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Mankato in Blue Earth County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Highland Park

Mankato's "First" City Park

 
 
Highland Park Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By K. Linzmeier, June 20, 2013
1. Highland Park Marker
with Sons of The American Legion emblem
Inscription.  This area (Bunker Hill) once served as a Civil War recruitment center, but this was not the primary reason for its acquisition. The Mankato City Council purchased approximately 10.2 acres at 150 dollars an acre on October 15, 1874, with the intention of providing local residents with the first, dependable, free-flowing well. The following year an attempt was made to sink an artesian well into the hillside, but the water level never reached higher than 78 feet from the surface. Despite the failure, the City retained its ownership of the property with the intention of developing it at some later date. Since it was acquired in 1874, the Bunker Hill parcel was the first city-owned land to be later developed into a park.

In 1888, a proposal was made to build Mankato's first hospital on Bunker Hill. Five years later, the plan specified a quarantine hospital to be built there. In 1896, a special ordinance was passed designating the land to be used as a city park. Despite local support for retaining the name, "Bunker Hill," the City Council chose "Highland" to be the park's official name. In 1905, the first park building was constructed.
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By 1909, it was ordered that all animals be removed from Highland, strongly suggesting the presence of a zoo within the park.

Highland Park served many years as a popular stop for tourist campers from all over the country. No doubt, the park's wooded ravines, tall trees and shady picnic areas inspired at least one tourist to comment, "Highland was hard to beat." During World War II, the park fell into disrepair; but after many years of improvements, the park has been upgraded with many modern conveniences, while retaining its rustic charm. It provides both the weary traveler and city dweller alike, the opportunity for rest and quiet reflection.

Erected in 2002 by Sons of the American Legion, Lorentz Squadron 11
Mankato Sesquicentennial Committee
Mankato, Minnesota


1860's: Used as Civil War Recruitment Center.
1874: Mankato City Council purchased 10.2 acres of land to provide residents with free-flowing well.
1875: Artesian well sunk into hillside -- water level never reached higher than 78 feet from surface.
1888: Proposal made to build Mankato's first hospital on "Bunker Hill".
1893: Plans made to build quarantine hospital on site.
1896: Special Ordinance passed designating land to be used as city park. City Council chose "Highland" to be the park's official name instead of "Bunker
Highland Park Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By K. Linzmeier, June 20, 2013
2. Highland Park Marker
east side of marker
Hill".
1905: First park building constructed.
1909: Animals removed from Highland Park Zoo.
1905-1941: Popular stop for tourist campers from across the country. "Highland was hard to beat."
1941-1945: Park fell into disrepair during WWII.
1945 to present: After many years of improvements, park was upgraded with many modern conveniences, while retaining its rustic charm.
 
Erected 2002 by Sons of the American Legion, Lorentz Squadron 11, Mankato Sesquicentennial Committee, Mankato, Minnesota.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Places. A significant historical month for this entry is October 1869.
 
Location. 44° 9.335′ N, 93° 59.747′ W. Marker is in Mankato, Minnesota, in Blue Earth County. Marker is on Weaver Street east of Warren Street, on the right when traveling east. Marker is in Highland Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 950 Warren 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. Childhood Home of Maud Hart Lovelace (approx. half a mile away); Maud Hart Lovelace (approx. half a mile away); Kenney House (approx. 0.6 miles away); Childhood Home of Frances "Bick" Kenney (approx. 0.6 miles away); Civil War Monument (approx. 0.6 miles away); Lincoln Park
Highland Park Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By K. Linzmeier, June 20, 2013
3. Highland Park Marker
(approx. 0.6 miles away); Hubbard House (approx. 0.6 miles away); Amos Owen Garden of American Indian Horticulture (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mankato.
 
Highland Park Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By K. Linzmeier, June 20, 2013
4. Highland Park Marker
Highland Park and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By K. Linzmeier, June 20, 2013
5. Highland Park and Marker
Highland Park image. Click for full size.
Photographed By K. Linzmeier, June 20, 2013
6. Highland Park
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on September 1, 2013, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 798 times since then and 112 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 1, 2013, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.

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Jul. 25, 2024