Resources, Assets, Comrades, and Neighbors

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. They are on Twitter and on Instagram.

The Longfellow House in Minnehaha Park is mostly a sad waste from the historian’s perspective but the former owner, “Fish” Jones, has a delightful Facebook presence.

The Minnehaha Depot is owned by the state historical society and is on Facebook and on flickr.

The Refectory houses the Sea Salt Eatery.

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 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.

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. It’s a pity they are using the same horrible interface as the Minnesota Reflections web site.

Lakewood Cemetery is the premier resting place for so many of those early settlers who have left us their stories. The “memorial search” feature locates grave sites.

The historical Minneapolis Tribune is searchable, with a partial run of issues in the early years. Beginning in 1867 and continuing through 1922.

City of Minneapolis photo stream is a newish effort from 2015: here’s hoping it continues for a long, long time.

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 University of Minnesota has some interesting Minnehaha images.

National web resources:

Placeography has a heavy focus on Minneapolis.

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.

The Library of Congress has a surprising amount to contribute to local history, including old newspapers (in a terrible interface).

Interestingly, the University of Michigan‘s “Making of America” website gives different results that the Cornell University “Making of America” website.

Find-a-Grave often includes biographical data from ancestry.com.

There’s plenty of interesting info in the HathiTrust Digital Library.

Blogroll:

Minneapolis Park History is Dave Smith’s history blog that applifies his exceptional work from City of Parks, written for the Park Board’s 125th anniversary.  Dave created the on-line Park Board Proceedings and Annuals list, a genuinely handy resource.

Nokohaha writes a postcard-centric Minneapolis-mostly history blog. It is terrific. Update Sept. 2016: Unfortunately, this blog has gone off-line, and the link goes to the Robbindale Historical Society web site.  Nokohaha.com has disappeared before, so let us hope they come back.   Update Nov. 2016:  Nokohaha is posting again!  In case of loss in the future, keep in mind that the the Wayback Machine has archives of the site.

Hennepin History Museum has started a blog.

Bridges and Roads is a great collection of pictures and info by John Weeks.

Ben Welter wrote a great Minnesota history blog called “Yesterday’s News.”

Pay-to-Play:

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:

The Veterans’ Home on the point where Minnehaha Creek enters the Mississippi was originally called the Old Soldier’s Home.

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.

Abutting the Wabun Picnic Area in Minnehaha Park is Lock and Dam #1, operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Camp Coldwater is a natural and sacred spring on the property that was formerly the Bureau of Mines Twin Cities Campus. That property is now owned by the National Park Service.

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.

Upstream from the Sibley site on the Minnesota River is Pilot Knob, a native sacred (and burial) site. The interpretive brochure is excellent.

No longer in the area are the Ford Plant, the Longfellow Gardens Zoo, and the Minnehaha Free State.

Area Bike Routes and Various Maps

Big Rivers Regional Trail in Dakota County

St. Paul Bike Map, including routes along the Mississippi River.

Minneapolis Bike Map, ridiculously interactive and hard to use.

Hennepin County also has an interactive biking map, which is not as bad as the Minneapolis one.

Fort Snelling State Park map.

Crosby Farm Regional Park map.