Saint Paul topographic map
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About this map
Name: Saint Paul topographic map, elevation, terrain.
Average elevation: 879 ft
Minimum elevation: 679 ft
Maximum elevation: 1,096 ft
The year 1858 saw more than 1,000 steamboats service Saint Paul, making it a gateway for settlers to the Minnesota frontier or Dakota Territory. Geography was a primary reason the city became a transportation hub. The location was the last good point to land riverboats coming upriver due to the river valley's topography. For a time, Saint Paul was called "The Last City of the East." Fort Snelling was important to St. Paul from the start. Direct access from St. Paul did not happen until the 7th bridge was built in 1880. Before that, there was a cable ferry crossing dating to at latest the 1840s. Once streetcars appeared, a new bridge to St. Paul was built in 1904. Until the town built its first jail the fort's brig served St. Paul. Industrialist James J. Hill founded his railroad empire in St. Paul. The Great Northern Railway and the Northern Pacific Railway were both headquartered in St. Paul until they merged with the Burlington Northern. Today they are part of the BNSF Railway.
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