Lake from the Minnesota side
|Location||Goodhue / Wabasha counties in Minnesota and
Pepin County, Wisconsin
|Primary inflows||Mississippi River|
|Primary outflows||Mississippi River|
|Basin countries||United States|
|Surface area||40 sq mi (100 km2)|
|Average depth||18 ft (5.5 m)|
|Settlements||Lake City, Bay City, Pepin, Maiden Rock, Stockholm, Maple Springs, Camp Lacupolis, Reads Landing|
Lake Pepin is a naturally occurring lake, and the widest naturally occurring part of the Mississippi River, located approximately 60 miles downstream from Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a widening of the river on the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin. The formation of the lake was caused by the backup of water behind the sedimentary deposits of the Chippewa River's delta. It has a surface area of about 40 square miles (100 km2) and an average depth of 18 feet (5.5 m), which makes it the largest Lake on the entire Mississippi River.
The wide area of the lake stretches from Bay City, Wisconsin, in the north, down past Pepin, Wisconsin, and Reeds Landing, Minnesota, in the south, with Pepin being just upstream from where the Chippewa River enters the Mississippi. The villages of Maiden Rock and Stockholm border on the Wisconsin side, while Frontenac State Park takes up a large part of the Minnesota side. The largest city on the waterfront is Lake City, Minnesota.
There are three marinas on the lake: the Lake City Marina, and Hansen's Harbor, both in Lake City, and Dan's Pepin Marina in Pepin, Wisconsin. There is also a private dock for the customers of the Pickle Factory restaurant in Pepin. In the winter, there are ice roads that cross the lake.
The lake was first named in a map of New France made by Guillaume Delisle at the request of Louis XIV of France in 1703. The lake was named for Jean Pepin who settled on its shores in the late 1600s after exploring the Great Lakes from Boucherville.
Nicolas Perrot erected the first of a number of fur trade posts, Fort Saint Antoine, in 1786. In 1727 René Boucher de La Perrière and Michel Guignas built Fort Beauharnois on the lake. In 1730 it had to be rebuilt on higher ground. Boucher was the military leader and Father Guignas was a missionary to the Sioux.
In 1922, Lake City native Ralph Samuelson invented the sport of water skiing on the lake which. Ever since that date, Lake City is known world wide as "the birthplace of waterskiing" and the city celebrates with a festival called Waterski Days every year on the last weekend in June.
The lighthouse at the entrance to the Lake City Marina is the only working lighthouse on the entire Mississippi River.
Lake Pepin's natural flora are threatened by the increased rates of sedimentation from upstream sources, leading The Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance to call the phenomenon a "wet desert." The lake is filling in at a rate of ten times greater than pre-colonization, due largely to increased run-off from farms along the Minnesota River.
- http://www.maidenrock.org/history.php Maiden Rock History
- Quimby, Mrs. Thomas Letter to Ms. Sackett. September 23, 1928 Manuscripts/Notebooks. Minnesota Historical Society, Saint Paul, Minnesota.
- "Day-long excursion on Lake Pepin turns into one of the deadliest disasters on Upper Mississippi". ECM Publishers. Retrieved 2009-05-08.[dead link]
- >"Waterski History".
- "Waterski Days".