On This Date In Twin Cities History - October 5, 1912

Hiawatha and Minnehaha in Minneapolis' Minnehaha Park (MHS)
Hiawatha and Minnehaha in Minneapolis’ Minnehaha Park (MHS)

On this date in 1912, Jacob Fjelde’s bronze sculpture of “Hiawatha and Minnehaha” is unveiled in Minneapolis’s Minnehaha Park. Fjelde chose to create Hiawatha and Minnehaha illustrating a particular section of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, The Song of Hiawatha.

The original plaster sculpture had been exhibited at the entrance to the Minnesota Building during the 1893 Chicago Columbian Exposition. In 1902 an effort was undertaken to cast the sculpture in bronze and place it near Minnehaha Falls. Critics of the sculpture and differences of opinion as to where it should be located delayed the bronze casting for a number of years.

The debate continued until 1912, when the sculpture was finally cast, then installed and unveiled in a public ceremony at Minnehaha Park. During the ceremony, school children from the Hiawatha and Longfellow schools sang and recited parts of Longfellow’s poem.

Learn more about the Hiawatha and Minnehaha sculpture…

Sculpture of Hiawatha and Minnehaha in Minnehaha Park - Minneapolis
Sculpture of Hiawatha and Minnehaha in Minnehaha Park – Minneapolis