Hepsy Hearts Harriet Island
Name: Hepsibah Ohage
Neighborhood: Saint Paul’s West Side
Swimming Hole: Harriet Island
Quote: “ I have to get down to the island pretty early, but the elephants swim whenever they want because they always have trunks with them.”
Harriet Island’s beach, pools, bathing pavilions and showers were once popular destinations for bathers. Other recreational facilities on the island included two large gymnasiums, handball courts picnic grounds, tennis courts and a zoological garden. The island park was named for Harriet E. Bishop, who came to town in 1847 to open the first permanent school in the city. She also organized a Sunday School and wrote a book called “Floral Home, or First Years of Minnesota.”. Harriet Island became part of the West Side of Saint Paul when a swampy channel between the island and the mainland was filled in 1948.