Minneapolis in Hennepin County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Lucy Wilder Morris
and Father Hennepin Bluffs Park
A local amateur historian, Lucy Wilder Morris, convinced the St. Anthony Falls Water Power Company to grant an easement for a small park here in 1924. Lucy's interest in local history led her to publish "Old Rail Fence Corners: Frontier Tales Told by Minnesota Pioneers" in 1914. In 1922, ready for a new project, she founded the Daughters of the American Colonists (DAC) to preserve historic sites around Minnesota. The first DAC project was to protect the site at the east end of the Stone Arch Bridge, where, in 1680, Father Louis Hennepin was said to be the first European to "discover" and name St. Anthony Falls, with the help of native American guides, who had long revered the area.
With an easement in hand and Lucy in the lead, the DAC developed the half acre site, adding fencing, a gate, trees, and importing a large boulder for a plaque. They also created a $500 endowment for 'perpetual upkeep.' Approximately $25 per year funded cutting the grass, pulling weeds, and maintaining the fence.
The park was dedicated as Lucy Wilder Morris Park in 1924. The
It was not until 1989 that the Park Board actually acquired legal title to Lucy Wilder Morris Park.
How did Lucy's park get lost?
Over the years, maintenance of Lucy Wilder Morris Park was limited. By 1970, it showed its age and Rolf Svendsen took it upon himself to clean up Lucy Wilder Morris Park.
Svendsen arranged for a crew of 75 youth to re-develop the park and surrounding land. Using funds from the Council for Community Action, Burlington Northern, and Cutler-Magner Salt Company, with equipment and materials from the MPRB, they built stairways to the riverbank, brick walkways, and a small bridge to the nearby island.
His work re-invigorated the area and began a park acquisition debate which took many years to resolve. It ultimately lead to the 1977 acquisition of the eight acres which is now named Father Hennepin Bluffs Park. A plaque about Lucy Wilder Morris Park was re-installed, but the park itself and its name became obsolete.
The Minneapolis Park System provides a wide range of activities along the
Celebrating 125 Plus Years of Inspiring and Unusual History of
the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
Erected by Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public Work • Fraternal or Sororal Organizations • Parks & Recreational Areas • Women. In addition, it is included in the Daughters of the American Colonists series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1924.
Location. 44° 58.896′ N, 93° 15.015′ W. Marker is in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in Hennepin County. Marker can be reached from 6th Avenue Southeast just south of Southeast Main Street. Marker is located beside the walkway in Main Street Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 420 Southeast Main Street, Minneapolis MN 55414, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Portaging Around the Falls (within shouting distance of this marker); Marcy~Holmes (within shouting distance of this marker); Pettingill's Wonderful Water (within shouting distance of this marker); Father Hennepin Bluffs (within shouting The Stone Arch Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); Sawmilling: The City's First Industry (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Pillsbury A Mill (about 700 feet away); a different marker also named Pillsbury A Mill (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Minneapolis.
Also see . . .
1. An Unembarrassed Patriot: Lucy Wilder Morris. When the Daughters of the American Colonists learned the property was owned by Northern States Power Company and the Great Northern Railway in the summer of 1981, 223 members launched a series of moves distinguished partly by persuasion and partly by modification of their rules to win easements to the property and their right as a society to hold it. A fence was constructed with a locked gate to protect unwary children from the railroad tracks. A water system was installed, and appropriate bushes and trees were planted. The Daughters of the American Colonists voted to name the property the Lucy Wilder Morris Park. (Submitted on August 30, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Old Rail Fence Corners by Lucy Leavenworth Wilder Morris. Old Rail Fence (Submitted on August 30, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. Father Hennepin Bluff Park History. Another half-acre of land on the bluff, Lucy Wilder Morris Park, was officially added to the park when title to the land was turned over to the park board by the Hennepin County Historical Society in 1989. The park board had been maintaining Lucy Wilder Morris Park, however, since 1931 under an agreement with and funding from the Daughters of American Colonists. (Submitted on August 30, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 30, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 30, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 286 times since then and 57 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 30, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.