9th St. Minneapolis (1955)

(image via MHS Visual Resources Database)

Passover Seder at Irving and Sonia Leveneson’s residence, Minneapolis (1943)
(image via Minnesota Reflections)

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Passover Seder at Irving and Sonia Leveneson’s residence, Minneapolis (1943)

(image via Minnesota Reflections)


This map was published as part of a Minneapolis police survey compiled in 1930 by August Vollmer, who was known as the father of American criminology. As chief of police in Berkeley, California, Vollmer developed systems of record-keeping and training that were adopted throughout the United States.
This diagram shows police liquor raids clustered in the old Gateway neighborhood on the banks of the Mississippi River. This was the heart of the liquor patrol district. Enshrined in the city charter in the 1880s, this ordinance required bars and liquor stores to be concentrated in select parts of town, with the rationale that police could more easily control liquor-fueled crime if all of these types of businesses were in one place.
A constitutional ban on alcohol did little to slow the consumption of liquor in the Minneapolis Gateway. “Drinking  and the sale of alcoholic beverages never really stopped in the Gateway,” historian David Rosheim concluded in his history of the neighborhood. “It probably never even paused.”
After the Volstead Act, Gateway saloons were converted into “soft-drink bars,” which supposedly limited their offerings to sandwiches and soft-drinks. The Salvation Army was the first to open this kind of establishment; it was probably the only one in the neighborhood to limit its patrons to root beer. Most Gateway soft-drink bars made their money from moonshine and prostitution. And they came under the control of local bootleggers, who worked with the police department’s Purity Squad to ensure they could operate without interference. This system of payoffs was described by Paul Ferrell, who described the Minneapolis Gateway of the 1920s in his memoir Michigan Mossback. Ferrell does not paint a flattering view of the Mill City.
Vollmer’s liquor raid map does sheds little light on the actual consumption of alcohol in Prohibition-era Minneapolis. At best, it illuminates which establishments were late on their required payments to the Purity Squad.
The liquor patrol limits were rescinded in 1974, though it is still difficult in Minneapolis to get a liquor license or serve liquor outside of these historic limits.

(image and text via the Historyapolis Project)

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This map was published as part of a Minneapolis police survey compiled in 1930 by August Vollmer, who was known as the father of American criminology. As chief of police in Berkeley, California, Vollmer developed systems of record-keeping and training that were adopted throughout the United States.

This diagram shows police liquor raids clustered in the old Gateway neighborhood on the banks of the Mississippi River. This was the heart of the liquor patrol district. Enshrined in the city charter in the 1880s, this ordinance required bars and liquor stores to be concentrated in select parts of town, with the rationale that police could more easily control liquor-fueled crime if all of these types of businesses were in one place.

A constitutional ban on alcohol did little to slow the consumption of liquor in the Minneapolis Gateway. “Drinking  and the sale of alcoholic beverages never really stopped in the Gateway,” historian David Rosheim concluded in his history of the neighborhood. “It probably never even paused.”

After the Volstead Act, Gateway saloons were converted into “soft-drink bars,” which supposedly limited their offerings to sandwiches and soft-drinks. The Salvation Army was the first to open this kind of establishment; it was probably the only one in the neighborhood to limit its patrons to root beer. Most Gateway soft-drink bars made their money from moonshine and prostitution. And they came under the control of local bootleggers, who worked with the police department’s Purity Squad to ensure they could operate without interference. This system of payoffs was described by Paul Ferrell, who described the Minneapolis Gateway of the 1920s in his memoir Michigan Mossback. Ferrell does not paint a flattering view of the Mill City.

Vollmer’s liquor raid map does sheds little light on the actual consumption of alcohol in Prohibition-era Minneapolis. At best, it illuminates which establishments were late on their required payments to the Purity Squad.

The liquor patrol limits were rescinded in 1974, though it is still difficult in Minneapolis to get a liquor license or serve liquor outside of these historic limits.

(image and text via the Historyapolis Project)