- Saint Anthony Falls
Infobox_nrhp | name =St. Anthony Falls Historic District
caption =Aerial view of Saint Anthony Falls with the upper dam; there is also a lower dam.
built =Apron built 1848
architect= Apron by Ard Godfrey, et al.
March 11, 1971
refnum=71000438 cite web|url=http://www.nr.nps.gov/|title=National Register Information System|date=2006-03-15|work=National Register of Historic Places|publisher=National Park Service]
Saint Anthony Falls, or the Falls of Saint Anthony, located northeast of downtown
Minneapolis, Minnesota, was the only natural major waterfallon the Upper Mississippi River. The natural falls was replaced by a concrete overflow spillway (also called an "apron") after it partially collapsed in 1869. Later, in the 1950s and 1960s, a series of locks and dams were constructed to extend navigation to points upstream. [http://www.mvp.usace.army.mil/navigation/default.asp?pageid=145&subpageid=144 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers St. Paul District: Upper St. Anthony Falls] ]
Named after the Catholic saint
Anthony of Padua, the falls is the birthplace of the former city of St. Anthony and to Minneapolis when the two cities joined in 1872 to fully utilize its economic power for milling operations. From 1880 to about 1930, Minneapolis was the "Flour Milling Capital of the World." [cite web|url=http://www.millcitymuseum.org/history.html|publisher=Mill City Museum|title=Mill City Museum History of St Anthony|date=2005]
Today, the falls is defined by the Lower Saint Anthony Falls which refers to a downstream lock of what is now officially referred to as Upper Saint Anthony Falls. [ [http://www.mvp.usace.army.mil/navigation/default.asp?pageid=145&subpageid=145 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers St. Paul District: Lower St. Anthony Falls] ] These locks were built as part of the Upper Mississippi River 9-Foot Navigation Project. The area around the falls is designated the St. Anthony Falls Historic District. [cite web|url=http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/hpc/landmarks/St_Anthony_Falls.asp|title=St. Anthony Falls Historic District|date=2006|publisher=City of Minnneapolis]
Before European exploration, the falls held cultural and political significance for native tribes who frequented the area. The falls was an important and sacred site to the
MdewakantonDakota and they called the Mississippi River, "hahawakpa", "river of the falls." The falls ("haha") themselves were given specific names, "mnirara" "curling waters," "owahmenah" "falling waters," or "owamni," "whirlpool" ("mniyomni" in the Eastern Dakota dialect and "owamniyomni" in the Teton Dakota ( Lakota) dialect.cite web|url=http://www.millcitymuseum.org/education/curriculum/TeacherGuide-Power.pdf| title=Recipe for a Mill City, A Curriculum Kit for Minneapolis Third Grade Students|publisher=Minnesota Historical Society|date=2002] Dakota associated the falls with legends and spirits, including Oanktehi, god of waters and evil, who lived beneath the falling water.cite web |url= http://www.mvp.usace.army.mil/history/engineering/ |title= Engineering the Falls: The Corps Role at St. Anthony Falls |Publisher= U.S. Corp. of Engineers |accessdate=2007-05-18] The sacred falls also enters into their oral tradition by a story of a warrior's first wife who killed herself in anguish of forlorn love for the husband had assumed a second wife.cite web|url=http://www.sacred-texts.com/ame/lol/lol214.htm|title=FALLS OF ST. ANTHONY: Myths and Legends of our Own Land|author= Charles M. Skinner|date= 1896|publisher=sacred-texts.com] The rocky islet where the woman had pointed her canoe towards doom thus was named Spirit Island which was once a nesting ground for eagles that fed on fish below the falls. Dakota also camped on Nicollet Island upstream of the falls and to tap the sugar maple trees.cite web|url=http://www.mnhs.org/places/safhb/history_12000.shtml|title=Twelve Thousand Years Ago|publisher=St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board|date=2007]
Since the cataract had to be portaged, the area became one of the natural resting and trade points along the Mississippi between Dakota and Anishinaabe peoples. The Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) term was recorded as "kakabikah" ("gakaabikaa", "split rock" or more descriptively, "gitchi gakaabikaa," "the great severed rock" which referenced the jagged chunks of limestone constantly eroding by the falls). [cite web|url=http://www.preservecampcoldwater.org/susuhistory.htm|title=Preserve Camp Coldwater Coalition|date=2000|author=Susu Jeffrey]
In 1680, the falls became known to the Western world when they were observed and published in a journal by Father
Louis Hennepin, a Catholic friar of Belgian birth, who also first published about Niagara Fallsto the world's attention.cite web |url= http://www.mpls.lib.mn.us/history/eh4.asp |title= A History of Minneapolis|Publisher= Minneapolis Public Library |accessdate=2007-05-18] Hennepin named them the "Chutes de Saint-Antoine" or the Falls of Saint Anthony after his patron saint, Anthony of Padua. [cite web|url=http://www.cosmovisions.com/ChronoAmeriqueExploN.htm|title=L'exploration de l'Amérique du Nord|author=Serge Jodra|date=2004] Later explorers to document the falls include Jonathan Carverand Zebulon Montgomery Pike.
