Raspberry Island is the last true island in the Mississippi River in
Saint Paul. There were more islands, including Harriet Island, but the
small channels that flowed between these islands have been filled in.
The island got its name in the 1880s due to the wild raspberries that
grew along the shore of the river. The island was renamed Navy Island
in 1948 after the establishment of a US Navy training facility. The
Navy abandoned the island in the mid-1960s. From there, it became a
parking lot for downtown workers. The island was renamed Raspberry
Island with the planning of the new Wabasha Street Bridge in the early
1990s. A small band shell was erected, and a few concerts were put on
over the years.
The west end of Raspberry Island is the home of the Minnesota Boat
Club. They have used Raspberry Island since 1870, and the current
boathouse dates back to 1910. Over the years, various nightclubs have
used the 2nd floor of the boathouse. After a recent renovation, the
2nd floor is reserved for special events and weddings under an arrangement
with the Saint Paul Radisson hotel.
The old Raspberry Island bridge was in the way when the new Wabasha
Street Bridge was built. To accommodate the construction, the old bridge
was removed, and a temporary bridge was installed on the downstream end
of the island. After the Wabasha Street Bridge was completed, a new
Raspberry Island bridge was built. That bridge was completed in 2001.
At that time, the temporary bridge was removed.
Raspberry Island has seen a major renovation in 2007 and 2008. The
old concrete walls were removed and riprap was installed around the
island. This is to prevent erosion of the island. The island itself
was totally landscaped. This included building a new bandstand, parking
lot, public restrooms, and planting over 2500 trees and flowers.
The photo above is a view of the downstream face of the Raspberry Island
Bridge as seen from Raspberry Island. The photo below is a similar view
of the upstream face of the bridge. The large structure above the bridge
in these photos is the south end of the two parallel spans of the Wabasha
These two photos are views looking south from the stairway structure on the
Wabasha Street Bridge. The bridge plaza is located on the far side of the
river channel, with the Harriet Island Regional Park located to the west of
These two photos are views looking north towards Raspberry Island from the
plaza located at the south end of the Wabasha Street Bridge. The Saint Paul
Yacht Club is located on the west end of Raspberry Island, while the east
end of the island is a city park. The park was redeveloped in the late
2000s with walking paths, a band shell, and a paved parking lot.
The photo above is a view of the Raspberry Island bridge from street level
looking south down the length of the bridge deck towards the mainland. Much
of the bridge is located under the Wabasha Street bridge, which casts a large
shadow over the structure. The photo below is the bridge plate.