Thursday, November 29, 2012

Minnehaha Falls Bridges



Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis, Minnesota still is a popular attraction. Judging from the large number of postcards picturing it that were produced in the early years of the twentieth century, it must have been even more popular then. The cards that I find most interesting are the ones showing the rustic bridge, especially the ones with people on the bridge. The postcard above has a black and white printed view circa 1908.

A version of the Minneahaha Falls bridge was even used as a photo studio prop. The next postcard is a real photo from Kregel Photo Parlors of Minneapolis and St. Paul.


There are five locations or The Kregel Photo Parlors listed on the back of this postcard.



The next two postcards show the falls in different seasons. These are my favorite colored views of the rustic bridge and the falls. This is the bridge built about 1893. An earlier bridge was photographed as early as the 1860s.



The next postcard shows the bridge that was built in 1910. This bridge was built of reinforced concrete and faced with boulders found in the park and vicinity.


My final postcard is circa 1950s. This postcard shows the bridge built in 1940 as part of a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project in the park. This bridge was made of concrete and faced with cut stone.


Information source: Bridges at Minnehaha Falls

For More Vintage Images


19 comments:

  1. The rustic bridge is quite beautiful. I've seen a similar kind of wood work used for arbors and small bridges in various gardens.

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  2. Very interesting. I live near an historic gorge and some of the photos at our museum are so like these ones of Minnehaha.

    (Somewhere in the back of my mind, "Minnehaha" is ringing a bell. I have a feeling it's a Bugs Bunny cartoon. It often is.)

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  3. The bridge looked good in every form, both wood and stone. I wonder if the postcards were popular because people just liked to say "Minnehaha."

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  4. The noise of the falls must have been, still must be, tremendous.

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  5. Interesting to see how the bridge has changed over the years. Longfellow wrote "The Song of Hiawatha" in the mid 1850s; Minnehaha was his Hiawatha's love in the poem. For the bridge and falls to be named and photographed in the 1860s the poem must have been an 'instant' success unless they just used the original Indian word for falling water.

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  6. Minnehaha Falls is one of my most favorite places to visit, and bike around! My daughter just had some family pictures taken there! You have a treasure with these post cards!

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  7. The first postcard is my favorite. Women in those days were wearing these fantastic hats. Subsequent cards show that bridges are also subject to fashion influences. Or are the maintenance people becoming more influential?

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  8. Have been there and seen this, but these cards are wonderful history. My favorite is the WPA with boulders. A fine collection of the history of the bridge.

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  9. I do like that first postcard very much, the composition is excellent. There's something odd about the studio shot though isn't there?

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  10. All three bridges are charming; the postcards are wonderful.

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  11. I loved seeing the progression of the bridge from era to era. But the first one is by far the best. The studio shot is quite odd, but it's a pretty good likeness - just a little flat.
    Nancy

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  12. The different cards of the bridge and falls make for a very interesting piece. Minnehaha I know from the story of Hiawatha. Would love to visit there.
    QMM

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  13. A fine collection. But the real photo card is a bit creepy. It's not the fake paper mache rustic bridge but the young beauty with the weird-eyed man. There'probably a tragic love story there too.

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  14. Beautiful postcards! Between the two final bridge remodeling projects, I think I like the bridge built in 1910 best. It looks like something out of a storybook.

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  15. A very interesting post on the Falls down the years, with soem very picturesque postcarfds.

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  16. How fascinating. Waterfalls used to be such an attraction to visit didn't they? In this age of inter-continental travel I suppose we no longer think of waterfalls being an object of wonder unless they are on a majestic scale.

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  17. The winter scene is my fave!!
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  18. It is nice to see the bridge changing over the years. A beautiful set of postcards!

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