Following the establishment of
Fort Snellingin 1820, the falls became an attraction for tourists, writers and artists who sought inspiration even if Hennepin's descriptions were not as majestic as hoped for. By the 1860s, however, industrial waste had filled the area and marred the falls' majesty. Further competition over the power of the falls on both banks of the river led to its eventual downfall when it partially collapsed in 1869 and was reinforced and subsequently sealed by a concrete overflow spillway (or "apron").
The area around the falls was added to the
National Register of Historic Placesas the Saint Anthony Falls Historic District in 1971 which includes 8th Avenue Northeast extending downstream to 6th Avenue Southeast and approximately two city blocks on both shoreline. [ [http://www.minneapolis-riverfront.com Minneapolis' official promotional site for the riverfront district] ] [ [http://www.mvp.usace.army.mil/history/engineering/ Engineering the Falls: The Corps Role at St. Anthony Falls] - an article on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website covering the history and geology of St. Anthony Falls.] The district's archaeological record is one of the most-endangered historic sites in Minnesota. [cite web|title=10 Most Endangered Places|url=http://www.mnpreservation.org/pdf/tenmostendangeredinsert2008.pdf|format=PDF|publisher=Preservation Alliance of Minnesota|date=2008|accessdate=2008-05-01] The National Register of Historic Places is facilitated by the National Park Service. The national significance of the Saint Anthony Falls Historic District is a major reason why the National Park Service's Mississippi National River and Recreation Areawas established along the Mississippi River in the Minneapolis/ St. Paulmetropolitan area.
A Heritage Trail plaque nearby says,
"For untold generations of Indian people the Mississippi River was an important canoe route. To pass around the falls, the
Dakota(Sioux) and Ojibway(Chippewa) used a well-established portage trail. Starting at a landing below the site now occupied by the steam plant, the trail climbed the bluff to this spot. From here it followed the east bank along what is now Main Street to a point well above the falls."
Geologists say that the falls first appeared roughly 10,000 years ago several miles downstream at the confluence of the
glacial River Warren(at present-day Ft. Snelling). Estimates are that the falls were about convert|180|ft|m high when the River Warren Fallsreceded past the confluence of the Mississippi River and the glacial River Warren. Over the succeeding 10,000 years, the falls moved upstream to its present location, breaking off the limestone cap in chunks as it receded. Tributaries such as Minnehaha Creekbegot their own waterfalls as the Mississippi River valley was cut into the landscape.
From its origins near
Fort Snelling, St. Anthony Falls relocated upstream at a rate of about convert|4|ft|m per year until it reached its present location in the early 1800s. When Father Louis Hennepin documented the falls he estimated the falls' height to be 50 or convert|60|ft|m. Later explorers described it as being in the range of 16 to convert|20|ft|m high. The discrepancy may have been due to scope, as the current total drop in river level over the series of dams is 76 ft (23 m).
The geological formation of the area consisted of a hard, thin layer of Platteville Formation, a
carbonate rock, overlaying the soft St. Peter Sandstonesub-surface. [cite web|url=http://www.geo.umn.edu/courses/1001/1001_kirkby/SAFL/WEBSITEPAGES/2.html|title=A History of Saint Anthony Falls|date=2008-04-18] These layers were the result of an Ordovician Periodsea which covered east-central Minnesota 500 million years ago.cite web| last = Anfinson| first = Scott| title = ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE CENTRAL MINNEAPOLIS RIVERFRONT| publisher = The Institute for Minnesota Archaeology| date = 1989| url = http://www.fromsitetostory.org/sources/papers/mnarch48/48hist.asp| accessdate = 2007-05-08] The water churning at the bottom of the falls ate away at the sandstone, and after enough support had been removed, large blocks of the Platteville Formation would fall off. This process had been happening naturally since 8000 BC, with the falls having receded up from the Fort Snelling area to their location in the 1850s.
The first private land claim at the falls was made by
Franklin Steelein 1838 — though he didn't obtain financing for development until 1847, in the form of $12,000 for a 9/10 stake in the property. On May 18, 1848president Polk approved the claims made in St. Anthony, and Steele was able to build his dam on the east side of the river above the Falls, blocking the east channel.
