1866 to 1880
“Construction begins on a wooden apron to protect St. Anthony Falls. Mills depend on the falls for industrial power, and their owners hope the apron will stop its erosion and collapse. Floodwaters destroy this first attempt the following year. Collapses follow. It’s 1880 before a useful apron is completed.” *
The Eastman Tunnel once ran below the St. Anthony Falls, connecting Nicollet island with Hennepin Island. It’s collapse almost destroyed the utility of the falls for the milling industry. Congress gave the Army Corps of Engineers $50,000 to fix the falls by basically filling in the tunnel with concrete, and making a wooden apron. This attempt failed also, and it wouldn’t be until 1874 when a lasting apron would be built.**
Jesus, our life is a series of attempts, successes, and failures. Help us view failures as You do; teachable moments. Thanks that this failure to build an apron eventually led to a successful preservation of the utility of St. Anthony Falls and the milling industry, but at the cost of destroying its’ natural beauty.
Will You bless us again through the Falls and the Mississippi? Will You gift us to persevere today when our work is totally destroyed by forces beyond our control? Will You help us work in harmony with beauty and nature?