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About Minneiska


Minneiska was named by the Sioux Indians. The name Minneiska means "Water White". Two Rivers, the Whitewater and Zumbro joined the Mississippi causing turbulence that appeared white. The Indians loved the area for water travel and the high bluffs above the river allowed a
lookout for game and enemy tribes.

Nestled among the bluffs and next to the Mississippi River, the city is located on Highway 61, 15 miles up-river from Winona, and 15 miles down-river from Wabasha. It is also close to the 2800 acre Whitewater Management Area and numerous State Forest Lands. Eagles nest in summer and can be seen fishing almost year round. Pelicans can be seen soaring in the updrafts and in the fall tundra swans come to feed and rest.

A "Fish" weather vane located high on the bluffs above Minneiska was originally made of wood and erected in the mid 1800's. It gave Log Rafters a clue to wind direction. The wood "Fish" has since been replaced with a tin fish.

Puttman Gray built what is known as "Crazy Man’s Castle" 1/2 mile south of Minneiska. It was built from driftwood, three stories high and decorated with towers, steeples, verandas and pagodas. A show place and tourist curiosity, it was advertised in St. Louis and when steamboat lights ashed across the "Castle" at night, Gray’s daughters would dance with white
sheets covering themselves. Puttman Gray invented a vertical amusement ride that was purchased by a man named Farris and became the "Ferris Wheel".

The city now has claim to the most woodcarvers per capita. Visit the towns two bar and grills where you can relax, enjoy food and drink and observe the many species of birds going about their daily rituals on the Mississippi River.

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