Near Dresbach in Winona County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Minnesota’s “Fashionable Tour” / Welcome to Minnesota
Made popular in the east by panorama painters, writers, and lecturers, the “Fashionable Tour” of the upper Mississippi River combined the scenic “grandeur and majesty” of the west, a chance to glimpse real Indian villages along the shores, and the luxury and fine food provided by the big excursion boats. By 1854 visitors could travel from New York City to Rock Island entirely by rail in about 48 hours, step onto a steamboat heading north, and experience the “tonic of wildness” in a comfortable four-day round trip to St. Paul, where boats docked at the rate of four or five a day during the summer months.
Today the steamboats of the “Fashionable Tour” are gone, but the drive along the Mississippi River bluffs and through the old river towns proud of their historic heritage is still one of Minnesota’s most popular and scenic tourist attractions.
Like its neighbors, the thirty-second state grew as a collection of small farm communities, many settled by immigrants from Scandinavia and Germany. Two of the nation’s favorite fictional small towns—Sinclair Lewis’s Gopher Prairie and Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon—reflect that heritage. But the vast forests, the huge open pit iron ore mines, and the busy shipping lanes of Lake Superior attracted different settlers with different skills and made Minnesota a state of surprising diversity.
Best known for its more than 15,000 lakes, Minnesota has some 65 towns with the word “lake” in their names, not counting those whose names mean “lake” or “water" in the Chippewa or Dakota Indian languages. There are also 13 “falls,” 10 “rivers,” 5 “rapids,” and a smattering of “isles,” “bays,” and “beaches.” Even the state
Minnesotans are proud of their state’s natural beauty and are leaders in resource conservation and concern for the quality of life.
Erected 1985 by the Minnesota Historical Society.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Minnesota Historical Society marker series.
Location. 43° 51.563′ N, 91° 18.287′ W. Marker is near Dresbach, Minnesota, in Winona County. Marker can be reached from Interstate 90 at milepost 275, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at the westbound Dresbach Travel Information Center/Rest Area. Marker is in this post office area: La Crescent MN 55947, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Theodore Foss Memorial Highway (a few steps from this marker); Major General C.C. Washburn (approx. 1.7 miles away in Wisconsin); The Upper Mississippi Sidewheel Riverboat War Eagle (approx. 3.7 miles away in Wisconsin); Campbell Cemetery G.A.R. Memorial (approx. 3.8 miles away in Wisconsin); Spence Park (approx. 4 miles away in Wisconsin); Red Cloud Park (approx. 4 miles away in Wisconsin); Losey Memorial (approx. 4.5 miles away in Wisconsin).
Categories. • Natural Features • Settlements & Settlers • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 28, 2008, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,341 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 28, 2008, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. 4, 5. submitted on May 23, 2012, by Bob (peach) Weber of Prescott Valley, Arizona. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.