The local historian’s network is filled with labors of love and deeply committed professionals. With resources like these, it’s a wonder anything ever gets forgotten.
Minnehaha Park websites:
The Park Board’s Minnehaha Park web site has Dave Smith’s Minnehaha park history, and they are keeping it updated.
The John H. Stevens House is in Minnehaha Park and is Minneapolis’ first settler’s house.
The Longfellow House in Minnehaha Park is mostly a sad waste from the historian’s perspective. The former owner, “Fish” Jones, once had a delightful Facebook presence.
The Refectory houses the Sea Salt Eatery.
urbancreek.com has a list of plants in the park.
Minneapolis and Hennepin County web resources:
Hennepin History Museum is the County Historical Society for Hennepin County. Home to amazing treasures and unique information about the Falls. (And of course other places in Hennepin County.) Find HHM on Facebook, and HHM on Twitter. And on Instagram.
The City of Minneapolis is posting a lot of old images and documents on flickr.com. This is a newish effort from 2015: here’s hoping it continues for a long, long time.
The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District are the people who protect the Minnehaha watershed: Lake Minnetonka to the Mississippi River. And they announce when it’s safe to canoe the creek, too. MCWD is on Instagram and Youtube and on Facebook.
The Hennepin County Library puts some wonderful resources on-line, notably the City Directories, but deep research happens downtown at the Special Collections department on the 4th floor. In autumn of 2016, the library put a lot of Minnehaha (and other) history on line. The Digital Collections web pages are chock full of marvelous stuff, like the Hennepin History magazine, fully searchable. Minneapolis building permits are also on the library web site. This is the best thing to happen for local history researchers in years.
The historical Minneapolis Tribune is searchable, with a partial run of issues in the early years. Beginning in 1867 and continuing through 1922.
Hennepin County Property Tax Database is an exceptional resource for locating lot lines, addition names, and finding out how much the neighbors paid for their house.
Minnesota web resources:
Minnesota Reflections at The Minnesota Digital Library is a growing repository of statewide historical images and documents. Many significant documents can be found here. Especially of interest are documents relating to the Park Board.
The Minnesota Historical Society is huge and well-funded, and has put quite a bit of their collection on-line. The Directory of Minnesota Photographers from MNHS contains incredibly useful information as far as they’ve gotten with it, though it’s impossible to tell if it is being updated. The archives of their Minnesota History magazine are searchable. The People Finder search is sometimes useful.
The St. Paul City Directories are available through the St. Paul Public Library. Because people did so move back and forth across the river.
Even the DNR gets involved in presenting information about Minnehaha Park. Ground-penetrating radar!
National web resources:
Placeography has a heavy focus on Minneapolis. It is not being updated at this time.
The Political Graveyard is a labor of love by a county official in Ann Arbor, MI. There’s nothing like a grand obsession, truly.
The Historical Markers Database is a fine and growing effort, needs more hands. Hiawatha and Minnehaha are missing as of July of 2016.
Find-a-Grave often includes biographical data from ancestry.com.
There’s plenty of interesting info in the HathiTrust Digital Library.
Minneapolis Park History was Dave Smith’s history blog that applified his exceptional work from City of Parks, written for the Park Board’s 125th anniversary. Unfortunately, the blog has been taken off-line as of Nov. 2017. Dave created the on-line Park Board Proceedings and Annuals list, such a genuinely handy resource that is being maintained on urbancreek.com as of Nov. 2017.
Hennepin History Museum has started a blog.
Bridges and Roads is a great collection of pictures and info by John Weeks.
Ben Welter writes an exceptional Minnesota history blog called Yesterday’s News
Matt Richter is a Minnesota beer and brewery history researcher and author for Minnesota Then.
Lakewood Cemetery has a blog, which mostly advertises events, but sometimes features history.
Greg Brick, the Twin Cities’ favorite cave expert, has a blog.
Ancestry.com is also free at Hennepin County libraries.
Newspapers.com has the absolute best search and save features of any historic newspaper site.
Minnehaha Park’s neighbors:
Fort Snelling was the original United States presence in the area. Now the name applies to the historic fort (which also has a Facebook page), and to Fort Snelling State Park, and to the military cemetery.
Fort Snelling State Park touches both the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (part of the National Park Service), and the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge (overseen by the US Fish and Wildlife Service).
Crosby Farm Regional Park is just across the Mississippi River from Minnehaha and Fort Snelling. A bit upstream, and directly across from the confluence of Minnehaha Creek and the Mississippi River is Hidden Falls Regional Park.
The Mississippi River Gorge Regional Park is part of the Minneapolis Park Board.
Just a bit downstream from Fort Snelling is the Sibley Historic Site, with houses built in the 1830s for those connected to the fur trade. They have a Facebook page. Nearby is the oldest continually operated church in Minnesota, St. Peter’s.
No longer in the area are the Ford Plant, the Longfellow Gardens Zoo, and the Minnehaha Free State.
Area Bike Routes and Various Maps
St. Paul Bike Map, including routes along the Mississippi River.
The City of Minneapolis Bike Map, previously described here as ridiculously interactive and hard to use, has been replaced by an app.
Hennepin County also has an interactive biking map, which is not as bad as the Minneapolis one.
[[these links all work as of October 2018]]