Lowry Hill - First Settlement
When the white settlement of Minnesota began, Dakota Indians occupied much of the land within today's Minneapolis city borders as part of Reservation territory. The land was largely flat except
immediately south of what is now Loring Park, the land rose steeply to a high ridge. From its crest (transversed today by Groveland and Ridgewood Avenues) one could look down on the broad curves of the Mississippi River, the boiling falls of St.Anthony, and the small frame structures which comprised the beginnings of the city. The first settlers named the ridge Mount Pisgah, an Old Testament reference to Moses' vantage point of the Promised Land. Years later, the hill would become known as Lowry's Hill or Lowry Hill, owing to the location on the hillside of the Lowry Company streetcar barn.
Joseph and Ann Johnson Farm
In 1854 Joseph and Ann Johnson arrived from Farmington, Maine with their two daughters, Nellie and Annie. They purchased from the United States 160 acres bordered approximately by Nicollet, Grant, Lyndale, and Franklin Avenues for $1.25 per acre. The family built their crude home on the edge of the farm pond near the present site of the Loring Park warming house. The Johnsons operated their farm for approximately 20 years and then sold much of their land to the City of Minneapolis which developed Central Park, later renamed in 1890 as Loring Park. A stone in the park now marks the site of the original homestead.
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