• epducklakeassociation@gmail.com
  • Eden Prairie, MN
A history snapshot of Duck Lake

A history snapshot of Duck Lake

Did you know that Duck Lake was a crossroads for two of the bigger native trails in this area?

Going back into prehistory, for thousands of years, native people have lived in this area, especially drawn to the big river on our southern border, our many lakes, and the native woods.   For hundreds of years the Dakota people were in this area with seasonal camps along the river, with sacred sites for worship, and with burial sites.   Eden Prairie had over 100 native mounds in a 19th century survey, remnants of burials and sacred customs.   Most were along the river bluff.

Within a mile of Duck Lake, there are sites identified as worship sites, but no sites have been found at Duck Lake.

However, an early trail through the woods from the Hopkins area to the river crossing (later Murphy’s Landing) existed along the East side of Duck Lake.   That became Eden Prairie Road.  Further, another trail split off to the West along the South side of our lake, and that (approximately) became Valley View Road.   Typically, any junction of larger trails was an important point, so the area SE of the lake probably had some native signs, perhaps a rock or tree to place items of significance.   But 170 years of forest clearing, farming, roadbuilding, and development has erased most of the signs of native life here.  

It’s still pretty cool to think of small groups and even dozens of Woodland or Dakota men, women, and children moving through the woods and prairies around Duck Lake to move their camp, hunt, gather, or even engage in skirmishes with Ojibwe warriors from the North.

Rod Fisher is Vice President of the EPDLA, Chair of the EP Heritage Preservation Commission, and a history buff.

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