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Saint Paul in Ramsey County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Fountain Cave
 
Fountain Cave Marker Photo, Click for full size
By K. Linzmeier, April 29, 2011
1. Fountain Cave Marker
 
Inscription. Fountain Cave, a landmark known as early as 1811, was named for the sparkling creek that flowed from its mouth and continued some 375 feet through a ravine to join the Mississippi River about 140 feet downstream from this marker. The cave attracted such noted explorers as Stephen H. Long in 1817, Henry R. Schoolcraft in 1820, and Joseph N. Nicollet in 1837 - all of whom described it in their journals.

Before the land east of the Mississippi was opened to settlement, Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant, a vagrant voyageur who sold whisky illegally to soldiers and Indians, in 1837 staked a claim where the ravine met on the river. Here in 1838 he built a saloon - a small hovel that was the first building on the site of what is now St. Paul. He was followed during that year by several refugee settlers who had been ousted from the Fort Snelling military reservation.

For many decades tourists visited Fountain Cave to view its pure white sandstone walls and mysterious interior chambers. Through the years debris accumulated to block its entrance. Construction of a highway in the early 1960s made it necessary to fill in most of the ravine, so that there is now no visible indication where the cave is located.

[seal of The City of Saint Paul] [seal of The Minnesota Historical Society]

1962
 
Fountain Cave Marker Photo, Click for full size
By K. Linzmeier, April 29, 2011
2. Fountain Cave Marker
 

 
Erected 1962 by the City of Saint Paul; the Minnesota Historical Society.
 
Location. 44° 55.404′ N, 93° 7.361′ W. Marker is in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in Ramsey County. Marker is on Shepard Road (County Highway 37) half a mile east of Otto Avenue, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is along a bike/walking path; vehicle parking is not available in the area. Marker is in this post office area: Saint Paul MN 55102, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. F. Scott Fitzgerald House (approx. 1.3 miles away); Summit Lookout Park (approx. 1.3 miles away); The New York Life Eagle (approx. 1.3 miles away); James J. Hill / The James J. Hill House (approx. 1.7 miles away); Summit–Selby Neighborhood (approx. 1.7 miles away); St. Paul Civil War Memorial (approx. 1.9 miles away); The Saint Paul Public Library (approx. 1.9 miles away); The James J. Hill Reference Library (approx. 1.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Saint Paul.
 
Also see . . .
1. National Park Service. Fountain Cave. "The entrance is niether evident nor accessible... Fountain Cave was estimated to have been 1,150 feet in length, and was possibly Minnesota's longest natural sandstone cave." (Submitted on May 10, 2011.) 
 
Fountain Cave Marker Photo, Click for full size
By K. Linzmeier, April 29, 2011
3. Fountain Cave Marker
 

2. High Bridge. Wikipedia entry. "The High Bridge is a bridge that carries Minnesota State Highway 149 over the Mississippi River in St. Paul, Minnesota... the highest bridge in St. Paul." (Submitted on May 10, 2011.) 
 
Fountain Cave Marker Photo, Click for full size
By K. Linzmeier, April 29, 2011
4. Fountain Cave Marker
 
 
Combined Path and Highway Photo, Click for full size
By K. Linzmeier, April 29, 2011
5. Combined Path and Highway
Downstream from the Fountain Cave marker.
 
 
Smith Avenue High Bridge Photo, Click for full size
By K. Linzmeier, April 29, 2011
6. Smith Avenue High Bridge
[north of marker over Randolph Avenue]
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on May 10, 2011, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,083 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 10, 2011, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.
 
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