From a slow and steady start, Minnehaha’s tourist camp blossomed into a popular destination. After only a few years, more than 4,000 cars a season came through the camp. In the 1850s through 1880s, Minnesota had been proud of her ability to draw in southern tourists escaping the sultry heat of summer. In the automobile age, tourists came from much closer. Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin provided 43% of all Auto Tourist Camp tourists in 1925. Add in Minnesota herself and the Dakotas to find that 63% of the Tourist Camp users were regional folks.
Before long, electric outlets were available for cars pulling campers, and a whole lot of cabins were built to be rented by campers who wanted something more comfortable than a tent. These cabins were arranged in a semi-circle, as seen on this map.
The Log Cabin, of which there was just the one, overlooked the Mississippi River and Lock & Dam #1. It had a fine view of the High Dam, and a promenade in front just along the property line delineating where the Park Board sold the river banks to the U. S. Government.
Tourists camped here from much further away that the regional majority suggested. In 1925, surprising numbers of people visited here from Kansas, Washington, and Oklahoma. Visitors came from the Panama Canal Zone, Hawaii, and yes, the deep South. There were even a handful of hikers and 2 boys on bikes from Winnipeg.
To provide entertainment to all these people, at some point the Park Board gave dances.
It’s still unknown just when this “Dance Entertainment” was held. The possible years are: 1923, 1928, 1934, 1940, 1945, or 1951.