Recently, I joined about 30 residents of Belle Plaine for bike tour of Historic Belle Plaine. I assisted Park Board members Cary Coop and Chuck Jacobs in being tour leaders. Cary Coop acted as tour guide giving us our instructions and filling us in at various stops on the local history. Our first stop was the Lutheran Home where Rick Krant told us the story of the Lutheran Home and how it began with the donation of land from the bereaved mother of a civil war soldier killed in action.
June 21st Sen. Dahl and I joined hundreds of others in Belle Plaine for the dedication of the King’s Way addition to the Lutheran Home and the Belle Plaine community. Unfortunately we missed the celebration for Dr. Hallgren, but were able to greet him at the King’s Way event and thank him for his many years of service.
Next stop on our tour was Fountain Park where Cary Coop talked about the changes in growth and topography in the City of Belle Plaine. Then on to the Bird Sanctuary where private land was donated and set aside as a permanent bird sanctuary in the city of Belle Plaine, as Cary explained, this is where you can see what this stretch of Minnesota looked like before it was settled. Finally, we made our way to the Hooper-Bowler-Hillstrom House, which was constructed in 1871 by S.A. Hooper, an early resident. This is the dwelling famous for its two story outhouse and is managed by the Belle Plaine Historical Society.
The Park Board has additional tours planned for July and August hopefully I will be able to make it to them as well.