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Remembering History, Looking Forward

By Meg Forney, Minneapolis Park Board Commissioner-At-Large

I recently returned from observing a 30 foot deep excavation on the San Andreas Fault. I could see back of thousands of years and the strata shifts of eight major earthquakes.

We in Minneapolis are walking on our own history.  Excavations are about to begin in our own backyard at St. Anthony Falls by the Stone Arch Bridge.  The old Fuji Ya restaurant will be demolished and we will see the heart of our civic past beating before our eyes.  You can see an Open House preview Monday, May 1, 5:30-8pm at the Mill City Museum.  Another Open House is Tuesday, May 2, 11:30 am-1:30 pm at the Mill Ruins Park where a new Water Works Project is being developed on the site of the Fuji Ya.

I have a personal connection to this site because two of my great grandfathers worked on these mills--one a miller, the other millwright.  I also have a great, great uncle who perished in the Washburn Mill explosion in 1878.  You can see his name, William Leslie, on the memorial in Lakewood Cemetery overlooking Lake Calhoun/Bde Maka Ska.

However, we all have connections to the Water Works project.  It is the history of our city, the history of where we live, of who we are.

Meg Forney can be reached at or on Facebook.

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