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History Revealed: Floating Bethel
July 25 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Ramsey County Historical Society Presents
Christine Podas-Larson, The Floating Bethel
History Revealed Series
July 25, 2019
Thursday, 7:00 pm
Ramsey County Roseville Library
Free and open to all. No reservations needed.
Join RCHS for History Revealed, our program series featuring presentations and tours from the best of local historians, authors and archaeologists, with a wide range of topics drawn from the heritage and traditions of Ramsey County.
Christine Podas-Larson, author of the recent article in Ramsey County History magazine, “Eliza Edgerton Newport and St. Paul’s Floating Bethel, 1891-1903” will talk about the history of Saint Paul’s “Floating Bethel,” a refuge for the working poor that was docked off Sibley Street on the Mississippi. Community leader and St. Paul resident Eliza Newport was well-educated and well-connected, and she led many charitable organizations and community efforts at the end of the 19th century. Drawn to the work of the Bethel Association, and in conjunction with other community leaders, Eliza developed places where the poor and transient of the city could meet, get food, basic needs, and have a safe place to stay. This culminated in the Floating Bethel, a riverboat hotel & bathhouse on the Mississippi River that served the “floating class,” river and railroad workers and their families. Over thirteen years it provided educational, vocational, and religious instruction for the guests. On July 5, 1893 the Floating Bethel had a devastating fire. The legacy of the Floating Bethel lives on today through the Bethel Hotel, a transitional housing program for men run by Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities.
Christine Podas-Larson will present the history of the Floating Bethel, and the work and life of her great-grandmother, Eliza Newport in this fascinating presentation on the early years of Saint Paul.
Christine Podas-Larson is the founder of Public Art Saint Paul, where she was the organization’s Executive Director for many years. She is also the great-granddaughter of Eliza Edgerton Newport.