Yankton Has Some Lessons For The Twin Cities

Minneapolis doesn’t have it all.

Granted, it has a lot more than Yankton, but apparently the Mother City of the Dakotas has some lessons for the big old Twin Cities.

Jeff Skrenes has some family in Yankton, and when he paid a visit to the area over Easter, he found some things he liked while touring the city’s historic residential area.

The problem I was having, as I mentioned above, was that my sister-in-law didn’t know too much about these houses.  Were they historic because of an occupant?  A designer or architect?  A certain architectural style?  Was the historic figure or style of local or broader importance?  All excellent questions, and virtually none of them were answered.  What Yankton’s historic district did have, though, were these interesting little placards showing which houses in the district were officially designated.

Do we even have those at all in Minneapolis?  Because I’ve been through some areas in SoMi, like the Healy block, and I can’t remember ever seeing one.  I happen to rent an apartment in a house that has a historically designated exterior, and the only time anything is ever posted that would mark it as historic is when an orange placard notes an upcoming hearing.

To be honest, he had a few complaints, too.

Little signs out front don’t go far enough though.  I tried Googling some of the names on the Yankton signs and didn’t really get anywhere.  Sure you can download a historic home brochure from the city’s tourism site, but that information is woefully incomplete and I only found it later anyway.  If we were to mark historic houses in Minneapolis, how would people be able to access information instantly as they see some of the significant homes in our fair city?

Luckily, I have the answer to Jeff’s problems! With the support of the Yankton Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Yankton County Historical Society, I’ve written a book that discusses the history of these homes and the people who built them. Unfortunately, budget cuts have slowed the process of getting the book published. We’re still trying to secure some grants. BUT, maybe by the next time Jeff visits, the book will be available for purchase. 🙂

Read all of Jeff’s post, along with some nice photos of historic Yankton homes here.

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