Industrial Age


  • Turning Point | Steamboats on the Red

    Learn how in 1878, the railroad crossing Minnesota reached Pembina—establishing a rail link between St. Paul and Winnipeg—in this video from the Steamboats on the Red series. The link opened up the way goods could be transported from one city to another. Ironically, the first steam train to arrive in western Canada arrived via a steamboat traveling along the Red River. After the railroad arrived, the steamboat industry never recovered.

    Looking at the shallow twists and turns of the Red River, it’s hard to imagine that steam-powered paddlewheel boats were once the most important transportation link between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. From the first in 1859 to the last that sank in 1909, Red River steamboats hauled thousands of settlers and millions of tons of freight across the border between the United States and Canada. Although it lasted barely 50 years, the age of the steamboat forged a commercial network between the two countries that exists to this day in the Interstate-29 corridor.

    Grades: 4-8
  • Solve a Problem | Steamboats on the Red

    Learn how the biggest hurdle in establishing a water route for trade was how to get a steamboat across the prairie from St. Paul to the Red River in this video from the Steamboats on the Red series. The solution: a contest proposed by the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce with a cash prize to the first person to get a steamboat launched and operational.

    Looking at the shallow twists and turns of the Red River, it’s hard to imagine that steam-powered paddlewheel boats were once the most important transportation link between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. From the first in 1859 to the last that sank in 1909, Red River steamboats hauled thousands of settlers and millions of tons of freight across the border between the United States and Canada. Although it lasted barely 50 years, the age of the steamboat forged a commercial network between the two countries that exists to this day in the Interstate-29 corridor.

    Grades: 4-8
  • Piracy or Defending | Steamboats on the Red

    Learn about how history is in the eye of the beholder and Americans traditionally see their economic successes as progress in this video from the Steamboat on the Red series. In the case of the steamboats, however, the Chippewa people saw the Americans as rude and in violation of international law. When the Native people attempted to enforce their land rights, they were seen as pirates in the eyes of Americans.

    Looking at the shallow twists and turns of the Red River, it’s hard to imagine that steam-powered paddlewheel boats were once the most important transportation link between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. From the first in 1859 to the last that sank in 1909, Red River steamboats hauled thousands of settlers and millions of tons of freight across the border between the United States and Canada. Although it lasted barely 50 years, the age of the steamboat forged a commercial network between the two countries that exists to this day in the Interstate-29 corridor.

    Grades: 4-8
  • People and Businesses | Steamboats on the Red

    Learn how communities began to develop on the banks of the Red River along the steamboats’ route in this video from the Steamboats on the Red series. With new, cheaper means of transportation come people—first workers, then settlers, then merchants. 

    Looking at the shallow twists and turns of the Red River, it’s hard to imagine that steam-powered paddlewheel boats were once the most important transportation link between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. From the first in 1859 to the last that sank in 1909, Red River steamboats hauled thousands of settlers and millions of tons of freight across the border between the United States and Canada. Although it lasted barely 50 years, the age of the steamboat forged a commercial network between the two countries that exists to this day in the Interstate-29 corridor.

    Grades: 4-8
  • New Cargo | Steamboats on the Red

    Learn how, beginning in the late 1880s and early 1900s, the cargo transported on the steamboats changed from buffalo robes and furs to hard spring wheat, in this video from the Steamboats on the Red series. As a result, grain elevators were built along the banks of the river, and farmers were able to get their crops to market fairly quickly.

    Looking at the shallow twists and turns of the Red River, it’s hard to imagine that steam-powered paddlewheel boats were once the most important transportation link between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. From the first in 1859 to the last that sank in 1909, Red River steamboats hauled thousands of settlers and millions of tons of freight across the border between the United States and Canada. Although it lasted barely 50 years, the age of the steamboat forged a commercial network between the two countries that exists to this day in the Interstate-29 corridor.

    Grades: 4-8
  • Monopoly | Steamboats on the Red

    Find out how, in the remote Red River Valley, a monopoly had developed in the steamboat trade, and two separate attempts were made to provide competition in this video from the Steamboats on the Red series. The first ended when the competitors joined forces and returned the steamboat industry back to a monopoly; the second attempt ended when the larger company sabotaged and sank their new competitor’s boats.

    Looking at the shallow twists and turns of the Red River, it’s hard to imagine that steam-powered paddlewheel boats were once the most important transportation link between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. From the first in 1859 to the last that sank in 1909, Red River steamboats hauled thousands of settlers and millions of tons of freight across the border between the United States and Canada. Although it lasted barely 50 years, the age of the steamboat forged a commercial network between the two countries that exists to this day in the Interstate-29 corridor.

