Oldest Twin Cities: A Guide to Historic Treasures

Oldest Twin Cities: A Guide to Historic Treasures

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From an old-school magic shop tracing back to 1899 to a sacred cave tucked below 450-million-year-old bluffs, Oldest Twin Cities pays homage to the enduring treasures and natural wonders in our midst.

While blending old-world history with modern-day relevance, local writer Julie Jo Severson shares a wealth of insider nuggets and backstories about the region she's called home most of her life. Discover the rich heritage of Minneapolis, St. Paul, and surrounding communities as she takes you to time-honored shops, eateries, theaters, dive bars, museums, churches, clubhouses, parks, bluff tops, cemeteries, sanctuaries, and neighborhoods. Sit next to a crystal-clear natural spring flowing out of ancient limestone.

Hike along a trail in the footsteps of Dakota ancestors. Explore mill ruins and excavated bridge artifacts along the riverfront. Climb a spiraling staircase to the attic and dome of a 150-year-old courthouse. Sip a glass of Ratafia at Minnesota's oldest winery. Feast on spaghetti and giant meatballs at a fourth-generation Italian restaurant, once a favorite hangout for immigrants with nicknames like Moon Face and Chili Joe, who'd climb up from the steep hidden valley across the street.

Whether you're longing to reconnect with your metropolitan home, planning a different kind of itinerary for out-of-town guests, or shopping for a smart and timeless gift, you'll marvel at the vibrant glimpses of life, culture, and human perseverance glistening within the stories of Oldest Twin Cities.


Oldest Twin Cities is a fun guidebook to the Twin Cities' quirky history. The book is perfect for thumbing through on a coffee table or local coffee shop. It's also a handy permission slip to get out of the house and explore. The best thing is that Severson does not take herself too seriously. She aims to get people to chuckle and embrace curiosity.
---Bill Lindeke, MinnPost

About the Author

Julie Jo Severson, also author of the book Secret Twin Cities: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure, works as a freelance journalist, editor, and personal historian helping individuals record their life stories. A fourth-generation, lifelong Minnesotan, she’s still constantly adding to her local bucket list and sneaks in mini-excursions throughout the metro whenever she has the opportunity. Julie Jo and her husband are parents of three.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Reedy Press (April 1, 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 192 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1681064340
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1681064345
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 9.6 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.75 x 9 inches

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