The quaint village of Taylors Falls sits on the edge of a rugged gorge overlooking the St Croix River. The town’s namesake is not an actual waterfall, but rather a stretch of rapids that are now mostly covered by a hydroelectric dam built in 1902.
Taylors Falls — The Village on the Hill
Like the millions of tourists before us, we traveled to Taylors Falls to "leaf peep" and witness the geological wonders of the Dalles of the St. Croix River. Unfortunately our timing was off a tad … the weather was gloomy, there was only a smidgen of fall color and the highly touted gorge was a bit of a disappointment. Despite our initial sour assessment, we slowly began to enjoy our outing.
Although Taylors Falls’ Main drag is just a couple of blocks long, it is lined with historic structures that have changed little from over a century ago. One of our favorites is the Taylors Falls Public Library. Built originally as a tailor shop, it was sold in 1887 to the Taylors Falls Library Association for use as the first library in Minnesota.
Housed in this restored Victorian building is Coffee Talk…one of the most unique coffeehouses we have visited. With its English garden and porch, it’s a great place to enjoy a cup of java.
The Drive-In Restaurant first opened in 1958. To this day the tradition of handcrafted root beer, cruise nights and car hops in poodle skirts continues. The place had just closed for the season, so we missed sampling its "hand packed burgers."
The Chisago House is a local eatery that maintains a bit of history. Danny loved the old cigar display case ... now full of candy. Vintage photos showed the horrific log jams that occurred at The Dalles. In 1883 logs were backed up 11 miles ... a world record. It took 57 days and hundreds of pounds of dynamite to break the jam.
On a terrace overlooking downtown, is Angels Hill Historic District … a postcard perfect neighborhood that looks like a 19th century New England village … the homes are white, manicured and built around a central green.
Many of the homes were built in the mid 1800’s by men who made fortunes as loggers, merchants and speculators.
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