The rivers are running high and fast and the water is cold. Be prepared and cautious if venturing out on the rivers!
Beginning in 2013, water will no longer be available at McDowell Bridge Landing, Riverside Landing, and the Marshland District Office on Highway 70. Please plan accordingly and bring an adequate supply of water.
The State Historical Society of Wisconsin, under contract to the National Park Service, inventoried historic sites in 1975. Two structures were identified as having National Register potential. The Society study team nominated one structure, the Soo Line High Bridge, for inclusion on the National Register. The bridge is owned by Canadian Pacific Railways and is an active railroad bridge. The National Park Service has no plans to acquire this structure. The second structure, the Earl Bridge, was not nominated. It was owned by the town of Springbrook and was removed and replaced in 1996. The inventory lists sixteen sites that were included on the Wisconsin Inventory of Historic Places. Some of these sites are under National Park Service stewardship and some have remained in private ownership. Many of the National Park Service sites have been removed or altered following consultation with the State Historic Preservation office. The Mann cabin, a log structure, was torn down in 1998. The wood portions of the Pacwawong and Phipps Dam were removed due to safety concerns. Discussion on Pacwawong Dam resurfaced in 1995 with concern expressed by canoeists and fishery professionals on the low water levels and increased plant growth. The park is reviewing the present situation and options. Further removal of the remaining dam structures is not planned at this time.
In 1976, the Minnesota Historical Society conducted an inventory of cultural sites along the Minnesota side of the Riverway. This study listed fifteen properties with National Register potential and the Society nominated them all for inclusion on the Register. The National Park Service acquired none of these sites.
Archeological resources on federal lands within the Riverway are extensive and diverse and are the Riverway's most significant cultural resource. The Paleo-Indian and Archaic eras are not well represented within the St. Croix drainage. The Woodland stage is well represented with a diversity of sites.
From 1976 to 1979 a survey and evaluation was conducted of archeological resources in the upper portions of the Riverway. Further evaluation of selected sites, identified by the survey, also occurred. During the three field seasons both historic and prehistoric sites were documented. While not an exhaustive survey, two hundred and seventeen sites were located within the projected boundaries, not all of which came under federal jurisdiction. Ninety-one sites were identified as significant sources of information and having National Register potential.
The National Park Service initiated a survey and evaluation of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway from south of Taylors Falls to north of Stillwater, Minnesota in 1992. The survey found this section of the St. Croix to be rich in archeological resources. The project archeologist recommended nominating a segment of the park as an archeological district to the National Register due to the extensive sites in that area. When the survey analysis and report is complete the park hopes to have an accurate assessment of the archeological resources as well as a tool to predict where additional archeological sites might be expected to be found. This second survey brought the number of known archeological sites within park boundaries to 326. A few more have since been found prior to ground disturbance projects.
In keeping with National Park Service policies, management of archeological resources is based on avoiding disturbance to the site. All areas of proposed ground disturbance are reviewed for known archeological sites and are surveyed and/or monitored by a professional archeologist if there is any likelihood of disturbing archeological sites. Reports of findings are made to the Riverway, the State Historical Preservation Office and affiliated Tribes, if warranted. Work is halted if archeological artifacts are uncovered. The National Park Service curates the artifacts and field notes collected during field surveys and excavations. Four archeological sites within the park are on the National Register. Many more are likely to be eligible.
Did You Know?
In 1872 3,500 men, 1,600 horses and 250 oxen logged off 35,000 acres cutting some 200 million board feet of logs. "Taylors Falls Reporter". In 1883 the Boom in Stillwater, Minnesota, which collected logs coming down the St. Croix River, reported 1,397,417 logs for 217,045,647 board feet.