Bring Warm Clothes: Letters and Photos from Minnesota's Past

This best-selling book is a look at Minnesota’s history as told through the letters, diaries and photographs of people who lived it. Today, children, senior citizens and lots of people in-between enjoy its honest look at the past. Readers have taken it through 14 printings.

You’ll meet such interesting people as Sam Bloomer of Stillwater, a Civil War soldier injured in the Battle of Antietam; Horace Glenn, a highly opinioned lumberjack at the turn of the 20th century, and Linda Benitt, a well-educated woman who ran a Hastings apple orchard during the Depression. They are not the rich, famous or powerful people of the past. They are people with whom you can identify, whose stories you can cherish.

"Bring Warm Clothes" is now being read by sixth-graders in the Minneapolis Public Schools to learn about Minnesota history. The book is much more fun than a textbook!

324 Pages,11 by 9 inch paperback, richly illustrated with photographs and drawings. First copyright 1981. Republished by the Minnesota Historical Society Press, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-87351-639-6 

Too Hot, Went to Lake: Seasonal Photos of Minnesota's Past

A delightful collection of more than 300 wonderful old photos, this is a history book easy to enjoy. It proves that Minnesotans’ obsession with the season goes far back. You’ll find pictures of picnics, blizzards, sports teams, gardens, dance recitals and harvests. You’ll see women ready to embark on a road trip to California in 1925, hunters in the 1880s, a Christmas pageant around 1900 and State Fair Prize winners in 1926.

310 pages, 11 by 9 inch paperback, indexed. First copyright 1993. Republished by the Minnesota Historical Society Press, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-87351-638-9

Peg Meier books out-of-print

(but still available in many libraries and used-book stores)

The Pie Lady of Winthrop

Peg teamed up with Star Tribune reporter Dave Wood for this book about Minnesotans. The pair traveled the state and found stories about some of its most charming residents, including Mary Watkins, the powder room attendant at Murray’s restaurant in Minneapolis; Jamie Schell, a 10-year-old boy with summer stretching out for him in Rollingstone, and Mina Peterson, the 93-year-old pie-maker in Winthrop. Copyright 1985.

Coffee Made Her Insane

An amusing and gripping look at Minnesota’s history, this book features newspaper stories from all over Minnesota, from good times and bad. The book’s title comes from an 1895 headline about a woman who drank 20 quarts of coffee a day. Copyright 1988.

The Last of the Tearoom Ladies

This is a collection of 44 of Peg’s articles for the Star Tribune. Garrison Keillor wrote in his foreword: “These beautiful and brilliant pieces about ordinary people are journalism at its most humane…. The minute you pick up this book up, you are back in Minnesota, listening to people talk the way people talk in cafes, taverns, church basements and the back seats of cars.” Copyright 1990.