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In November 1934, St. Cloud State Teachers College (now St. Cloud State University) President George A. Selke announced the purchase of 51 acres of abandoned granite quarry land in southeast St. Cloud. Added to property the college already owned, the site became what is now known as George W. Friedrich Park. Though officially closed in 1976, the park has been used throughout its existence as was originally intended, as an outdoor education, recreation and conservation area. Located about one mile from campus on the east end of University Drive (then Michigan Avenue) the site has remained intact despite repeated threats to this quiet wilderness from road expansion and development. The City of St. Cloud is currently in the process of reopening the park, having completed a land exchange for a portion of the property and stating its desire to acquire the remainder of the approximately 114 acre site. As it assumes stewardship, the city is acknowledging the value of preserving and sharing a significant cultural resource. A place of quiet grandeur and natural beauty, George W. Friedrich Park holds the distinction of being the birthplace of Minnesota’s granite industry and an early conservation masterpiece.


The final version of this article was published in the August 2015 issue of the Stearns History Museum's newsletter Crossings (vol. 41, no. 4)

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