New films document St. Croix River history

Documentary series explores the eras of logging and European immigration.




2 minute read

Via the St. Croix Scenic Byway:

Log jam at the St. Croix Dalles, 1886 (Photo by Sanford C.Sargent, courtesy MN Historical Society)

St. Croix Scenic Byway is thrilled to announce “Founding Minnesota,” a five-film historical documentary telling the story of the St. Croix River valley featuring its people, communities, history and culture.

The premiere event will show two films from the collection in the gloriously renovated Gustafson Tomtegarden immigrant farmstead barn in Shafer, Minnesota on Sunday May 7, 2017.

The films blend interviews with historians and St. Croix valley residents with a compelling collection of archival photographs, early 20th Century film footage, current ground and aerial footage of St. Croix valley landscapes, historical locations and cultural events.

Sunday May 7, 2017
Admission is free but reservations are requested, please register at this link.

  • 1:30 p.m. – “River of Pines” (60 minutes)
  • 3:15 p.m. – “America Fever” (65 minutes)
  • 6 p.m. – “River of Pines” (60 minutes)
  • 7:30 p.m. – “America Fever” (65 minutes)

Gustafson Tomtegarden Immigrant Homestead Barn
28388 Redwing Ave.
Shafer, MN

“River of Pines” traces the arrival of New England lumbermen to the St. Croix region and the consequent 19th-century eradication-based logging of white pine across a 4.5 million-acre expanse of forest. Logging and lumber also provided a reason to found the first European settlements in Minnesota.

“America Fever” captures the triumphant story of Scandinavian immigrants who brought with them expectations of America along with crafts and culture, and a rich heritage still evident today. They faced many hardships and their resilience was tested as they achieved rewarding lives in a new land.

Directed and produced by Bill Neuman and Jon Cermin, the “Founding Minnesota” historical documentary film project was produced by the St. Croix Scenic Coalition and St. Croix Scenic Byway. The films were funded in part by the Minnesota Historical Society with Legacy Amendment funds provided by the citizens of Minnesota.


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One response to “New films document St. Croix River history”

  1. Gary Larsen Avatar
    Gary Larsen

    Are films available for purchase on CD?


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New films document St. Croix River history