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10 Unique National Historic Sites of the United States: Midwest

The Midwestern United States is a geographic region that includes North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Ohio, and Indiana.

The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is a list of properties considered worthy of preservation in the US. The list of property in the National Register may qualify for tax incentives derived from the cost of preserving it. It was created through the 1966 National Historic Preservation Act which highlights the process for adding properties to the register. For a property to be listed on the National Register, it must meet at least one of the four main criteria:

  • A significant historical event.
  • Persons who have shaped the country‚Äôs history.
  • Unique architectural design
  • Potential to provide information and education.

Below are an example of these properties that can be found in the American Midwest.

10. Blue Earth County Courthouse - Mankato, Minnesota

#10 Blue Earth County Courthouse - Mankato, Minnesota

The Blue Earth County Courthouse located in Mankato is the main courthouse for the County. The building of the courthouse, established in 1866, was the second courthouse in Blue Earth. Blue Earth County Courthouse was built to replace the previous single story stone building that was considered a disgrace by the county commissioners. The new courthouse combines the Second Empire and Italianate features on the roof and dome.

9. Bear Butte - Meade County, South Dakota

#9 Bear Butte - Meade County, South Dakota

Bear Butte is located in Meade County and was established as a State Park in 1961. The geographic laccolith is an important landmark and a religious site in South Dakota. Bear Butte is sacred to most of the native people who visit it to offer prayers and leave prayer clothes. Other offerings including tobacco bundles tied on the branches of trees on the side of the mountain as part of the pilgrimage. Campsites where horse riding and fishing are permitted also forms part of the park. Visitors undertaking religious activities are exempted from park fees while the park policy also requires that respect is accorded to worshipers.

8. Bay View, Michigan - Bay View, Michigan

#8 Bay View, Michigan - Bay View, Michigan

Bay View is a census-designated place located in the Bear Creek Township. It was formed as part of the Methodist Camp Meeting movement but was later adapted to the Chautauqua movement. Bay View is made up of 30 community owned structures, 440 cottages, a hotel, and other facilities including a post office and a sailing house. The peaceful scenery and the beautiful Victorian styled cottages are some of the main attractions at the Bay View.

7. Chimney Rock - Morrill County, Nebraska

#7 Chimney Rock - Morrill County, Nebraska

Chimney Rock is a magnificent rock formation in Morrill County that rises to about 300 feet above the surrounding area. The peak of the rock is 4,223 feet above the sea level. Chimney Rock served as a landmark in the surrounding area during the 19th century. Before the exploration of the Chimney Rock by the European Immigrants the local people would refer to the rock formation as an elk penis. The name Chimney Rock might have been given to it b the fur traders. The rock has reduced in height due to erosion and lightning.

6. Tyler Davidson Fountain - Cincinnati, Ohio

#6 Tyler Davidson Fountain - Cincinnati, Ohio

The Tyler Davidson Fountain is a fountain and a statue in Cincinnati. The area is one of the most visited in Ohio. Tyler Davidson Fountain was dedicated in 1871 and is considered a centerpiece of Fountain Square with restaurants and shops surrounding. Tyler Davidson Fountain was initially installed at the center of 5th street, but after the 2006 renovation, it was moved closer to the Fifth Third Bank building because of the wider space. During winter months the fountain is turned off and turned on in time for the first home game for Cincinnati Reds.

5. Chicago Theatre - Chicago, Illinois

#5 Chicago Theatre - Chicago, Illinois

The Chicago Theater is a landmark theater in Chicago. The theater was built in 1921 as a flagship of Balaban and Katz group of theaters. The Chicago Theatre was a popular movie theater enterprise from 1925 to 1945. Currently, Chicago Theater is owned and operated by Madison Square Garden that has maintained it as a performing art venue for different stage plays and popular music concerts. It is a a seven-story building filling almost half of the city block. The interior is characterized by French Baroque which was influenced by the Second French Empire. The grand stairs are influenced by the grand stairs of the Paris Opera House.

4. Cave-in-Rock - Hardin County, Illinois

#4 Cave-in-Rock - Hardin County, Illinois

Cave-in-Rock is a principle feature and a tourist attraction village in Hardin County. The village is at the bank of Ohio River and was originally a stronghold for the outlaws who included serial killers, river pirates, and the Sturtevant gang. The majority of the settlers were fugitives and criminals who were on the run. Cave-in-Rock was an outlawed area because of the presence of the dangerous gangs who were engaged in illegal activities. Currently, the area has a population of 350 people and 96 families. The Cave-in-Rock is a 55-foot wide cave which was formed wind and erosion and has been the main feature in Illinois since 1929.

3. Grotto of the Redemption - West Bend, Iowa

The Grotto of the Redemption located in West Bend is a religious shrine. The collections of nine grottos highlight the life of Christ and contain collections of minerals and petrifactions. Grotto of the Redemption is the largest grotto in the world and complete man-made minerals and petrifaction in one place. The rocks and minerals that make up the grotto are valued at $4.3 million. Grotto of the Redemption includes a museum made up of semi-precious stones from around the world. Almost 100,000 tourists from around the world visit the Grotto of the Redemption yearly.

2. Gateway Arch - St. Louis, Missouri

#2 Gateway Arch - St. Louis, Missouri

The Monument of Gateway Arch in St Louis was built in the form of an inverted arch. The 630-foot arch is the tallest in the world and also the tallest man-made monument in Western Hemisphere. The arch which was built and dedicated to the American People is an internationally recognized feature of the St Louis and a popular destination for visitors in Missouri. The Gateway Arch has been a center of several incidences and accidents with the security around it upgraded. The construction of the monument was completed in October 1965 and was opened to the public in 1967.

1. Pickle Barrel House - Grand Marais, Michigan

The Pickle Barrel House is a two-storey cabin resembling two barrels. The design of the house was influenced by two cartoon characters that were 2 inches tall and living under a bush in a pickle barrel. The Pickle Barrel House is located in Grand Marais on the southern shores of Lake Superior. The tall barrel is 16-foot tall and has two stories with the ground floor as the living room and upstairs as the bedroom. The smaller barrel is a kitchen, and it is connected to the bigger barrel by a pantry. Pickle Barrel House has an outdoor garden and seating area with a well-manicured garden path.

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