A Smaller, but Historic Lake in Minneapolis

If you are looking for a great place to sit back on a sunny afternoon and enjoy a beautiful fall day, then look no further than Minneapolis’ own backyard. Stop by Lake Harriet where you can enjoy swimming, fishing, walking, music, and much more. The Lake has 344 acres of water and 67 acres of land. With almost three miles of trails available, the park could be crowded but you would never know it.

Check out the Streetcar that travels from Linden Hills to Lake Harriet. The restored line takes you back in history and is another fun adventure for your day trip. The rides are seasonal so be sure to check out their schedule before you go. The #1300 I photographed below is on the National Registry of Historic Places.

According to the Minneapolis Park and Rec website, “Music has been part of the scene at Lake Harriet for over 100 years. The current band shell is the fifth music facility since 1888 and its design echoes the history of the area. The first music pavilion, built in 1888, was destroyed by fire in 1891. A new one was built, but in 1903 it, too, was destroyed by fire. The next pavilion, built in 1904, featured a classical rooftop. It was destroyed by a windstorm in 1925. In 1927, a temporary bandstand was erected and remained until 1985 when the current band shell was constructed.” See photo in filmstrip for current bandstand Pavilion.

You might wonder why I took a photo of the restroom. Well, this women’s restroom, as well a separate male restroom building, are actually quite historic. In 2002 they were restored to their original appearance and are the oldest two building in the Minneapolis park system.

If you have time, walk around some of the neighborhood streets that surround the lake. There are some beautiful examples of French Provincial, Colonial Revival, Tudor, Prairie, and Craftsman home design.

View some turn of the century photos of life on the lake: Swimmers and Row Boats, the second pavilion in 1895 and the third in 1904, the path around the lake in 1910.

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