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How Many People Have Died in Your House?

The Strib made its archives free for a few days, and folks discovered old news about their homes, families, and themselves.

10:34 AM CST on January 4, 2022

Photo by Peter Herrmann on Unsplash

Ever suspect that something horrifying once happened in your home? Well, for the past three days the Star Tribune gave folks a shot to sift through its archives for free. People immediately started looking through past issues of the Strib (as well as its predecessors, the Minneapolis Star and the Minneapolis Journal) for the history of their houses and tweeting about it. They found some shocking stories—and some incredibly mundane stuff as well.

One archive searcher found that she lived in what a front-page story called “Minneapolis’ House of Sorrow.” It had been the home of a girl who’d been murdered on her way to a corner store. The murder, apparently unsolved, led to the creation of the MPD’s homicide unit.

Another sad story: Someone else discovered that a hospital had been run out of his house during the Depression. A nurse left the state with one of her charges and was later arrested in Indianapolis.

Some things never change: Neighbors have always been petty. One resident won $2.50 in court after the woman next door angrily tried to kill her trees with salt water. Imagine how this dispute would have played out on NextDoor.

Some searchers discovered just how mundane the paper’s society pages were back in the day.

One year, the paper celebrated the small number of break-ins on Thanksgiving. Only three!

Of course, while covering local news in depth, the newspapers kept an eye on important international developments as well.

Did we miss any of your favorite news clips? Share 'em in the comments.

And how about that? Looks like I made it through this whole story without complaining that the Strib could have archived City Pages like this. Till now.

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