Dayton's Bluff: Below the Bluff

The land below the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood that rests along the Mississippi River has been the site of important places and home to many people from the earliest times until the modern era.

There was a Dakota village, an early brewery, an Irish immigrant settlement, a historic cave, a fish hatchery and a newly developed nature sanctuary.

Few physical structures of these places remain, but once they were all closely related to the community high above them and contributed to its development. Here are a few of the stories from below the bluff.

Dayton's Bluff: An Introduction

The story of Dayton’s Bluff begins on top of the bright white cliffs over-looking St. Paul, where the great Mississippi River cut hundreds of feet downwards into the sedimentary rock, forming the bluffs. This natural landmark attracted the first…

There Once Was a Kaposia Village

When the European settlers arrived in vicinity of Saint Paul, the Mdewakanton band of Dakota had already lived here for decades. They called the general area "Imniza-Ska" or "white cliffs” referring to the towering sandstone bluffs. …

Is it Carver's Cave or Wakan Tipi?

After a lengthy war between England and France (which had laid claim to the area that included today’s St. Paul), they ceded the land to England in the treaty of 1763. Eager to find out the nature of what they saw as their colonial possession, the…

Something Fishy Below Dayton's Bluff

Located at the foot of Indian Mounds Park, Willowbrook Hatchery was started in 1878 by the newly formed State Fish Commission. Raising fish to stock the lakes and streams of Minnesota was—and still is— an important state function and the site…

A Toast to the Old North Star Brewery

German immigrants were one of the first large groups of immigrants who flooded into Saint Paul when Minnesota became a Territory in 1849. And, as it turned out, they knew a great deal of the “inns” and outs of beer-making they brought with them…

Discover the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary

A thousand years ago the area around the confluence of Trout Brook and Phalen Brook near the Mississippi River was a marshy flood plain. By the early 1900s, the entire delta had been expanded by filling and became an industrial railroad corridor. As…

"St. Paul's Most Unique Settlement"

The headline above appeared in a 1902 issue of the St Paul Globe over a story about a “group of quaint Irish families” at the “foot of Dayton’s Bluff.” The article is one of the few extensive descriptions of the area known as “Connemara…