On This Date In Twin Cities History - July 9, 1932
On this date in 1932, Carl F. Hirte attempts to claim homestead on a 4.96 acre parcel of land in the middle of St. Paul’s Union Depot rail yard.
Hirte discovered that the tract had never been claimed, and in accordance with the Homestead Act, he built a small shack on the land as his home. The land on which Mr. Hirte staked his claim was described as an “island” which it actually was at one time. The land around the parcel used to be part of the Mississippi River but was filled in many years previous.
Hirte argued that, because no formal title was ever granted on the parcel, it was open for settlement. Unfortunately for him, the government disagreed and he was forced to vacate his shack the following December.
Image: Carl F. Hirte in St. Paul’s Union Depot rail yard (MHS)