Nicollet Island developed as a microcosm of early Minneapolis, with water-powered factories, storefronts, block-long rowhouses, a mansion district, and a neighborhood that still stands as a sampler of the 19th century residential architecture. The 40-acre island just above St. Anthony Falls next to downtown Minneapolis is the site of the first bridge anywhere across the Mississippi River (where Hennepin Avenue crosses now), as well as an early railroad crossing that divides the island in two. It is said to be the only inhabited island the entire length of the Mississippi.
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