A History of the Falls

An Overview

The Retreat of the Falls

The Dakota, Ojibwe, and First European

The Founding of the Twin Cities


The Eastman Tunnel Collapse

Flour Milling


Other Industries and Workers

Rebirth, Renewal, and Return

The Falls and the University

Islands in the River



A History of Saint Anthony Falls

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St. Anthony Falls
















No other feature has had more impact on the founding of Minnesota. The waterfall not only built the city of Minneapolis but served as the nexus between nearly every part of the state.

The waterfall provided power. Throughout the years, mill owners took advantage of this power by installing water wheels. These water wheels helped turn the saws in sawmills which cut logs from the north and turned the millstones in flour mills which ground grain from the wheat fields of west. As a result, Minneapolis became the flour milling capital of the nation for fifty years.

This website provides an overview of the history and geology of the falls, a virtual tour, and five walking tours. One of these tours is intended for elementary school children and can be on the Group Resourses page in the menu at the left. The other four are found on the Walking Tour tab.