Immigration: Then and Now walking tour

The East Side Freedom Library and the Ramsey County Historical Society invite you to a walking tour, “Immigration Then and Now: From Swede Hollow to Arlington Hills.”

Historian and co-founder of the East Side Freedom Library, Peter Rachleff, will lead a 90 minute walking tour on St. Paul’s East Side. The tour will use Payne Avenue as a spine along which to follow the experiences of such 19th century immigrants as Swedes, Irish, Germans, and Italians, to those of our contemporary neighbors, such as Hmong, Somali, Mexican, and Karen. The tour will explore the political, economic, and cultural forces which prompted emigration from homelands, on the one hand, and the patterns of settlement and organization in St. Paul, on the other. Rachleff taught U.S. History at Macalester College from 1982 to 2014, when he retired to co-found the East Side Freedom Library. The library is located in a historic Carnegie Library, which was built in 1917. It has collected more than 20,000 books and materials focused on labor and immigration history, and it shares space with the Hmong Archives. The tour will meet at the East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier St. Please arrive by 9:45 am. The tour begins promptly at 10 a.m., and will last about 90 minutes. Parking is available by the East Side Freedom Library.

Participants will carpool down to Swede Hollow Park. The tour will end at the Freedom Library, and participants will be returned to their cars. The tour is outside only — please wear walking shoes and dress for the weather. There are numerous restaurants and coffee shops available in the area for pre- or post-tour refreshments on your own. The tour costs $5 for Ramsey County Historical Society members, $8 for the general public. Please RSVP by June 13, 5 p.m. to or 651-222-0701. Online reservation available at Space is limited to 30, first-come, first served.For further questions, send en email to or call 651-230-3294.

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