On This Date In Twin Cities History - November 14, 1766

On this date in 1766, Massachusetts explorer, mapmaker and author, Jonathan Carver, enters a cave in modern day St. Paul that was long used by Dakota people. This cave would eventually come to be known by white settlers in the area by his name: Carver’s Cave. Carver was among the first white men to explore and map areas that would later become Minnesota. In 1854, former Territorial Governor Alexander Ramsey recommended naming a town located along the Minnesota River, as well as a nearby creek, in honor of Carver’s travels to the area. In March 1855, the surrounding county was also named for him. In 1778, Carver’s journals from his travels to Minnesota and surrounding areas were published as Travels Through the Interior Parts of North America: 1766, 1767, 1768. Carver died in poverty in England on January 31, 1780.

Carver's Cave - St. Paul circa 1870 (MHS)

Carver’s Cave – St. Paul circa 1870 (MHS)