Viewed from the Guthrie Theater, St Anthony Falls, the small settlement that was to become the city of Minneapolis, glows in the spring sun.
|The Falls of St. Anthony by Albert Bierstadt|
The largest falls on the Mississippi River first became known to the world in 1680 when their beauty was published in a journal by Father Louis Hennepin, an early explorer and Catholic friar of Belgian birth. Father Hennepin is also the one to write about Niagara Falls and bring them to the world's attention.
Indian tribes portaged their canoes on their trade route, the Mississippi River, and practiced their sacred ceremonies on this site from time unknown. When the white explorers discovered the area, the falls became a tourist attraction and source of power for lumber mills, then the flour mills that made Minneapolis "the flour capital of the world" from 1880 to 1930.
|Photos by Paul deVere|
Locks and dams were added along the great river between 1937 and 1963 to make it navigable by the ships and barges carrying goods from the Midwest 2030 miles downstream to the port of New Orleans.
It's still exciting to sit in the park along the river bank and watch the huge chains of barges powered by a single towboat through the lock and take in all the beauty of Minneapolis and the great Mississippi River.
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