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Minnehaha Falls

A cache by seeingitdifferent Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 11/19/2009
1 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: not chosen (not chosen)

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Geocache Description:

Minnehaha Falls Earth Cache, Happy Birthday to my wonderful Wife who was born this great day!


In 1852, Ard Godfrey built a house, sawmill, and gristmill on Joe Brown's old claim, but he and his wife Harriet abandoned the site in 1871, as the mills at St. Anthony Falls economically overshadowed any commercial potential of Minnehaha. The falls became a tourist destination, especially after the publication of The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1855. However, Longfellow never visited the falls himself. He was inspired by the stories of Mary Eastman and Henry Rowe Schoolcraft and images of the falls. Beginning in 1885, the state legislature began acquiring the land to become the first Minnesota State Park. But in 1889, it was turned over to the city of Minneapolis for a city park. Residents and visitors could fish, swim, picnic, and visit the zoo, run by Robert "Fish" Jones. The park also featured a carnival and horse-racing. Each year, 20,000 campers stayed at the park—through the 1930s. In geologic time, the site of Minnehaha Falls is linked historically to Saint Anthony Falls, which is several miles upriver on the Mississippi. Around 10,000 years ago, the St. Anthony Falls were located near the site where Minnehaha Creek entered the river. As erosion brought the falls upriver, they passed Minnehaha Creek, causing a new waterfall to form. The lower portion of Minnehaha Creek now flows through a wide and deep channel once belonging to the larger river. The end of Minnehaha Creek where it joins the Mississippi River is the lowest surface point in the city of Minneapolis at 686 ft (209 m) above sea level. Erosion within the last century has resulted in a falls that is fairly narrowly channeled and vigorous, notably after a heavy rain. Photographs of the waterfall from the 1800s (such as the one from 1860) show a much wider, curtain like character to the falls. When the falls is dry, the older, much-broader ledge can be observed. If there were sufficient interest and funding, some remedial work could theoretically restore the 19th century appearance of the falls. Due to the extremely cold temperatures in the area during the winter months, the falls often freeze, creating a dramatic cascade of ice that can last well into the spring. If there is a rain shortage in the autumn, the falls may virtually dry up. In the summer, especially in the rainy months of June and July, the flow can be surprisingly forceful. Today, the falls are located near the entrance of Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis. The park is divided into two main portions, an upper section above the falls which is kept trimmed and maintained like many other city parks, and the lower section which is largely left in a natural state which is largely popular for free climbing due to the steep terrain. Minnehaha Park is a popular site for cultural festivities and weddings. Some historic structures are located in the park. The home of John H. Stevens, built in 1849 or 1850 near St. Anthony Falls was moved to Minnehaha Park in 1896. According to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the home has the distinction of being the first wood-frame dwelling built west of the Mississippi. It was in this home that the name Minneapolis was suggested, and the government of Hennepin County was organized. In 1896 over 10,000 school children helped pull the house to Minnehaha park and in 1982, the home was situated in its current location. A small train station officially named Minnehaha Depot but also known as "the Princess Depot" was built in 1875; it was a stop on the Milwaukee Road railroad and provided easy access to the park from Fort Snelling, downtown Minneapolis, and downtown St. Paul. The depot handled as many as 39 round trips per day; it was once integrated into the region's streetcar system. In 1964, title was transferred to the Minnesota Historical Society. The Minnesota Transportation Museum has assisted in the restoration of the building. The depot is open on Sundays from 1:30 to 4:30. A modern light rail station currently serves the park. A building known as the Longfellow House is also on the park grounds and provides some history of the park. It houses a small collection of historical photographs and is the main informational site for the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway, a 50-mile automobile, bicycle, and pedestrian parkway that circles through the city. It was built in 1906 for Robert "Fish" Jones, who owned and operated a zoo, the Longfellow Zoological Gardens, and recreational train on the site. The home is a 2/3 scale replica of the Longfellow National Historic Site, the long-time home of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Jones donated the Gardens to the Park Board in 1924. Statues on the grounds commemorate several notable figures including John H. Stevens, Gunnar Wennerberg, Hiawatha and Minnehaha, Little Crow, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The main Minnesota Veterans Home is also located in the area. Minnehaha Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Minnehaha Historic District. Minnehaha Park is also within the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, a unit of the National Park Service. To Claim Credit for this Earth Cache Please 1. Upload Photo of you at the site. 2. Answer the following question: What is this Unique and unusual Geological Feature called? 3. Estimate the height of the falls from the lower observation area and send me the info

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