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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Pictures: Past and Present


These images provide a look at the falls in the past and the present. They provide a glimpse into what the area use to look like. All the black and white images came from the Minnesota Historical Society's archives. If you drag your mouse over the images below, you will see what the same area looks like today.

The Stone Arch Bridge, with Spirit Island in the foreground/ Stone Arch Bridge Today

Spirit Island being dismantled/ Present Location of Spirit Island

The original government mill for Fort Snelling / The same area today.

The Stone Arch Bridge from above the Tenth Avenue Bridge/ The Stone Arch Bridge today

St. Anthony Falls Laboratory 1941 / St. Anthony Falls Laboratory 2011

Sketch of Cataract, Holly, Union, and Artic Mills ca. 1861 / Ruins of those mills 2011

West Side Mills / Mill Ruins Park

Working on the West Side canal beneath First Avenue 1890 / Canal covering today 2011

The corner of Washington Avenue and Second Avenue looking east toward Saint Anthony Falls 1857 (Photographer: Benjamin Franklin Upton) / Corner of Washington Avenue and Second Avenue 2011

View down Hennepin Ave. toward second suspension bridge with giant lamp (see "Hyrdoelectricity" link under "History of St. Anthony Falls") 1884 / View down Hennepin Ave. from the corner of Hennepin and Fourth Street, with fourth suspension bridge in background 2011

Second Hennepin Ave. Suspension Bridge 1880 (Photographer: Jacoby) / Fourth Hennepin Ave. Suspension Bridge 2011