On Friday night, Krista, Cassie, and I went camping at Minneopa, one of Minnesota’s 75 state parks. It was established back in 1905 as our third state park. The main natural attraction is a lovely waterfall in the Minneopa Creek which runs through the park. According to Wikipedia, the name “Minneopa” is a shortened version of the Dakota word “Minneinneopa,” which means “water falling twice.” (There are actually two waterfalls at Minneopa.) Speaking of etymology, let me wander through some other Minnesota words derived from the Dakota word for “water”: Minnesota, of course (meaning “sky-tinted water”); Minnehaha (“waterfall”); Minnetonka (“great water”); Minneapolis (Dakota “mni” [“water”] + Greek “polis” [“city”]. I never see this actually translated as “city of water,” although the city’s nickname is “City of Lakes.” So, that leaves us with The City of Water: The City of Lakes); Minneota (“much water”); Minnetrista (“crooked water”); Minneiska (“white water”). So now you know.
Anyway, I guess there was a very shortlived town on the site of Minneopa, but after the horrible grasshopper plagues in the 1870s, it was deserted. People still flocked to the falls, though. In the mid-20th century, an old, defunct mill, Seppmann’s Mill, was incorporated into the park, and now it’s on the National Register of Historic Places. The park hopes to restore it someday — replace its arms and such — and given the fact that state parks have toooons* of money to throw around, I’m sure this will happen very soon. (*Extra “o”s for sarcastic effect.)
It’s a very nice place.
On the terrifically humid Saturday morning, we went on a little hike through a sumac-filled kind of pseudo-prairie (oak savanna) to see the Seppmann Mill. We saw many lovely wild flowers and other plants.
Edit: Oh, and a strange and amusing thing occurred Saturday morning. Between the three of us we were able to establish that there was a fellow camper prettying herself up for a full HOUR AND A HALF in the bathrooms. Toenails painted, hair curled, the works. The true meaning of camping, we have found you.