Anoka County Riverfront
Coon Rapids Dam
Crosby Farm Nature Area
Fort Snelling State Park
Mississippi Gorge (St. Paul and Minneapolis Parks)
Spring Lake Park Reserve
Other Places of Interest
Pierre Parrant (Pig's Eye) (1801-?)
In 1829, Pierre Parrant (also known as Pig's Eye because he was blind in one eye) originally came to America from Canada as a young voyageur. After brief trouble with the law, he moved north, surfacing in Minnesota in 1832.
Parrant was the first person of European descent to live in what is now the city of St. Paul. He was one of the many squatters that lived near Fort Snelling and began selling whiskey to Indians, fellow squatters, and soldiers that lived and trained at the fort.
Parrant was not only known for his bootlegging, but also for discovering Fountain Cave. In 1838, he moved his whiskey still from Fort Snelling to the cave, which provided shelter as well as running water to make his whiskey. Although he was known to be one of the first entrepreneurs in the area, not everyone looked favorably upon Parrant's liquor business. Because of his well-documented activities, Parrant was eventually kicked out of Fountain Cave and at least three other locations.
In 1845 Parrant was driven from St. Paul and wound up near Winnipeg. He married a white woman and had three children there. After his first marriage ended, he married an American Indian and lived in North Dakota. He is believed to have died between 1872 and 1886, but it is not known where he was buried.
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