Minnesota Underground: a guide to caves & karst, Mines & tunnels, 2nd ed.
Doris Green, and Greg Brick, PhD
nonfiction, geology, 206 pp
December, 2019, HeschelHAUS Publishing, Inc.
Reviewed by Lisa Lickel, http://www.lisalickel.com
I have a passion for hidden, enclosed spaces, and love caves; I always have ever since learning about the karst and graben (grave, or sinkhole) geology of my dad’s home in northeastern Iowa. It was with delight that I opened Doris Green’s updated version of Minnesota Underground to read about one of my favorite spots, Niagara Cave.
The authors introduce the several dozen adventures to explore by inviting the reader to experience being there, from the approach to the cave, museum, or mine’s entrance to sharing certain features inside of each. I’m pretty sure a waft of cool, fifty-something degree breeze came out and hit me.
Photos, brief history, excellent facts and concise directions accompany each of the sites. General geological history and descriptions, such as The Driftless Area, and legends such as Seven Iron Men, accompany appropriate chapters. Green makes a point of mentioning natural caves’ most expected denizens, the bat, and the current decline of these fabulous and often misinterpreted creatures due to several factors, including white nose syndrome.
Stories and legends, such as the Gainey Gold Mine fraud, as well as generous but brief folk history and true tales enhance this book. Explore Minnesota from the North, to the St. Croix River Valley, Southeastern, Southwester, and finally the Twin Cities area. Some sites I look forward to checking out with my grandkids in northern Minnesota include Croft Mine Historical Park, the Minnesota Discovery Center, and Conundrum Quarry, and Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. I’ll save Speakeasy Tunnel for a trip sometime with my husband.
I purchased the electronic version of the book to make it easy to transport and read in dim light as well. The table of contents is not clickable, but the pages are well outlined and easy to find in the slide bar. The book includes a few volumes of interest for further reading in the back. Highly recommended for the history lover even just for fun reading, and a fun virtual tour around Minnesota even if you only dream of traveling there. Great resource for planning a trip. Includes as much contact information as possible with each site.
About the Author: Doris Green follows her curiosity about topics such as education, genealogy, and the natural environment, writing for local, regional, and national publications. This diversity sometimes leads to insights not found in more focused approaches. She launched Wisconsin Community Banker magazine with the former Community Bankers of Wisconsin and was a communications specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She previously served as a publisher at Magna Publications. Green holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education and a master’s degree from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She lives with her husband, Michael H. Knight, and three distracting cats in a log home near Spring Green, Wisconsin.
Reviewer Lisa Lickel writes from the peaceful rolling hills of western Wisconsin. A multi-published, best-selling and award-winning novelist, she also writes short stories and radio theater, occasional articles, is an avid book reviewer, blogger, and a freelance editor. She and her husband travel and enjoy family time.
Wisconsin Writers Association
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