Minnehaha Falls 1912: A Feather in the Cap

Minnehaha Falls has been called the most-photographed site in Minnesota. Based on my study of photos and postcards over the last several years, I would agree. Still there’s often something a little different in the next photo I see — if not in the falls themselves, in something else that’s frozen in the moment the shutter opens.

Take this superb photo recently sent to me by Robert Henry. It was taken by his grand uncle Frank Prochaska, an amateur photographer, in 1912.

Minnehaha Falls, 1912 (Photographer, Frank Prochaska. Courtesy of Robert Henry.)

Minnehaha Falls, 1912 (Photographer: Frank Prochaska. Courtesy of Robert Henry.)

I like the photo because it shows someone on the bridge above the falls, the viewing platform to the left of the falls, which hasn’t existed for decades, a man and child near the cascade, and the wider flow of water over the lip of the falls. So much going on. But most of all I love the hats of the people on the stone-faced pedestrian bridge below the falls — and their postures. An instant of Minneapolis park history as six people witnessed it and Frank Prochaska captured it 103 years ago.

Thanks, Robert.

David C. Smith   minneapolisparkhistory[at]q.com

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3 comments so far

  1. JOAN PUDVAN on

    DEAR OLD MINNEHAHA FALLS….WHEN YOU LIVE FAR AWAY FROM HOME LIKE I DO, YOU LONG TO SEE ANY & ALL AGAIN…..LAST TIME, IT HAD VERY LITTLE WATER, BUT I WAS HOME!! THANKS FOR THE REMINDERS….JOAN

    • David C. Smith on

      Glad you enjoyed it Joseph and Joan. A memorable spot. I’ll have more photos of the falls soon.

  2. Joseph Finley on

    Yep, ya got to love it!


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