ATLAS PROJECT MN Geography 1108 Summer 2011 Carie Oksendahl
WELCOME to page 34 of the DeLorme Minnesota Atlas and Gazetteer! Welcome to page 34 of the Delorme Minnesota Atlas and Gazetteer. This page covers Itasca, Koochiching and St. Louis counties of North Eastern Minnesota. There are lush forests, the infamous Iron Range, and Indian Reservation and many more exciting things to learn about… so follow me!
The History… “Northern Minnesota” is rich in history, going all the way back to Voyageur times, when Native Americans roamed the lands and trappers and loggers worked hard making the land livable. And of course, there is the infamous iron ore and taconite mines, which at one point supplied nearly all of the iron ore in the United States!
The Landscape of the Region The landscape of page 34 is mostly wetlands. There are also many areas of “distorted services”, as described by the legend in the atlas. It is also dotted with mines and quarries, and at least one “unique natural feature”, the Laurentian Divide, which is north on Highways 53 and 169, just past Virginia, MN. Of course, there are all kinds of lakes and rivers, but we will get to those in due time…
BIOMES The biome of page 34 is Laurentian Mixed Forest. This is also known as Coniferous Forest. A Coniferous forest is a forest of conifers, and a conifer tree is that which produces its seeds in cones. The most common example of this tree is the Pine tree. The leaves of a conifer tree conserves it’s water in a thick, waxy layer that covers their leaves, also known as needles. Most animals that reside in this biome survive the harsh winters by hibernating or migrating to warmer climates.
Aquatics: Rivers, Lakes and Streams They don’t call Minnesota the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” for no reason, the state is full of water. There are many, many lakes just on page 34. The biggest lake on the page is Lake Vermillion, which is very well known for it’s size and for it’s amazing walleye fishing. My mom’s family had cabins on Lake Vermillion the whole time she was growing up, and my uncle Ted still does. It is a gorgeous lake!! Other large lakes in the area are Pelican Lake, which is in the Kabetogama State Forest. Then there is Sturgeon Lake, near Side Lake, MN, which sports McCarthy Beach State Park. All of these lakes feature terrific fishing. Some rivers in the area, which are less rampant, include the Prairie River and the Little Fork River.
Bois Forte Indian Reservation The Bois Forte Indian Reservation is located in the northwest corner of page 34. It is made up of three sections, and was created for the Bois Forte band of Chippewa: “Zagaakwaandagoininiwag”, or “Men of the Thick Woods” in Ojibwe. The three sections are the Nett Lake Reservation, which is the largest at 162.872 square miles and is in St. Louis and Koochiching counties, surrounding Nett Lake. Next in size is Deer Creek Reservation at 35.109 square miles. This area was originally set aside for the Little Forks Band of the Rainy River Saultraux. Most of the population has dispersed to the other two Reservations and this one is mostly kept as a natural resource reserve for the Band. The smallest is the Vermilion Reservation at 1.623 square miles. This reservation is who runs Fortune Bay Resort & Casino, located just west of Tower, MN. The Nett Lake Reservation is also the largest producer of wild rice in the country.
Animal Life There are many animals that are native to this part of Minnesota. Among them are the red fox, snowshoe hare, great horned owl, the crossbill and of course, the Minnesota state bird, the loon. Minnesota is also home to several endangered and threatened animals, such as the Bald Eagle. However, they are no longer protected under the FEDERAL Species Act, and the Section 7 Consultation with the US Fish and Wildlife Services is no longer necessary. They do remain protected under the Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Other endangered animals include the Canada Lynx, Gray Wolf, and Piping Plover.
GETTING THERE…Highways The Main Freeway/Highway through page 34 is US Route 169. It comes up from southern Minnesota and goes through Virginia, where it becomes Highway 53. It then continues up through Cook and Orr. There are some other small highways, such as 73 through Hibbing and Chisholm. Highway 73 goes all the way to the previously mentioned Pelican Lake. The rest of the roads on page 34 are all small state roads.
The Towns of the Range The heart of the Iron Range. The first big town we come across at the bottom of page 34 is Hibbing. The actual square mileage of Hibbing is greater than Minneapolis and St. Paul combined, making it the largest city (land wise) in Minnesota. However, most of the land is rural and sparsely populated. After you drive through Hibbing, you will come to Chisholm, but there are several smaller “mining towns” along the way. Ruby Junction, Redore, Mitchell and Kitzville are to the west of Hibbing. Others such as Brooklyn, Letonia and Kerr lead out to Kelly Lake, which I have fond memories of swimming in when I was a child. My dad’s best friend (who worked with him at MinnTac) lived in Kelly Lake with his family. After driving through Chisholm, you can travel to Buhl, Grant, and Lucknow before deciding if you want to go north to Mountain Iron or straight east to Virginia. South of Virginia is Eveleth and north of Virginia lies Cook, Gheen and eventually Orr, located on Pelican Lake.
