19th Century, Architecture, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Transportation

Stone Arch Bridge Opens

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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

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19th Century, Agriculture, Business, History, Industry, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota

Washburn ‘A’ Mill Explodes May 2, 1878

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The mill explodes when flour dust in the air inside it ignites. The explosion kills 18 workers, destroys five other mills, and decimates the surrounding area. Debris lands in Saint Paul, and the shock is felt in Stillwater. The event brings instant notoriety to Minneapolis.

The tragic explosion leads to reforms in the milling industry. Ventilation systems and other precautionary devices will be devised in order to prevent further tragedy.*

Lord, this explosion truly impacted our state and city for decades. Will You forgive us our bitter root judgements of this event? Will You forgive any rash words and thoughts spoken by the rivals of the houses of Pillsbury and Washburn that may still be with us today? Will You cleanse the land, and the river from the bifurcations of this blast?
If the root sin of pride is an issue, (because of its largesse), will You forgive and release all the inheritors of this separation? We need You to provide our food! We welcome You to Minnesota, to the Falls of St. Anthony! Come and ‘be present at our table Lord!’

*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!

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19th Century, Agriculture, Architecture, Business, Civics, Energy, History, Industry, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota

Industry at St. Anthony Falls 1872

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Minneapolis industries cluster around the power of St. Anthony Falls. The Minneapolis Board of Trade estimates that the 95 waterwheels at the falls produce 6,000 horsepower.*

Lord, thank you for the gift of the Mississippi and those who harnessed its power. Thank You for the individuals and groups that contributed to its’ planning and investment? You work through those who skillfully manage money! Will You bless the entrepreneur? You work through those who take major risks to create business? Too often we are guilty of failing to properly acknowledge the reflection of Your glory through the wonderful skills of tradesmen and women! Will You bless these and their generations’: the cement worker, the engineer, the steel worker, the electrician, the riggers, the teamsters, and any other who labored on these projects?
Lord forgive us the sin of loving ‘science’ while simultaneously negating your creation. You had a plan for this city far before we began to envision what was possible. You created many electrical systems as well as the principals of hydraulics and physics in nature long before we were alerted to their existence.
How many more mysteries do You have to reveal to us? Forgive this root of ‘scientific pride’ in Minnesota. Will You replace it with humility and eternal curiosity that makes us better stewards of Your creation, technological advancement, and more receptivity to Your ideas?

*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!

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19th Century, Business, Economics, History, Industry, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota

1st Lumber Mills in MN 1848

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Pioneer businessman Franklin Steele builds a sawmill at the falls of Saint Anthony. By 1856, there are eight mills at the falls.*

May I sit with You and observe this chapter of life in my state? Mr. Steele came here through the invitation of the man who would become his brother-in-law; Henry Hastings Sibley, a prominent Minnesotan. He staked an advantageous claim on the east bank of the St. Anthony Falls. Soon, he established a partial dam, sawmills, and a crew upriver to supply him logs, and commence a successful business. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin_Steele

Digging further, this is what I found:
“But Steele surreptitiously staked the first claim on the choicest land before sunrise on the first day of legal settlement.” http://www.nps.gov/miss/learn/historyculture/upload/River_Ch_6.pdf

Is there nothing new under the sun? Once again, a man becomes successful through an inside scoop, and bending the rules to his advantage. We, indeed, are people of mixed motives, bearing both good and bad fruit!

Will You forgive his offense to You in making an illegal claim? Will You forgive his offense to all parties affected in his day whether Native, immigrant, loggers, and sawyers? Will You restore the losses of Steele’s contemporaries?

Yet, we sometimes exhibit the same heart as Steele. We try to grow beautiful things from ugly roots! We often esteem the shrewd, and shun those led by conscience. We are so in love with success stories that we brush past whom our heroes step on and over in the process. Will You forgive us our “illegal claims” today?

Precisely because I am a man with a mixed up heart like Franklin, I am drawn to Your mercy! Through Your kindness, I can offer honest thanks for the accomplishments of others with on-again/off-again hearts. Thanks for providing ample waterpower in Minnesota! Thanks for the resources of wood! Thanks for Franklin Steele who put together an enterprise to use both for the betterment of Minnesota!

*www.dipity.com/Minnesota/History/Minnesota-History/

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17th Century, Catholic, Culture, Exploration, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans

Hennepin at Falls of St. Anthony 1680  

Source:Google ImagesLouis Hennepin, a missionary with the La Salle expedition in Illinois, is sent up the Mississippi to explore the country. The Dakota stop him and his two companions and take them to a village near Lake Mille Lacs. While Hennepin is with the Dakota, he sees a great waterfall on the Mississippi and names it after his favorite saint–Saint Anthony.*

Lord, thanks that You position us to encounter Your mystery! I don’t know if Hennepin was stopped by force or friendliness, but thank you that You moved him to see the Falls, and the Dakotas to lead him! What a gift these Dakotas’ shared with a total stranger?! What a generosity of spirit! Will You remember their willingness to share the findings of their exploration? Release us from any false judgments or assumptions, Hennepin to Dakota, or vice versa, that stem from this event. Release Your blessings on both groups; the explorers and first residents of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Amen.

*Note – PrayThroughHistory uses the timeline located for several years at the Minnesota Historical Society Web site, at this URL:mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm .  Currently the timeline seems to be unavailable. I am hopeful that it will be back up in the future, as it was a valuable, user-friendly tool for anyone wishing to explore Minnesota history.

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