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The Making of
Minnesota: A History of the Land

Work on the documentary series began more than 6 years ago when Barbara Coffin and Lansing Shepard began exploring how to tell the epic story of the history of Minnesota’s landscapes. Soon, they were joined by John Whitehead, an award winning producer and Polly Fry, a writer, producer, and historian.

spotgraphic_AboutB.gifCreating moments from Minnesota History.
For more than five years, the team has studied the historical record and traveled the state in search of interesting stories from the land. They have spent countless hours collecting rarely seen images of Minnesota and hours of filming Minnesota’s natural world. All to bring viewers one of the most compelling and unique documentaries ever created.

Along the way we had the opportunity to work with some amazing partners. The Minnesota Historical Society has provided a wide range of resources to the project. We shot in numerous MHS locations like the James J Hill House, the Oliver Kelley Farm and the Forest History Center. We utilized historic photographs and motion picture footage. And they provided invaluable research and scholarly resources.

Production Team:
Executive Producer/ Series Concept
Barbara Coffin

John Whitehead

Polly Fry

Series Concept/Writer/Narrator
Lansing Shepard

Tim Brady

On-line Editor  
Jerry Lakso

Jim Kron, Brett Kosmider, Robert Hutchings

Additional Research and Writing
Laurie Allmann, David Stevens

Additional Off-line Editing
Brett Kosmider, Kathleen Laughlin

Additional Videography  
Robert Durland

Field Audio
Bernie Beaudry, Lisa K. Johnson, Steve Truax, Dan Rowbatham

Post Production Audio
Mitch Griffin, Gary Edelburg,
Ezra Gold

TPT Executives-in-Charge
Bill Hanley, Sherece Lamke, Dianne Steinbach

Post Production Supervisor
Bob Sturm

Production Managers
Norbert Een, Lynn Winter

Production Assistants
Elizabeth Winter, Richard Gregg

Anne Marie Kronick

Original Soundtrack  
Peter Ostroushko

Recording Engineer
Sam Hudson

Maps and Animation
Studio Z Imagery

Still Photography
Richard Hamilton Smith

Graphic Design
Denise Fick, Twin Cities Public Television
Eaton & Associates Design Company

Minnesota Historical Society
Carol Schreider, Nancy O'Brien Wagner, Curriculum Specialists; Bonnie Wilson, Archivist; Nick Duncan, research staff

Catherine Allan, Twin Cities Public Television

Susan Flader, University of Missouri-Columbia

Rhoda Gilman, Minnesota Historical Society

Kent Johnson, Metropolitan Council
Lloyd Knutson, MN Department of Natural Resources

David Lanegran, Macalester College
Curt Meine, Consulting Environmental Historian

Ron Nargang, The Nature Conservancy

Elizabeth Raymond, University of Nevada

Don Schreiner, MN Department of Natural Resources

Newell Searle, Historian

University of Minnesota
Alan Ek, Department of Forest Resources

Don Luce, Bell Museum of Natural History

Jim Perry, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

Daniel Philoppon, Department of Rhetoric

Steve Daley Laursen, College of Natural Resources

Lance Neckar, Department of Landscape Architecture

George Spangler, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

John Tester, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior

David Tilman, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior

Herbert Wright, Department Geology and Geophysics

Web Site Credits:
Executive Producer
Barbara Coffin

Polly Fry

Original Graphic Design and Site Development
Eaton & Associates Design Company

Photographs and Images
Episode I Header Images
Anna Gronseth Prairie, photo by Richard Hamilton Smith

St. Anthony Falls, Henry Lewis, courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society

Mississippi River Headwaters, photo by MHL Production Crew

Episode II Header Images
Photos by Richard Hamilton Smith

Episode III Header Images
Photos by Richard Hamilton Smith

Episode IV Header Images
Anna Gronseth Prairie, photo by Richard Hamilton Smith

Stone Arch Bridge on the Mississippi River, photo by Richard Hamilton Smith

Highway Cloverleaf, courtesy Minnesota Historical Society

About the Series Header Images
Anna Gronseth Prairie, photo by Richard Hamilton Smith

Agricultural Field, photo by MHL Production Crew

Trillium, photo by MHL
Production Crew


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