Mankato in Blue Earth County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The desire to honor the memory of Mankato's Civil War dead prompted a citizens' committee headed by John Ray to purchase the triangular parcel of land in the Warren's Addition, bordered by Broad, Lincoln and Grove streets, and dominated by a massive elm tree. On September 1, 1886, Trustees to Lincoln Park turned over the deed to the City of Mankato. In the mid-1880s, the Alexander Wilkin Post of the Grand Army of the Republic erected a bronze monument of a Civil War soldier standing on guard at the center of a stone basin. Together, they formed a fountain. The soldiers' monument was referred to as The Boy in Blue. It was dedicated in 1893, a year after Mankato author, Maud Hart Lovelace was born. Thirty years had passed since the Civil War had torn the nation apart. Mankato's efforts to memorialize its fallen heroes was part of a national trend to build monuments and hold commemorative encampments on Civil War battlefields. A 3,000 pound mortar-gun completed the veterans' memorial.
A notable incident occurred on July 4, 1909, when seven boys set off the old cannon as a prank. The recoil of the blast shattered windows throughout
The park's most notable living memorial, the Lincoln Elm was designated as Mankato's official symbol in 1976, the year of America's Bicentennial celebration. Despite efforts to prolong its life, the stately old tree succumbed to Dutch Elm Disease. When it was cut down in 1980, tree ring dating revealed it to be 315 years old.
The park remains the focal point of the Lincoln Park neighborhood, just as it did during Lovelace's childhood. In several of her Betsy-Tacy stories, Maud referred to Lincoln Park as "the end of the neighborhood." To go beyond it was a rite of passage for her and her friends, Frances Kenney (Tacy) and Marjorie Gerlach (Tib).
Erected 2005 by the City of Mankato, Researched by Bryce O. Stenzel, MA.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • Parks & Recreational Areas • War, US Civil.
Location. 44° 9.563′ Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 200 Lincoln Street, Mankato MN 56001, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Civil War Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Hubbard House (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Lorin & Lulu Cray Home (approx. 0.2 miles away); Sinclair Lewis House (approx. 0.4 miles away); Ho-Chunk / Winnebago (approx. half a mile away); Highland Park (approx. 0.6 miles away); Korean War (approx. 0.6 miles away); Dakota (Sioux) Memorial – 1862 (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mankato.
Also see . . . The Betsy-Tacy Society. (Submitted on July 12, 2013.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 9, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 12, 2013, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 630 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 12, 2013, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.