    Grades: 4-8
  • Money Drives | Steamboats on the Red

    Find out why businessmen considered the Red River of the North a water highway in this video from the Steamboats on the Red series. The Red River of the North isn’t the first river that comes to mind when a person thinks of a water highway. So what could have possibly driven businessmen to think of it as such? Money. Money drove companies, like the Hudson’s Bay Company, to find a shorter and more economical route from New York to St. Paul, Minnesota. But as these businessmen would find out, nothing is ever as easy as it seems.

    Looking at the shallow twists and turns of the Red River, it’s hard to imagine that steam-powered paddlewheel boats were once the most important transportation link between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. From the first in 1859 to the last that sank in 1909, Red River steamboats hauled thousands of settlers and millions of tons of freight across the border between the United States and Canada. Although it lasted barely 50 years, the age of the steamboat forged a commercial network between the two countries that exists to this day in the Interstate-29 corridor.

    Grades: 4-8
  • Important Chapter | Steamboats on the Red

    Learn about how although the steamboat industry along the Red River lasted only fifty years, it was an important transitional step in the transportation industry of the area in this video from the Steamboat on the Red series. The steamboats brought commerce, settlers, new towns, and international movements of goods and people to the Northern Plains.

    Looking at the shallow twists and turns of the Red River, it’s hard to imagine that steam-powered paddlewheel boats were once the most important transportation link between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. From the first in 1859 to the last that sank in 1909, Red River steamboats hauled thousands of settlers and millions of tons of freight across the border between the United States and Canada. Although it lasted barely 50 years, the age of the steamboat forged a commercial network between the two countries that exists to this day in the Interstate-29 corridor.

    Grades: 4-8
  • Harsh Reality | Steamboats on the Red

    Learn about how the 1870s was an era of prosperity along the Red River, and the steamboat industry was flourishing, in this video from the Steamboats on the Red series. Seen as dashing and romantic, steamboats were the fastest way to travel great distances north and south along the Red River but not really the most comfortable. The boat itself was noisy and overcrowded; passengers had to deal with clouds of mosquitoes along the route; and the large boats ran aground often as they tried to negotiate tight bends in the river.

    Looking at the shallow twists and turns of the Red River, it’s hard to imagine that steam-powered paddlewheel boats were once the most important transportation link between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. From the first in 1859 to the last that sank in 1909, Red River steamboats hauled thousands of settlers and millions of tons of freight across the border between the United States and Canada. Although it lasted barely 50 years, the age of the steamboat forged a commercial network between the two countries that exists to this day in the Interstate-29 corridor.

    Grades: 4-8
  • Commerce | Steamboats on the Red

    Learn how the steamboats that navigated the Red River were designed to transport goods, not people in this video from the Steamboats on the Red series. Cargo transported included food, farm implements, wagons, livestock, imported goods, and immigrants; but with all that weight in a very shallow river, running aground was a frequent problem.

    Looking at the shallow twists and turns of the Red River, it’s hard to imagine that steam-powered paddlewheel boats were once the most important transportation link between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. From the first in 1859 to the last that sank in 1909, Red River steamboats hauled thousands of settlers and millions of tons of freight across the border between the United States and Canada. Although it lasted barely 50 years, the age of the steamboat forged a commercial network between the two countries that exists to this day in the Interstate-29 corridor.

    Grades: 4-8
  • Cheaper Routes | Steamboats on the Red

    Learn about the problems boat captains faced in this video from the Steamboats on the Red series. Piloting steamboats on the shallow Red River wasn’t without its share of problems: getting stuck, boats sinking, and turning the boats around were just some of the problems the boat captains faced.

    Looking at the shallow twists and turns of the Red River, it’s hard to imagine that steam-powered paddlewheel boats were once the most important transportation link between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. From the first in 1859 to the last that sank in 1909, Red River steamboats hauled thousands of settlers and millions of tons of freight across the border between the United States and Canada. Although it lasted barely 50 years, the age of the steamboat forged a commercial network between the two countries that exists to this day in the Interstate-29 corridor.

    Grades: 4-8
  • Steamboats on the Red: A Monopoly Generates Competition, Manipulation, and Piracy

    In the Red River Valley, a monopoly developed in the steamboat trade, and two separate attempts were made to provide competition. The first ended when the competitors joined forces and returned the steamboat industry back to a monopoly; the second when the larger company sank their competitor’s boats. From 1859 to 1909, steamboats hauled thousands of settlers and millions of tons of freight across the border between the United States and Canada. Although it lasted barely 50 years, the age of the steamboat forged a commercial network between the two countries that exists to this day in the Interstate-29 corridor.

    Grades: 6-8

Brand: