Learn more about the heritage of the Upper Mississippi River. All of the images below are available for jpeg or pdf download (right click to save to your computer).
Teachers may request free posters (one of each per teacher) on the following topics: Carver's Cave, Crosby Park, Kaposia, and Lambert Landing. E-mail requests for posters or call (651) 293-8408.
Carver's Cave: Spirit Dwelling, Alliance Cave, Landmark
Many accounts of Carver's Cave, located near the Mississippi River at the base of Dayton's Bluff in St. Paul, recall its rich and varied past. To Dakota Indians the cave was a dwelling place for spirits and a meeting place for alliance. To early European explorers it was a landmark, but to industrialists it was in the way. To those touched by the cave's history today, it remains a teller of remarkable stories.
Crosby Park: Floodplain Forest, Backwater Santuary
Nestled along the north side of the Mississippi River across from its confluence with the Minnesota River, Crosby Farm Regional Park is an oasis for plants and wildlife. As a floodplain forest and river backwater, it represents an ecosystem that is vital to the life of the Mississippi River. Ecological restoration efforts aim to ensure its preservation.
Fountain Cave: St. Paul's Birthplace by the River
While noteworthy as a natural phenomenon that contained a "crystal" stream, Fountain Cave derives historical significance from its role as a starting place for a great city.
Kaposia: Dakota Village on the Mississippi River
Up to 400 Mdewakanton Dakota Indians lived in the seasonal village of Kaposia during the early 1800's. Also known as Little Crow's village, it was situated on the banks of the Mississippi River in the vicinity of present-day St. Paul. To Kaposia's residents, the river and its surrounding land held both pratical and spiritual importance.
Lambert Landing: Early Immigrant Arrival Place
Known as the Lower Landing by early immigrants, Lambert Landing was once one of the busiest steamboat landings in the country. The landing served as the arrival point for vast numbers of immigrants entering Minnesota and as the principal source of supply for the new community of St. Paul until the beginning of the railroad era in the 1880s.
Little Italy: A Floodplain Neighborhood
The "Upper Levee" along the Mississippi River was the center of Italian culture in St. Paul from the 1880s to the middle of the 1900s. Known as "Little Italy," this neighborhood lived intimately with the river.
Indian Burial Mounds: Sacred Resting Place
High bluffs along the Mississippi River have long served as burial sites for American Indians. The Mounds Park area in St. Paul has been used as a burial site by at least two American Indian cultures. "Hopewell" peoples are thought to have constructed the earliest mounds between 1500 and 2000 years ago. More recently, Dakota Indians, with different burial customs, also brought their dead to this place.
"Working Mississippi": Moving Goods on the River
The Mississippi River provides Minnesota with a transportation link to the rest of the world. Nearly 7% of U.S. grain exports are carried by barge from the St. Paul area, traveling down the river to the Gulf of Mexico on their route to foreign destinations. The location of the Twin Cities at the upper end of the "stairway of water" created by the lock and dam system allows Minneapolis and St. Paul to serve as a major connection for the movement of bulk products in the Midwest.
Last updated: March 25, 2019