The dam extended diagonally into the river convert|700|ft|m, was convert|16|ft|m high, and was secured to the limestone riverbed. Its thickness tapered from 40 wide at its base to convert|12|ft|m wide at the top. Steele dispatched logging crews to the
Crow Wing Riverin December 1847 to supply pine for the his sawmill, and by September 1, 1848sawing commenced using two up-down saws. He was able to sell the lumber readily, supplying construction projects in the booming town.cite web| title =St. Anthony Falls:Timber, Flour, and Electricity| publisher =National Park Service| url =http://www.nps.gov/miss/historyculture/upload/River_Ch_6.pdf| accessdate = 2007-05-29] The new community at the Falls attracted entrepreneurs from New England, many of whom had experience in lumber and milling. He had hired Ard Godfreyto help build and run the first commercial sawmill at the Falls. Godfrey knew the most efficient ways to use natural resources, like the falls, and the great pine forests, to make lumber products.cite web| title =1838: Franklin Steele claims land at the Falls| work =Timeline| publisher =Minnesota Historical Society|url =http://www.mnhs.org/school/classroom/communities/themes/timeline/st_anthony/blurb.html|accessdate = 2007-05-29] Godfrey built the first home in St. Anthony, Steele had the town platted in 1849, and it incorporated in 1855.cite web| title = History of the Minneapolis Riverfront District and vicinity| work = Bridges| publisher =Minneapolis Riverfront District| url =http://www.mrdbridges.com/history.php| accessdate = 2007-05-29] [cite web| title =Old St. Anthony| work =Mississippi River Design Initiative| publisher =University of Minnesota| url =http://www.riverdesign.umn.edu/river_stories/stanthony.html| accessdate = 2007-05-29]
By 1854, 300 squatters occupied the west bank of the river, and in 1855 Congress recognized the squatters' right to purchase the land they had claimed. The west side quickly developed scores of new mills and consortia. They built a dam diagonally into the river to the north, which, along with Steele's dam created the inverted V-shape, still apparent today. Steele created the St. Anthony Falls Water Power Company in 1856 with three
New Yorkfinanciers. The company struggled for several years, due to poor relations with the financiers, a depression, and the Civil War. In 1868 the firm reorganized with new officers including John Pillsbury, Richard and Samuel Chute, Sumner Farnham, and Frederick Butterfield.
As Minneapolis (and its former neighbor across the river, St. Anthony) developed, the water power at the falls became a source of power for several industries. Water power was used by
sawmills, textile mills, and flour mills. Millers on the Minneapolis side formed a consortium to extract power by diverting upper-level water into waterwheel-equipped vertical shafts (driven through the limestonebedrock into the soft, underlying sandstone) and then through horizontal tunnels to the falls' lower level. These shafts and tunnels weakened the limestone and its sandstone foundation, accelerating the falls' upriver erosion to convert|26|ft|m per year between 1857 and 1868. The falls quickly approached the edge of their limestone cap; once the limestone had completely eroded away, the falls would degenerate into sandstone rapids unsuitable for waterpower. The mills on the St. Anthony (east) side of the river were less-well organized harnessing the power, and therefore industry developed at a slower pace on that side.
The 1869 collapse of the Hennepin Island tunnel
The early dams built to harness the waterpower exposed the limestone to freezing and thawing forces, narrowed the channel, and increased the damage from floods. A report in 1868 found that only eleven hundred feet of the limestone remained upstream, and if it were eroded away, the falls would turn into a rapids that would no longer be useful for waterpower.cite book|last=Kane|first=Lucile M.|title=The Falls of St. Anthony: The Waterfall That Built Minneapolis|publisher=
Minnesota Historical Society|location= St. Paul, Minnesota|date=1966, revised 1987] Meanwhile, the St. Anthony Falls Water Power Company approved a plan for the firm of William W. Eastman and John L. Merriam to build a tunnel under Hennepin and Nicollet Islands that would share the waterpower. This plan was met with disaster on October 5, 1869, when the limestone cap was breached.
The leak turned into a torrent of water coming out the tunnel. The water blasted Hennepin Island, causing a convert|150|ft|m|sing=on chunk to fall off into the river. Believing that the mills and all the other industries around the falls would be ruined, hundreds of people rushed to view the impending disaster. Groups of volunteers started shoring up the gap by throwing trees and timber into the river, but that was ineffective. They then built a huge raft of timbers from the milling operations on Nicollet Island. This worked briefly, but also proved ineffective. A number of workers worked for months to build a dam that would funnel water away from the tunnel. The next year, an engineer from
Lowell, Massachusettsrecommended completing a wooden apron, sealing the tunnel, and building low dams above the falls to avoid exposing the limestone to the weather. This work was assisted by the federal government, and was eventually completed in 1884. The federal government spent $615,000 on this effort, while the two cities spent $334,500.cite book|title=Mill City: A Visual History of the Minneapolis Mill District|last=Pennefeather|first=Shannon M.|date=2003|publisher=Minnesota Historical Society|location=St. Paul, Minnesota]
Locks and dams
St. Anthony Falls was the upper limit of commercial navigation on the Mississippi until two dams and a series of locks were built between 1948 and 1963 by the
United States Army Corps of Engineers. The locks make commercial navigation possible above Minneapolis but, since the locks in Minneapolis are smaller than most of the locks on the river, the practical limit for many commercial tows is further downriver. Few barges go past St. Paul.
