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Letter: Local history enriches our town

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You can't escape history.

Walk down Main Street and every building you pass has a story to tell. From the slight bounce of the Swinging Bridge to each time we swim, picnic, play ball or simply lay in the cool grass at Glen Park, we share a connection with the past.

Ride a bike through the neighborhoods along the Kinni and you'll see history in the architectural details of the many homes that have stood strong and tall for more than 50 years.

When people visit River Falls, they often say what we already know -- "This place has a nice, small town feel to it."

A great deal of that warmth is generated by the easy accessibility to history through our buildings, homes, and parks. But this kind of attention to historic detail just doesn't happen on its own. It takes the combined effort of citizens and our local government.

The city Historic Preservation Commission is made up of citizens whose job is to recognize and designate historic structures and sites. The commission is also dedicated to educating the public about the vital necessity of maintaining our historic connections to the past.

The commission has designated several properties and structures as historic such as: the Junction Mill Smokestack, the Swinging Bridge in Glen Park, Freeman House on Third Street, and Knowles House on Fourth Street, once home to a governor and a state legislator.

On the UW-RF campus, North Hall and South Hall are listed on the National Historic Register, as is the swimming pool in Glen Park.

As the days of summer arrive and you walk the sidewalks and ride the streets of our fair city, take time to stop and experience the history that surrounds you. All you discover may pleasantly surprise you.

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