Minneapolis Park Mystery: A Brass Sailboat

Does anybody know what this is? Can you help solve the mystery?

The brass sailboat embedded in concrete is several yards NNW of the picnic shelter at Beard Plaisance near Lake Harriet.

Why is it here? A brass sailboat in the grass near the picnic shelter at Beard Plaisance west of Lake Harriet.

I’m told the mast used to point toward a crabapple tree, but the tree has died. Was it a memorial to someone or something?

I’m also interested in knowing when West 45th was closed between Upton and Thomas. The same for West 46th from Upton to the parkway. Does anyone remember those streets being used? Was there ever a road from the parkway to the picnic shelter from the south? It looks as if the trees were cleared to make a road or path at some time.

Please tell what you know.

David C. Smith

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2 comments so far

  1. Patrick L Coleman on

    David, I lived at 44th & Washburn in the ’60s and recall walking from W 46th down to the parkway on the old road bed. First time had to be autumn of ’60 or spring of ’61. The road bed was about 50-50 grass and asphalt. Clearly the road had not been used for a long time, that is, there was no worn parallel tracks along the roadway, just random grass and asphalt patches.

    • David C. Smith on

      Very interesting, Patrick. Thanks. This is the first account I’ve heard from someone actually seeing a road there.


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