A lake in limbo?

May 1, 2019—This painting is not of Bde Maka Ska, or Lake Calhoun for that matter, the body of water in Minneapolis whose name is now once again in dispute. It’s of St. Anthony Falls nearby, just before it was dramatically altered by the sawmills and flour mills that moved in to harness its power. Indeed, the falls eventually collapsed when a dam caused the limestone beneath them to erode.

But the falls were what prompted European settlement here in the first place. Securing them by treaty helped build Fort Snelling, from which explorers came upon Bde Maka Ska. Without the falls, there may never have been a Lake Calhoun. Of course the falls had Native names, too—Mininara, Owahmenah, and O-Wa-Mni among them—through any attempt to revert to them would now appear an uphill battle.


Source: Stephen Montemayor, “Minnesota DNR to Challenge Appeals Court Ruling on Renaming Lake Calhoun Bde Maka Ska,” Star Tribune, May 1, 2019