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- Minnesota and Dacotah - 5/37 -


4

259

Alma,

15

274

Wabashaw,

10

284

Nelson's Landing,

3

287

Reed's Landing,

2

289

Foot of Lake Pepin,

2

291

North Pepin,

6

297

Johnstown,

2

299

Lake City,

5

304

Central Point,

2

306

Florence,

3

309

Maiden Rock,

3

312

Westerville,

3

315

Wacouta,

12

327

Red Wing,

6

333

Thing's Landing,

7

340

Diamond bluff,

8

348

Prescott,

13

361

Point Douglass,

1

362

Hastings,

3

365

Grey Cloud,

12

377

Pine Bend,

4

381

Red Rock,

8

389

Kaposia,

3

392

St. Paul,

5

397

]

The scenery on the upper Mississippi is reputed to be beautiful. So it is. Yet all river scenery is generally monotonous. One gets tired of looking at high rocky ridges quite as quickly as at more tame and tranquil scenery. The bluffs on either side of the Mississippi, for most of the way between Dunleith and St. Anthony's Falls, constitute some of the most beautiful river scenery in the world. It is seldom that they rise over two hundred feet from the water level, and their height is quite uniform, so that from a distant point of view their summit resembles a huge fortification. Nor, as a general thing, do they present a bold or rocky front. The rise from the river is gradual. Sometimes they rise to a sharp peak, towards the top of which crops out in half circles heavy ridges of limestone. The ravines which seem to divide them into separate elevations, are more thickly wooded, and appear to have been grooved out by the rolling down of deep waters. The most attractive feature of these bluffs-- or miniature mountains, as they might be called-- is their smooth grassy surface, thinly covered over with shade trees of various kinds. Whoever has seen a large orchard on a hill side can imagine how the sides of these bluffs look. At this season of the year the variegated foliage of the trees gives them a brilliant appearance. It is quite rare to see a bluff which rises gradually enough to admit of its being a good town site. Hence it is that settlements on the banks of the river will never be very numerous. Nature has here interposed against that civilization which adorns the lower Mississippi. It appears to me that all the available points for town sites on the river are taken up as far as the bluffs extend; and some of these will require a great amount of excavation before they can grow to importance.

But there are several thrifty and pleasant villages in Minnesota, on the river, before reaching St. Paul. The first one of importance is Brownsville, where, for some time, was a United States land office. It is 168 miles above Dunleith. Winona, 58 miles farther up, is a larger town. It is said to contain 5000 population. There is a land office there also. But the town stands on land which, in very high water, will run too much risk of inundation. Passing by several other landings and germs of towns, we come to Wacouta, ninety-eight miles above; which is a successful lumber depot. Six miles further on is Red Wing, a place which delighted me on account of its cheerful location. It is growing quite fast, and is the seat of a large Methodist seminary. But the town of Hastings, thirty-two miles above, eclipses everything but St. Paul. It is finely located on rising ground, and the river is there narrow and deep. The boat stopped here an hour, and I had a good opportunity to look about the place. The town appears to have considerable trade with the back country. Its streets are laid out with regularity; its stores and buildings are spacious, durable, and neat. I heard that over $2000 were asked for several of the building lots. A little way into the interior of the town I saw men at work on a stone church; and approaching the spot, I determined to make some inquiries of a boy who was briskly planing boards. First, I asked how much the church was going to cost? About $3000, he replied.


Minnesota and Dacotah - 5/37

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