Solid history; New granite markers tell history of Mill Pond area

Published 9:03 am Thursday, November 30, 2017

Who led the Iowa First U.S. Dragoons in exploration of Mower County?

What was harvested from Mill Pond and the Cedar River every year?

Don’t know?

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Well, you can find the answer by taking a trip to Mill Pond.

The Great Hunt of 1841

The Austin Park and Recreation Department recently installed eight new granite markers lining the bicycle and walking path around Mill Pond. With the soil still freshly unearthed around their bases, the markers tell the history of the surrounding area since 1835.

“We used to have signs that were damaged or went missing over time,” said Park and Recreation Director Kim Underwood. “We wanted them to be made out of something that would last a long time.”

The granite markers were funded by the Lydia Lien Trust Estate, which the Park and Recreation Department received from the late Lydia Lien to be used for the beautification of Mill Pond. The Park Board approved spending the funds to replace the old signs.

George A. Hormel 1891

Anderson Memorials made the markers. The Mower County Historical Society reviewed the information inscribed on each one.

“It was a nice touch for people to know what happened at Mill Pond,” Underwood said. “It’s a neat addition. History is always a good thing and you don’t want to lose it.”

In case you were wondering, the First U.S. Dragoons were led by Lt. Albert Lea and ice was harvested annually from Mill Pond and the Cedar River.