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clock Jan 1, 2007 10:07 pm US/Central

Good Question: Why Are We Twins?


Ben Tracy

(WCCO) In the metro area, there are two very neighborly cities with very separate identities.

Most Minnesotans can rattle off differences between Minneapolis and St. Paul yet the two cities share a name: the Twin Cities. So, why are we twins?

Maureen McGinn, at the Ramsey County Historical Society, found the answer to how the Twin Cities became known as that in an old book.

"St. Paul and Minneapolis have had a huge rivalry over the years," McGinn said. "Both of us had our own train stations, both of us had our own landings."

"St. Paul, being the older of the two, felt the upper hand for years and being the capital city and then Minneapolis got the industry and began getting noticed with its mills," McGinn continued.

In the late 1800s, Minneapolis absorbed the village of St. Anthony and figured the river should no longer divide its future.

"In 1872, the Minneapolis paper ran a blurb saying that the future metropolis of Minneapolis could absorb St. Paul and rename it South Minneapolis," McGinn said. "Of course, St. Paulites went, 'Oh gosh.' They didn't appreciate it."

McGinn said that was around the time when people decided the cities needed a dual identity. To remind everyone there were actually two cities, people started using the phrase "Dual Cities" which evolved into Twin Cities.

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