Friday Photo: West Riverbank from the Stone Arch Bridge

I don’t want to overdo the Stone Arch Bridge, but will run that risk with this photo found by Andrew Caddock at the park board. I showed the picture recently to a group of local history buffs and asked for guesses on when it was taken. Guesses ranged mostly from 1930-1960s. The real answer is ….

View from the Stone Arch Bridge 1980 (Riverfront News)

View from the Stone Arch Bridge. Click for larger image. (Jim Keane, Riverfront News)

…1980. Not that long ago.

The piles of sand and aggregate in front of the old mills were used to make concrete and were owned by Shiely Co. The materials  were mixed on site and used in downtown construction projects; the sand and gravel could be transported at much lower cost by barge than by truck. The company first used the area for aggregate storage when it was making the concrete to build the upper lock and dam — on the right of the bridge — which was completed in 1965. Train traffic on the Stone Arch Bridge had stopped a couple of years before this photo was taken.

The photo appeared in the December 1980 issue of Riverfront News, a publication of the Minneapolis Riverfront Coordination Board, which included representatives of the major agencies of Minneapolis government.

The land under the sand piles is now Mill Ruins Park. The Guthrie Theater would be near the left edge of the photo

David C. Smith


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