While visiting the St Croix River Valley we found the site of the first commercial sawmill in what became the state of Minnesota. Two lumbermen from Marine Illinois, David Hone and Lewis Judd, finding the area’s abundant white pine, decided to build a sawmill here. They named the spot Marine after their hometown in Illinois. On August 24, 1839, they established the first commercial sawmill, The Marine Lumber Company.
By 1877 the mill was supplying work for an average of fourteen men and the town of Marine Minnesota had grown around the mill. Operating for Marine Mill for almost sixty years, the mill produced much of the lumber that was used for construction of many of the towns and cities of Minnesota as well as St. Louis and Chicago.
Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 today you can see portions of the stone engine house and the large wheel dating from 1873 and the stream that powered the mill.
If you look closely you can see parts of the foundation of the old mill
The steam that powered the sawmill
Driving into the town of Marine the views of St Criox River in the fall were spectacular and worth the trip!
Getting ready for a fall road trip, I recently opened some pictures from a fall road trip taken three years ago. While driving through the scenic St. Croix River Valley in Minnesota we found an amazing outdoor sculpture park.
Founded in 1996 Franconia has an active artist residency program. Each year the park has over 150,000 visitors. They offer yearly fellowships and internships for up to 40 visual artists.
The park is free and open 365 days a year although I am not sure I would want to visit in the winter – Minnesota winters are brutally cold – at least for those of us who live further south.
The park covers 43 acres and shares over 120 sculptures created by artists-in-residence. Since the sculptures change over time the ones we saw may no longer be there but they were definitely unique.
I must confess I am not sure I would call some of these sculptures “art” but they were interesting and the walk was nice with all the beautiful fall trees.
Looking at these beautiful trees, I am so ready for our road trip next week. Heading to the northern part of the lower peninsula of Michigan for the “Tunnel of Trees.”
Fall is my favorite time of the year!
What season do you like the best?
Are you planning any trips to see the beautiful fall foliage?