Minneapolis, Minnesota (population 382,618) was platted in 1854, a city government was established in 1858, and in 1866 the city received its charter. Minneapolis merged with St. Anthony, on the east bank of the Mississippi River, in 1872.
Early settlers recognized the potential of St. Anthony Falls, the only significant waterfall on the Mississippi, and harnessed its power for lumber milling. As the lumber industry diminished in the late 19th century, Minneapolis shifted to flour milling, and during the first half of the 20th century, the city was known as the “flour capital of the world.”
After World War II, Minneapolis transformed itself from a milling and transportation hub to the economic and financial center of the Upper Midwest, today hosting the headquarters of many corporate and banking institutions.
Minneapolis has a longstanding tradition of supporting historic preservation projects. Among its most notable is the rehabilitation of the Washburn “A” Mill, a National Historic Landmark. Located on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi, the mill was built in 1874 to convert grain into flour. Rebuilt in 1879-80 after a fire, the mill was the first automatic, all-roller, gradual reduction mill in the country. Today, a heritage center occupies the property, including the flagship Mill City Museum, commercial office space, condominiums and parking.
Visitors also enjoy the Hennepin History Museum; the historic Como-Harriet Streetcar Line, a reconstructed rolling history museum; and the Ard Godfrey House, the oldest house in the city.
Designated a Preserve America Community in April 2006.