Minnehaha Avenue is one of Frogtown’s major east-west streets. Years ago it marked a section line on early land surveys. In later years it served as a dividing line between part of Frogtown’s residential and commercial-industrial areas.
Some histories indicated that part of Minnehaha was considered for the name University Avenue because it was envisioned as a connection between Hamline University and the University of Minnesota. The name Minnehaha comes from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1855 Song of Hiawatha. The poem is the story of two Native American lovers, the brave Hiawatha and the beautiful Minnehaha.
As early as 1918, city officials sought to extend Minnehaha Avenue and create a longer, regional east-west road that would connect the city from end to end. While Minnehaha never extended as far east or west as envisioned, the idea of an east-west route was replaced by more recent plans to link Pierce Butler Route to Phalen Boulevard.
The street is a mix of land uses in Frogtown, including single-family and multi-family homes, industries, businesses and park space.