Cedar River at Austin Mill Pond as shown in a 1917 map. This area would undergo a major transformation in the coming years to remove most of the island and fill in swampy areas.

LOOKBACK: Man fakes death in 1919 leading to major search in icy Cedar

Financial issues led Austin businessman to stage drowning to allow him to flee to Iowa but train workers helped find him

March 14, 1919, edition of the Rochester Daily Post and Record
Circa-1930s aerial image of Austin Mill Pond (called Horace Austin State Park at the time) showing the old bend of the Cedar River under present-day North Main Street. A family that ran a boat-rental business had a boat landing at the bend, which is where Marcus Evans staged his fake death in March 1919.
1925 map showing the former town of Varco that had a train station. The City of Austin’s southeast sectdor is just above the top of the image.

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.