Nov 23, 1883
The Stone Arch Bridge spans the Mississippi below St. Anthony Falls. Once called “Jim Hill’s Folly,” the bridge provides a crossing for trains and becomes a Minneapolis landmark.*
First, I need to confess my bias against the railroad barons based on my reading in college. The rails often made choices that yielded pain for the Midwestern farmer, manufacturer, or anyone who wasn’t in partnership with them. (They would have sweetheart deals for themselves and their allies, and charge exorbitant prices to the farmer whose harvest would spoil if they waited for a better deal. I do not abhor competition, but bristle when I sense oligarchic or monopolistic control.)
I find myself harboring bitterness towards them, and towards this spirit in man that is willing to use the law in SELF service. I confess my judgements and bitterness towards James Hill, and the way the railroads were constructed in this state and nation. Lord, quite honestly, I hate the heritage of price fixing and theft! I abhor the curse that these judgments have put on our state, its’ people, our freedom of travel, and all lands that were granted, bought or stolen by the railroad lines. I despise how the rails withheld the good that they could have chosen to perform for their fellow man, and still yielded a generous profit!
Yet, I am a man of mixed motives just like them. I withhold from doing the good I know I can do, and sin against my brother in my heart. I judge them. I think evil of them in my thoughts. I harbor resentment. Lord Jesus, King of the Universe, have mercy on me a sinner for my judgments!
Lord Jesus, it is You who taught the fish to swim, the rabbit to hop, the horse to run, the people to walk, the wind to blow, the moon to orbit, and sent us the sunshine we feel today from millions of light years’ away! You are the Master of All Transportation! Will You forgive the sins by James J. Hill against Minnesotans’? Will you forgive our collective counter judgements of him, his companies, and generations? Will You bring blessing to every rail, every piece of land, every train, every rail employee, and all the cargo that enters or exits this state of Minnesota? Will You profoundly bless the Stone Arch bridge, and redeem its’ symbolism? Will You be the bridge and span this rift? Amen!
*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!
**Read more about these lovely arches? https://www.minneapolisparks.org/parks__destinations/historical_sites/stone_arch_bridge/#group_2_150339