Minnesota was among the states that we had visited before we started 50 plus DC, but it was a bit of a cheat as we had just changed planes at Minneapolis St Paul Airport on our way back from Atlanta. When we planned the September 2002 trip visit the last remaining states we used Chicago as our entry point so that we could ‘legitimise’ Minnesota on the way.

Stone Arch Bridge & St Anthony Falls Lock, Minneapolis, MN, USA



St Anthony Falls & Lock from Stone Arch Bridge, Minneapolis, MN

St Anthony Falls & Lock, Minneapolis

St Anthony Falls were the only significant falls in the entire length of the Mississippi River. Nope, we couldn’t see the falls either as they have long since been replaced by a weir, the current one built in the 1960s. The weir doesn’t look too high in the photograph, but to get a real feel for their height look at the lock gates on the left.

Pillsbury 'A' Mill, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Pillsbury 'A' Mill, Minneapolis

With abundant power from the Mississippi, Minneapolis became the hub of upper Mid West agriculture, and flour mills sprang up along the banks of the river. The Pillsbury ‘A’ Mill was built in 1881 and despite some significant structural problems it is still standing today, unlike one of its competitors which blew up and damaged many other mills in the process.

Mill ruins from Stone Arch Bridge, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Mill Ruins, Minneapolis

In the 19th century a waterfall on a large river like the Mississippi meant one thing - power. Mills sprang up in the St Anthony area of Minneapolis. These ruins have been preserved next to the falls and the Stone Arch Bridge.

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Stone Arch Bridge, Minneapolis

Minneapolis and St Paul are known as the twin cities, one each side of the Mississippi. St Paul is the state capital with the appropriate posh buildings, although according to the guide books it started as a settlement called ‘Pig’s Eye’. Minneapolis has an industrial heritage, some of which can be seen in this picture in the form of the Stone Arch Bridge, a former railroad bridge now used for vehicular and foot traffic. An unusual sight in a country where much of the railroad infrastructure was built of timber.

- We liked the Minneapolis riverfront area.
- We haven’t yet seen enough of Minnesota to pass judgement.
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