Several years ago, I was working on photos for a book about Minnesota street food, and the area of Swede Hollow kept popping up in our interviews. Long time residents of St Paul would talk about their immigrant grandparents who lived in Swede Hollow as they worked in the local breweries. Or the changing nature of Swede Hollow – used by wave after wave of immigrants as they became established, and then moved out. Literally moved up to the bluffs in St Paul from the low valley of Swede Hollow. And of course, it’s history is even in it’s name – the people who lived their first, and the geography that kept them together.
And so, when Loree and Andrew suggested Swede Hollow Park, I mostly thought of the history of St Paul, not the beautiful park land that sits there now. It was a pleasure to explore the park with them for their engagement session, and fitting that we then went on to the newly re-opened St Paul Union Depot (boarded up for years after the trains stopped running through St Paul and reopened recently to accommodate a new wave of transportation) and then to St Paul’s high bridge for a sweeping view of all of downtown St Paul.
A touch of the past, mixed with a bit of the future, and a lot of Loree + Andrew!
And, if you are interested in the history, there is a lovely piece on MinnPost by my friend Andy Sturdevant about both Swede Hollow Park and the High Bridge.