Long ago in a time ….

Posted 11/3/21

Long ago in a time since past Ancient inland seas help to form the bedrock on which much of modern Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin now rest. This will turn into water- bearing sandstone, supporting …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Long ago in a time ….


Long ago in a time since past

Ancient inland seas help to form the bedrock on which much of modern Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin now rest. This will turn into water- bearing sandstone, supporting future generations of humans in their urban and rural water needs.

Approx. 12,000 Years Ago

Glacial River Warren carves the Minnesota River Valley and drains Lake Agazziz, which covered much of modern Manitoba. The St. Anthony Falls are formed. Around this time, glaciers break free a piece of hardened Greywacke that will later be used to carve the Kensington Runestone.

Between 4,000 to 8,000 Years Ago Terraces of wind-driven sand from Grey Cloud Island are deposited to form the riverbank in southwest Cottage Grove. Plants and animals migrate to the local area of new sand.

Around 2,000 Years Ago

Woodland peoples of the Hopewell culture bury their dead in mounds and leave other trace signs of their presence in the area, including pottery and arrowheads. Many of these burial mounds will later fall prey to cultivation by settlers, not being made with stone as further south. Much of North American Mississippian Valley culture, will continue unknown.


English and French fur traders battle for supremacy and favor in the in the commercial fur industry, meeting Ojibwe (Chippewa) and Dakota (Sioux) bands in the area. Courier du bois (“Forest runners”) keep the lines of communication open in a pre-Morse Code age. Pine and other forests cover the landscape.


Lieutenant Zebulon Pike undertakes an expedition on the upper Mississippi River, scouting the area near Point Douglas for a possible military fort before later settling upon Fort Snelling, located at the juncture of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers, but also the center of the Dakota universe.


Henry Rowe Schoolcraft writes of finding the Mississippi’s source at Lake Itasca. A century later under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Civil Conservation Corps, the Mississippi River’s headwaters will get a small dam installed and be transformed into an actual small stream, as the swampy lowland truth of things is deemed a poor start for America’s greatest river.

Territorial Dispatches 170 Years Ago THE MINNESOTIAN St. Paul, Minnesota October 29, 1851 PUBLIC OPINION It is a common expression, that public opinion is never wrong. We do not endorse the truth of this hypothesis. It would be more correct to say, that public opinion is never wrong, when the subject matter, or question, upon which its action is required, is properly and fairly placed before the people. It is the saving salt of the American Republic, that her people are an honest people. They may be deceived and led astray for a season, but they will return to the path of their duty the moment the light breaks upon their minds. They will not uphold wrong if they know it… 164 Years Ago EMIGRANT AID AND JOURNAL City of Nininger, Dakota County, Minnesota Territory October 24, 1857 VIEW OF LAKE COMO—We have received a most beautiful colored lithograph picture representing this lovely sheet of water near St. Paul. Henry McKeaty, Esq., is now laying out the grounds around it, designed for country mansions for the merchant princes of that fast city, St. Paul The gentleman who is carrying out the design, is one every way competent to add to the natural beauties of the ground, and to establish the fame of the lovely rural scenery surrounding that city.

According to the estimation of the population at Hastings and other towns, based on the number of votes cast in the last election, Nininger must have a population exceeding one thousand.

The Great Panic of 1857 The cry of alarm and distress has been on the increase ever since the first note was sourced, and the great crisis of 1857 may now be said to embrace the whole country— the West coming in last, but none the less a necessary

participant by its connection with the East…

STATEHOOD! 163 Years Ago 1858 Minnesota becomes a state. Farming practices along the St. Peter (Minnesota) river will dramatically impact river sediment flows and quality of life downriver, leading the “Clearwater River,” to become brown and clouded.

Upriver a few miles 157 Years Ago TAYLOR COUNTY REPORTER October 29, 1864 General News A METALLIC coffin, enclosing the remains of a beautiful girl, was found floating in the Mississippi River.

PRAIRIE FIRES.—The prairie fires, so usual in autumn, have lately swept over a great portion of this and Brown counties, and have done considerable damage to hay and fences. Two families had their hay, grain and homes burned, and in one of the homes about $600 in greenbacks were burned. The inhabitants barely escaped with their lives. No one but whose who have witnessed them know the terror of these prairie fires.—St Peter Statesman.

State News

Two loads of Dakota women from Fort Snelling, guarded by soldiers, passed through this place on Thursday, en-route for the Dakota (“Sioux”) reservation in Dakota Territory.—Mankato Record BURNED.—The fires which have been raging on the meadows are so difficult to extinguish or even to distinguish, that numbers of cattle, horses, and other stock have been severely burned while passing over the meadows which contained fire. Men have also been badly burned by getting into these furnaces.—It is said that when to all outward seeming there are no signs of fire there is smoldering beneath, a bed of coals, which when the surface is penetrated blaze up in a cloud of sparks and flames which threaten to swallow the unwary traveler.

