The North End is a historic urban neighborhood in Saint Paul, MN located north of the State Capitol and centered around Rice Street, the commercial and civic heart of the area and one of Minnesota’s oldest streets.
The area which would become the North End was first occupied by various Native American peoples, culminating with the Mdewakanton Dakota, who were forced to leave after the 1837 Treaty of St. Peters. European settlement of the area began in the 1840s. In 1849, Edmund Rice purchased a large tract of land in the vicinity of modern Cayuga St and Interstate 35E for an estate which he called Trout Brook. Beginning in 1857, Edmund Rice helped to establish and build the St. Paul and Pacific railroad through his property, which forms the southern border of the North End. Other railroads began to encircle the neighborhood in the 1880s, including the Northern Pacific Railway running north of Maryland Avenue and the Soo Line, today the path of the Trout Brook Regional Trail.
Many early settlers to the neighborhood were drawn by proximity to the railroads, which were lined with job centers including the Jackson Street Shops and the St. Paul Foundry. Many of these early settlers were immigrants from countries such as Austria, Germany, Bohemia, Hungary, Canada, Ireland, and Norway. As the city’s horsecar and later electric streetcar network expanded along Rice Street and Jackson Street, development progressed north away from the tracks. Some significant landmarks from the 19th century remain, including the Zion Lutheran Church (now the Hmong Evangelical Lutheran Church), Oakland Cemetery, and the Jackson Street Roundhouse.
The North End continued to serve as an entry point for successive waves of new immigrants throughout the twentieth century, including Romanians in the early 1900s. The landmark St. Bernard’s Catholic Church was built in 1905 as the spiritual home of the neighborhood’s South German community in what was then known as Little Bavaria. Later on, waves of Hmong, Somali, and Karen immigrants continued to settle in the neighborhood, creating one of the most diverse areas in the state of Minnesota.
The District 6 Planning Council, later renamed the North End Neighborhood Organization, was established in 1975 to represent North End residents and business owners to the City of Saint Paul and Ramsey County, and to engage the neighborhood in planning its own future. The organization is governed by a Board of Directors elected by the neighborhood to represent their interests. If you are interested in participating, please visit this page.
Statistical Information about the North End:
MNCompass North End Statistics
History of the Trout Brook Valley
Neighborhoods at the Edge of the Walking City
District 6 Historic Survey (1983)