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Shortly after acquiring Historic Murphy’s Landing in 2002, Three Rivers Park District began a planning process for the park that resulted in a recommendation that the park name be changed to ‘The Landing’. In March 2007, the Park District Board did approve the name change. As we began the process to implement this name change, our staff took a hard look at the name and its value in depicting the mission of the Park, it’s promotability, and public recognition potential. Our discussions have led us to reconsider the name and prepare a new name recommendation for the Park.

While the name ‘Historic Murphy’s Landing’ will be retained in the Park to represent the historic inn ruins and river landing areas, the entire Park will have a new name.

As some in the local history community were involved in our initial planning process back in 2003 and 2004, which resulted in the development of a Concept Master Plan for the Park along with the recommended name change, and some have been involved with Murphy’s Landing in other ways, I wanted to ask for your feedback.

The names under consideration are:

  • Minnesota River History Park
  • Minnesota River Historic Park
  • Minnesota River Historical Park
  • Minnesota River Heritage Park

Two mission statements are relevant to this effort. They are the Park District’s overriding mission statement and the mission statement for the Park itself.

  • “The mission of Three Rivers Park District is to promote environmental stewardship through recreation and education in a natural resources-based park system.”
  • “Historic Murphy’s Landing (The Landing) interprets how people, for thousands of years, have connected to the Minnesota River and its surrounding natural and cultural resources.”

The name of the facility should effectively communicate the broad mission and range in time periods, resources, and experiences on the site. The Park District Naming Policy states: “Parks or areas and facilities within parks will be named for a geographic, natural, or historic feature of that park, local folk usage, historic events, to commemorate people who have made outstanding contributions to the Park District, or persons of local historic or outstanding civic service.”

The name should:

  • be inclusive of all aspects and time periods of the site.
  • not emphasize the Euro-American aspects of the site.
  • be easily related to the Minnesota River, a constant theme for the site.
  • reflect the mission statement.
  • be easily remembered and evocative of the site.
  • be attractive to the public imagination.
  • be unique to the market place.

Responses would be appreciated via email by November 30, 2007. If you have any questions or need further clarification, please email me or call me at 763-694-7640.

Thank you.

Denis R. Hahn,
Outdoor Education Manager – Special Facilities

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2 Responses to Input sought for Murphy’s Landing

  1. Mary Warner says:

    Suzanne Fisher posted her thoughts on this on her Public Historian blog. See what she has to say at this link:


    I agree with her in that the names suggested seem pretty generic.


  2. Dave Preble says:

    The suggested names seem too generic in that they: 1.) have minimal connection with the current name and, 2.) could refer to any geagraphical location on the MN river. While the new name is to be inclusive of all time periods, the living history museum depicts life for a very narrow time frame of 50 years from 1840’s-1890’s. Thus the original name served it well to reflect evidently the name of the landing during this time period.

    I suggest that the name retain, "Historic" and "Landing" but remove Murphy and change the name to "Historic Minnesota River Landing." It provides the continuity from the current name, retains "the landing" as a specific place on the MN river, yet is inclusive of the mission statements and vision to broaden the living history museum to include all aspects and time periods of the site.


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