The East Side—A Story of Tradition and Change

The family of East Side residents Pang Toua Yang and Mai Vang, about 2000. From the Minnesota Historical Society's Open House exhibit, which looked at the 50 families that lived in one particular house in Saint Paul's East Side over 118 years.

Follow the sounds of childhood laughter up and over the snowbanks and into Margaret Playground on the East Side. It is 1937, and as you near the hockey rink, you can see a small mob of adolescent boys and girls huddled together or sliding on the ice. They are joining the hockey goals into a small cage. Inside, giggling along with the others, are my grandmother and grandfather.

Life seen through two windows on Payne Avenue


During the Saint Paul medallion search, the scene under my window was like a movie set depicting the Middle Ages. I saw hundreds of families charging through the park with pitchforks, spades, sticks, and lanterns. They looked like a mob of Viking pillagers.