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Lake Pepin
Lake from the Minnesota side
Location Goodhue / Wabasha counties in Minnesota and
Pepin / Pierce counties in Wisconsin
Coordinates 44°29′54″N 92°18′05″W / 44.4982°N 92.3013°W / 44.4982; -92.3013Coordinates: 44°29′54″N 92°18′05″W / 44.4982°N 92.3013°W / 44.4982; -92.3013
Primary inflows Mississippi River
Primary outflows Mississippi River
Basin countries United States
Surface area 40 sq mi (100 km2)
Average depth 18 ft (5.5 m)
Frozen winter
Settlements Lake City, Bay City, Pepin, Maiden Rock, Stockholm, Maple Springs, Camp Lacupolis, Reads Landing

Lake Pepin is a naturally occurring lake, and the widest naturally occurring part of the Mississippi River, located approximately 60 miles downstream from Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a widening of the river on the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin. The formation of the lake was caused by the backup of water behind the sedimentary deposits of the Chippewa River's delta. It has a surface area of about 40 square miles (100 km2) and an average depth of 18 feet (5.5 m), which makes it the largest Lake on the entire Mississippi River.

The wide area of the lake stretches from Bay City, Wisconsin, in the north, down past Pepin, Wisconsin, and Reads Landing, Minnesota, in the south, with Pepin being just upstream from where the Chippewa River enters the Mississippi. The villages of Maiden Rock and Stockholm border on the Wisconsin side, while Frontenac State Park takes up a large part of the Minnesota side. The largest city on the waterfront is Lake City, Minnesota.

Lake Pepin from the Wisconsin side.

There are three marinas on the lake: the Lake City Marina, and Hansen's Harbor, both in Lake City, and Dan's Pepin Marina in Pepin, Wisconsin. There is also a private dock for the customers of the Pickle Factory restaurant in Pepin. Sailboats and the paddlewheel boat "Pearl of the Lake" (www.pearlofthelake.com) are common on the lake in summer. In the winter, there are ice roads that cross the lake.

Maiden Rock, on Lake Pepin, is one site said to be the locale where a Dakota woman named Winona leapt to her death.

History

The first written history of the area documents a French fort (or fur post) built on its shores. Fort Beauharnois was built in 1727 on lowlands and the fort was rebuilt in 1730 on higher ground.[1]

In 1890 it was the site of one of the worst maritime disasters on the Mississippi, known as the Sea Wing disaster when the Sea Wing ferry capsized in a bad storm, killing 98 people.[2]

In 1922, Lake City native Ralph Samuelson invented the sport of water skiing on the lake which. Ever since that date, Lake City is known world wide as "the birthplace of waterskiing" and the city celebrates with a festival called Waterski Days every year on the last weekend in June.[citation needed]

The lighthouse at the entrance to the Lake City Marina is the only working lighthouse on the entire Mississippi River

Popular culture

Lake Pepin is the lake that Laura and her family visit in the "Going to Town" chapter of Little House in the Big Woods, the first book in Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie series.

Legends claim that the lake is home to a lake monster, Pepie, which was first seen on April 28, 1871, according to Archives at the Lake City Graphic and the book "The Minnesota Book of Days" published by the Minnesota State Historical Society.[citation needed]

References

"The Minnesota book of days" published by the MN State Historical Society Lake City Graphic archives

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Lake Pepin
Location Goodhue / Wabasha counties in Minnesota and
Pepin / Pierce counties in Wisconsin
Coordinates 44°29′54″N 92°18′05″W / 44.4982°N 92.3013°W / 44.4982; -92.3013Coordinates: 44°29′54″N 92°18′05″W / 44.4982°N 92.3013°W / 44.4982; -92.3013
Primary inflows Mississippi River
Primary outflows Mississippi River
Basin countries United States
Surface area 40 sq mi (100 km2)
Average depth 18 ft (5.5 m)
Frozen winter
Settlements Lake City, Bay City, Pepin, Maiden Rock, Stockholm, Maple Springs, Camp Lacupolis, Reads Landing

Lake Pepin is a naturally occurring lake, and the widest naturally occurring part of the Mississippi River, located approximately 60 miles downstream from Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a widening of the river on the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin. The formation of the lake was caused by the backup of water behind the sedimentary deposits of the Chippewa River's delta. It has a surface area of about 40 square miles (100 km2) and an average depth of 18 feet (5.5 m), which makes it the largest Lake on the entire Mississippi River.

The wide area of the lake stretches from Bay City, Wisconsin, in the north, down past Pepin, Wisconsin, and Reads Landing, Minnesota, in the south, with Pepin being just upstream from where the Chippewa River enters the Mississippi. The villages of Maiden Rock and Stockholm border on the Wisconsin side, while Frontenac State Park takes up a large part of the Minnesota side. The largest city on the waterfront is Lake City, Minnesota.

There are three marinas on the lake: the Lake City Marina, and Hansen's Harbor, both in Lake City, and Dan's Pepin Marina in Pepin, Wisconsin. There is also a private dock for the customers of the Pickle Factory restaurant in Pepin. Sailboats and the paddlewheel boat "Pearl of the Lake" (www.pearlofthelake.com) are common on the lake in summer. In the winter, there are ice roads that cross the lake.

Maiden Rock, on Lake Pepin, is one site said to be the locale where a Dakota woman named Winona leapt to her death.

Contents

History

The lake was first named in a map of New France made by Guillaume Delisle at the request of Louis XIV of France in 1703. The lake is thought to be named after Pépin le Bref, father of Charlemagne, as it was not a common surname in the area at the time. The map documents a French fort (or fur post) built on its shores: Fort Beauharnois was built in 1727 on lowlands and rebuilt in 1730 on higher ground.[1]

In 1890 it was the site of one of the worst maritime disasters on the Mississippi, known as the Sea Wing disaster when the Sea Wing ferry capsized in a bad storm, killing 98 people.[2]

In 1922, Lake City native Ralph Samuelson invented the sport of water skiing on the lake which. Ever since that date, Lake City is known world wide as "the birthplace of waterskiing" and the city celebrates with a festival called Waterski Days every year on the last weekend in June.[citation needed]

The lighthouse at the entrance to the Lake City Marina is the only working lighthouse on the entire Mississippi River

Popular culture

Lake Pepin is the lake that Laura and her family visit in the "Going to Town" chapter of Little House in the Big Woods, the first book in Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie series.

Legends claim that the lake is home to a lake monster, Pepie, which was first seen on April 28, 1871, according to Archives at the Lake City Graphic and the book "The Minnesota Book of Days" published by the Minnesota State Historical Society.[citation needed]

Ecology

Lake Pepin's natural flora are threatened by the increased rates of sedimentation from upstream sources, leading The Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance to call the phenomenon a "wet desert." The lake is filling in at a rate of ten times greater than pre-colonization, due largely to increased run-off from farms along the Minnesota River.[3]

References

  1. ^ Quimby, Mrs. Thomas Letter to Ms. Sackett. Template:Safesubst: Manuscripts/Notebooks. Minnesota Historical Society, Saint Paul, Minnesota.
  2. ^ "Day-long excursion on Lake Pepin turns into one of the deadliest disasters on Upper Mississippi". ECM Publishers. http://www.hometownsource.com/features/SeaWingDisaster/SeaWing.html. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  3. ^ http://www.lakepepinlegacyalliance.org/news.html


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