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The Street Where You Live

A Guide to the Place Names of St. Paul

2006
Author:

Donald L. Empson

The Street Where You Live

St. Paul’s classic street guide revised and expanded—coming soon to a neighborhood near you

Combining research with a feisty wit, Donald L. Empson has written a history of St. Paul's place names. Here people can discover the often-quirky origins of every place name—from A Street to Zimmerman Place. With more than one thousand entries and over one hundred photographs, this new edition—the first update since 1975—has been expanded to include parks, lakes, cemeteries, and other landmarks.

This may not be a book read cover to cover, but it is much more than a street naming reference. The pictures are great. For me, reading this book was great fun.

Public Works Historical Society

From the architectural landmarks of Cathedral Hill to the tranquil charm of Lake Phalen, St. Paul possesses a long, colorful history that its residents celebrate with an almost cultish fervor. Each neighborhood offers a glimpse into the city’s roots and every street tells a story.

Combining rigorous research with a feisty wit, Donald L. Empson has written an entertaining history of St. Paul’s place names. Here people throughout the city can discover the often-quirky origins of every place name—from A Street to Zimmerman Place. Who knew that Payne Avenue was named after Rice W. Payne, whose property was confiscated after he fought in the Civil War as a Confederate major? Or that Lexington Parkway was named after the first battle of the Revolutionary War because the developer’s wife felt the neighboring streets sounded too British?

With more than one thousand entries and over one hundred photographs, The Street Where You Live is the most complete inventory of public spaces in St. Paul in existence. At long last this new edition—the first update since 1975—has been revised and expanded to include neighborhoods, parks, lakes, streams, islands, bridges, cemeteries, caves, and other landmarks, as well as streets and avenues.

Learn the perfect trivial tidbit for cocktail parties, find destinations for Sunday drives, and get to know the city from pavement to park—in The Street Where You Live, St. Paul’s secrets are revealed.

Awards

American Association for State and Local History Award of Merit winner

The Street Where You Live

Donald L. Empson is a local historian based in Stillwater, Minnesota.

Don Boxmeyer wrote for the St. Paul Dispatch and St. Paul Pioneer Press for more than three and a half decades. He is the author of A Knack for Knowing Things: Stories from St. Paul Neighborhoods and Beyond.

The Street Where You Live

This may not be a book read cover to cover, but it is much more than a street naming reference. The pictures are great. For me, reading this book was great fun.

Public Works Historical Society

This handy book can help everyone find his or her place in the city.

Community Reporter

Read his book!

East Side Review

With more than 1,000 entries and more than 100 photographs, The Street Where You Live is the most complete inventory of public spaces in St. Paul in existence.

Stillwater Evening Gazette

It’s a treat finding the origins of familiar street names or just browsing.

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Empson’s remarkable effort acknowledges how place names become enduring emblems for the society and culture we create, both noble and whimsical.

Preservation Journal of Saint Paul

The book is a great history of the neighborhoods where so many have grown up and where people still live today.

Stillwater Gazette

The Street Where You Live

CONTENTS

Foreword Don Boxmeyer
Preface
Acknowledgments

Introduction

What’s in a Name?

A Guide to St.Paul Place Names,A–Z
Why St.Paul Is More Square Than You Think The Public Land Survey
Street Names The Minneapolis Perspective
Navigating without Numbers or Alphabet The Great St.Paul Street Name Debate
A Folding Throne for Queen Victoria How Interstate 94 Ran over the St.Anthony Avenue Parkway
The Bedraggled Harlot Paving the Streets of St.Paul
Equating Your House with Its Number
St.Paul’s Railroad Suburbs Nineteenth-Century Urban Sprawl

A Note on Sources
Bibliography

Index