Completed in 1963, the upper St. Anthony Falls dam is a horseshoe-shaped hydro-electric
dam93 feet (28 m) in height. The upper pool has a normal capacity of 3,150 acre feet (3,885,000 m³) and a normal level of 799 feet (244 m) above sea level. The navigation channel required alteration of the historic Stone Arch Bridge, which now has a metal truss section to allow ships to pass below.
Completed in 1956, the lower St. Anthony Falls dam is a gravity-type hydro-electric dam 60 feet (18 m) in height, consisting of a 275 foot (84 m) long concrete spillway with 4
tainter gates. The lower pool (sometimes called the intermediate pool) has a normal capacity of 375 acre-feet (463,000 m³) and a normal level of 750 feet (229 m) above sea level.
The pool below the lower dam has a normal level of 725 feet (221 m) above sea level.
The upper and lower locks are each 56 feet (17 m) wide by 400 feet (122 m) long.
The current around the spillway/falls is often swift and dangerous. In 1991, a small boat drifted too close and fell over one part of the dam. Two people onboard were killed, and two others had to be rescued by
helicopter. Rescues at the site are usually much less dramatic, but continue to happen occasionally.
List of contributing properties in the St. Anthony Falls Historic District
Saint Anthony Mainshopping area
Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
I-35W Mississippi River bridge, which collapsed in 2007 and temporarily blocked the lower pool.
* [http://www.nps.gov/history/NR/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/106wheat/106wheat.htm "Wheat Farms, Flour Mills, and Railroads: A Web of Interdependence," a National Park Service Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) lesson plan]
* [http://www.nps.gov/miss/planyourvisit/stanfall.htm St. Anthony Falls page within the NPS Mississippi National River and Recreation Area website]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Saint Anthony Falls — Luftaufnahme der St. Anthony Fälle in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Die Saint Anthony Fälle (englisch Falls of Saint Anthony) befinden sich in der Nähe des Stadtzentrums von Minneapolis im US Bundesstaat Minnesota. Sie waren bis zum Bau eines Wehrs aus … Deutsch Wikipedia
Liste der Contributing Properties im Saint Anthony Falls Historic District — Saint Anthony Fälle Die Liste der Contributing Properties im Saint Anthony Falls Historic District nennt die 85 historischen Objekte, die zu diesem geschützten Gebiet in Minneapolis, Minnesota, gehören. Von dieser Liste sind 56 Objekte noch… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Saint Anthony Main — is a shopping and office complex located on Main Street in the Nicollet Island/East Bank neighborhood of Southeast Minneapolis in the U.S. state of Minnesota. Commonly the area is associated with Northeast, Minneapolis as it is actually northeast … Wikipedia
Saint Anthony — may refer to: People Anthony of Antioch (d. 302), Martyr under Diocletian. Feast day: January 9 Anthony the Great (c.251–356), Egyptian Christian saint and Desert Father. Feast day: January 17 or 30 Anthony the Hermit (c.468–c.520), also known as … Wikipedia
Saint-Anthony-Fälle — Luftaufnahme der St. Anthony Fälle in Minneapolis, Minnesota … Deutsch Wikipedia
Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Kailua — is a parish of the Roman Catholic Church of Hawaii in the United States. Located in Kailua on the island of Oahu, the church falls under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Honolulu and its bishop. It is named after Saint Anthony of Padua … Wikipedia
Saint Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Wailuku — is a parish of the Roman Catholic Church of Hawaii in the United States. Located in Wailuku on the island of Maui, the church falls under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Honolulu and its bishop. It is named after Saint Anthony of Padua … Wikipedia
Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Laupahoehoe — is a parish of the Roman Catholic Church of Hawaii in the United States. Located in Laupahoehoe on the Big Island of Hawaii, the church falls under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Honolulu and its bishop. It is named after Saint Anthony of… … Wikipedia
Saint Anthony (Idaho) — La ville de Saint Anthony est le siège du comté de Fremont, situé dans l Idaho, aux États Unis. v · sièges de comtés de l’État de l’Idaho … Wikipédia en Français
Chutes De Saint Anthony — Les chutes de Saint Anthony en 2005 Les Chutes de Saint Anthony ou de Chutes de Saint Antoine, situées à proximité du centre de Minneapolis, étaient les seules chutes d eau naturelles du cours supérieur du Mississippi jusqu à ce qu elles soient… … Wikipédia en Français