BRIDGE BURNED.— The long bridge a few miles below Chengwatana, in Pine County, was destroyed by fire a few days ago, which enforces a blockade of the Pine tree town, as no teams can pass between Chengwatana and the outer world. Several houses along the road have been destroyed.

DIVINE SERVICES.— Owing to ill health the Rev. Wm. McKinley who has been on a brief visit to his friends has been detained longer than was anticipated. He has however returned and services will be held at the usual hours, 10 A.M. and 7 P.M. tomorrow.

TERRIBLE ACCIDENT.— A shocking casualty occurred on the regular train from Winona to this city on Thursday afternoon. When a few miles this side of St. Charles, Charley Everardt, the newsboy of the road—a young man of seventeen years, from Winona— while getting down from the top of the foremost car upon the platform with some water, slipped, and after a short ineffectual struggle to regain his foothold; fell down between the cars on the track (and died).—Rochester Postww for Meadowgrass would include a hypersonic slide, single-wide slide, and new steel bench with concrete pad among its many different amenities.

Option two would be slightly different.

Prepared by Webber Recreational Design Inc., option two for Meadowgrass would include swings with friction wear mats and two with “slash-proof chain” for their eight-foot connections to the top.

On an adjacent pad also part of Meadowgrass would be a play area with two three-foot and one four-foot play deck, along with a “hula climber.”

Option three, meanwhile, would have a play area divided into ages 2 thru five as well as ages 5 through 12, with primetime swings but no friction pads. A swerve zip slide and something called an “Xcelerator” would also be a part of the plan.

Shifting away from the Parks Commission meeting for November 7 and on to natural resources as an important part of building a sustainable future for tomorrow’s adults, a well-known topic and one of importance as well is PFAS, or Perflouroakyl Substances.

Commonly used in things like non-stick cookware and stain-resistant carpets and fabrics, these have been tied to various health effects, with 3M paying out $850 million as part of a settlement for which $20 million went to Cottage Grove for the long-term effects of these chemicals. So what are they?

While much still remains to be learned about the effects of PFAS on humans, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at www.epa. gov states in part that “current peer reviewed scientific studies have shown that exposure to certain levels of PFAS may lead to: ♦ Reproductive effects such as decreased fertility or increased high blood pressure in pregnant women.

♦ Developmental effects or delays in children, including low birth weight, accelerated puberty, bone variations, or behavioral changes.

♦ Increased risk of some cancers, including prostate, kidney, and testicular cancers.

♦ Reduced ability of the body’s immune system to fight infections, including reduced vaccine response.

♦ Interference with the body’s natural hormones, and ♦ Increased cholesterol levels and/or risk of obesity.”

With many different bills now pending in the Minnesota state legislature and at least one past this past summer, the screws are coming down fast on the study-supported health hazard that PFAS pose to Minnesota residents and others.

Back on the local level, the City of Cottage Grove has installed “interim treatment” to address PFAS contamination at two city wells (per the state Department of Health website) since the problem was discovered back in 2017, along with adding treatment for two additional city wells in 2020, a similar course to that followed by St. Paul Park. In spring 2020 the City of Cottage Grove also moved to install city water on River Acres Road to the east of Grey Cloud, after that neighborhood’s private wells (purple also in the Grey Cloud Trail Area and northward) were affected by PFAS contamination, while the state statutes impose certain obligations on the seller of real property in Washington County, in certain cases regardless of city water installation.

Specifically, 1031.236 WELL DISCLOSURE IN WASHINGTON COUNTY mandates that “before signing an agreement to sell or transfer real property in Washington County that is not served by a municipal water system, the seller must state in writing whether to the seller’s knowledge the property is located within a special well construction area designated by the Minnesota Commissioner of Health under Minnesota Rules, part 4725.3650. If there is an unsealed well, the disclosure must be made “regardless of whether the property is served by a municipal water system.”

While there are two DNR wells used for water level observation at Grey Cloud Dunes SNA, neither shows up on the Minnesota PCA map as having chemical test data available for it at present.

In the meantime, so-called ‘forever chemicals aren’t the only thing of note on the Mississippi riverbank. One well to the west of Grey Cloud Dunes and designated by number 121063 on the Minnesota Well Index, shows metals-heavy deposits, as follows: Phosphorous: 0.022 mg/L; Inorganic nitrogen (nitrate and nitrite) 12 mg/L; Bromide 0.0362 mg/L; Chloride 61.9 mg/L; Sulfate 23.2 mg/L; total Alkalinity 230 mg/L; dissolved Oxygen (DO); Zinc 76.8 ug/L; Copper 27.1 ug/L; Barium 33.4 ug/L; Strontium 87.8 ug/L; Aluminum 5.51 ug/L; Potassium 1/46 mg/L; Calcium 89 mg/L; Sodium 14.4 mg/L; Magnesium 30.6 mg/L; water temperature 11.14 deg C; Specific Conductance 741 uS/cm; pH 7.33 None.

Such is the report for well 121063 off Grey Cloud Trail South. While not often considered, groundwater is central to life and quality of life, without the care of which a lot can go wrong, both in the present and long into the future. Has your well then, been tested?