Early 1900s photo taken from the top of a toboggan slide showing people ice skating on the Cedar River backwater area that used to exist where North Main Street ended (near Austin’s present-day pool).

LOOKBACK: Ice skaters used to flock to Cedar

Winter fun on river offered where Main Street ended downtown

In 1913, skaters enjoy a frozen Cedar River in Austin likely on what was called Lake Lincoln until it was significantly changed into today’s Austin Mill Pond in the 1910s-1920s as part of creating the old Horace Austin State Park.
General location of Furtney’s skating rink (1905 Sanborn Fire map of downtown Austin) on the Cedar River’s frozen backwaters in the early 1900s. This is a similar look of the area in the late 1800s.
1876 map of today’s Austin Mill Pond area — skating took place in lower left
Skaters and a toboggan slide on the Cedar River in the early 1900s in Austin.
Jan. 18, 1908, edition of the Herald
1917 Sanborn Fire map of Austin Mill Pond
1921 — Mower County News
Horace Austin State Park era of Austin Mill Pond — 1931 Sanborn Fire map
1955 — Austin Mill Pond softened ice due to city storm sewer system on west side
1956 skating rink moved upriver due to warm water from Hormel plant in the Herald.
January 1965 ice skating competition at city rinks
Austin teenagers ice skating in 1976 as pictured in Austin High School’s Austinian yearbook.
CRWD staffer Jeanne Crump skates with her mother in the 1970s on the Cedar River near Mapleview, upstream from Austin’s Oakwood Cemetery. This was a rare winter when this stretch of the Cedar had froze over enough.

Formed in 2007, CRWD works to reduce flooding and improve water quality on the Cedar River State Water Trail and its tributaries in southern Minnesota.

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