The newest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of America series is Nicollet Island by local authors Christopher and Rushika February Hage. The book boasts more than 200 vintage images of the island in the heart of Minneapolis.
Above St. Anthony Falls, in the middle of the Mississippi River, hidden in the heart of Minneapolis, lies Wita Waste, the beautiful island. Named Wita Waste by Dakota Indians, it is known now as Nicollet Island, the only inhabited island in the Mississippi.
Over the centuries, it has been a sacred birthing place, at the center of the lumber and flour-milling industries that built Minneapolis, and involved in the collapse of the Eastman tunnel, which almost doomed those industries. One of Minneapolis's largest fires, the great conflagration of 1893, started there. It has been the home of pioneers, veterans, elite barons of the Gilded Age, Roman Catholic monks, hippies, artists, vagrants, and donkeys. Many of their houses still remain, preserving Minneapolis's architectural heritage.
Nicollet Island has been at the center of numerous controversies ranging from its original land claim to proposals to locate the state capitol there, to more recently, the threatened demolition of its historic houses. Nicollet Island is the history of Minnesota in miniature, and its tale is one of beauty, romance, disaster, and conflict.
The authors hope that the book “will give people a greater understanding of the history of the island and its vital place in the history of Minneapolis and Minnesota.”
Highlights of Nicollet Island:
• Many of the photographs used have never been seen before.
• The first bridge across the Mississippi spanned Nicollet Island.
• Nicollet Island has almost two dozen well-preserved Victorian era homes.
• The island currently is a park that contains 22 homes on the northern tip, a private Catholic high school in the center, and an inn, restaurant and event center on the southern tip.
Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at www.arcadiapublishing.com or
Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States. Our mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on the heritage of America’s people and places. Have we done a book on your town? Visit www.arcadiapublishing.com.