People, Cultures and Politics Originally the Iron Range was home to over 43 different ethnic groups, including a large number of immigrants. The following are some of the main nationalities to make their home and settle in the area of page 34: English, Scotch, Irish, French, Scandinavian, Finnish, Italian, Bohemian, Polish, Lithuanian. After 1900, Croatians, Serbians, Montenegrins, Bulgarians, Greeks, and Russians also came to settle. The lumber industry attracted the Germans, so they also made their presence. In 1900, half of the residents were foreign born. By 1940, this number had dropped to 20%, according to the 1940 Federal Census. Today, American-born children of the original immigrants are the adults of the Mesabi communities, and they carry on after their parents. The Range is a melting pot, and by the time the third generation appears, the ethnic identity of the most of its members will be obscure or unimportant. The Iron Range has historically identified with the DFL (democratic-farmer-labor) party. In 2004 Presidential hopeful John Kerry had most of the counties, and for the 2008 elections, now-President Barack Obama carried all of the counties. This trend would occur as the main make up of the Iron Range are blue collar workers, whom are typically Democratic.
Famous “Rangers” It’s common knowledge that legendary musician and poet Bob Dylan (Born Robert Zimmerman in Duluth, 1941) grew up in Hibbing, and that he never really felt like he “fit in”, but there are several other personalities that have also hailed from “The Range”, so let’s check them out!! *Kevin McHale, graduated from Hibbing High School in 1976 Played for the Boston Celtics, Basketball Hall of Fame *Rudolph George “Rudy” Perpichb. June 27, 1928 (d. September 21,1995) in Carson Lake, MN (now part of Hibbing) 34th and 36th Governor of Minnesota, prior to Politics he was a dentist. (He gave my mom her first filling, without novocaine) *Vincent Bugliosi, b. August 8, 1934 in Hibbing. American Attorney and Author. Best known for Prosecuting Charles Manson and other defendants in the Tate/LaBianca murders comminted by Charles Manson and his “family” in August of 1969. *Chi ChiLaRue, born Larry David Paciotti on November 8, 1959 in Hibbing. American Director of Gay, Straight and Bi-Sexual Pornography and Drag Queen *Judy Garland, Born Frances Ethel Gumm in 1922, in Grand Rapids (not on page 34, but you can’t leave out Judy!) American Sweetheart and Actress of Stage and Screen, Mother of Actress Liza Minelli.
Recreation Since there are so many lakes and small towns with festivals and potlucks in this area of the state, one should know about the fun times that can be had in visiting page 34, the Iron Range. There are celebrations that cover all of the things that make northern Minnesota so special. Golf outings, Walleye fish frys (yum), Northern Lights festivals, Art in the Park, even lessons on Geocaching! The list goes on and on: Special festivals celebrating certain heritages are also very popular, along with fishing tournaments on the lakes. (have to catch the walleye to fry up!) Here is a link to a website strictly to explore things to do on the Range: http://explore.ironrange.org/ There are also at least 4 State Forests and 1 State park on page 34: George Washington State Park, Sturgeon River State Forest, Kabetogama State Forest, Koochiching State Forest and the Superior National Forest. There are many lakes also as previously discussed for swimming, fishing, picnicing and resorting. One would be hard pressed to be bored while visiting page 34.
Education andAthletics The bigger towns that we have discussed earlier also have their own high schools. The most famous high school on page 34 is the Hibbing High School, which was built in the 1920’s for $4 million dollars. (the equivalent of over $70 million today) The other area high schools are Chisholm, Eveleth-Gilbert and Virginia. The Iron Range offers many colleges for people who want to further their education while living “up north.” Here are the schools that would be available while on page 34: *Hibbing Community College, Hibbing *Mesabi Range Community & Technical College, Virginia & Eveleth High school sports are also very important, with the most popular sport being Hockey. The schools also feature Football, Basketball, Swimming, Soccer, Tennis and several more for both boys and girls. The teams are as follows: Hibbing-Chisholm Blue Jackets, Virginia Blue Devils and the Eveleth-Gilbert Golden Bears.
WORKS CITED/REFERENCES myminnesotawoods.umn.edu http://www.dwhike.com/keyword/pigeon%20river%20state%20forest/1/548347161_fw4jf#548347161_fw4jf http://rrms-biomes.tripod.com/id3.html http://minnesotahumanities.org/Resources/people.aspx http://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/lists/minnesot-spp.html http://minnesotahumanities.org/Resources/people.aspx#immigrants http://www.ironrange.org/attractions/calendar http://www.philsgaragedoor.com/ Gilman, Rhonda R. and June DrenningHolmquist. “Selections from “Minnesota History” A Fiftieth Anniversary Anthology”. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society, 1965. Print.
Welcome to Page 40… Clay and Norman Counties Now we are on to Page 40 in the DeLorme Atlas. The largest city we will be discussing is Moorhead, and half of this page is actually North Dakota, but this will focus on the Minnesota half. This area of the state is flat and vast. Let’s take a closer look!
Norman County was settled in 1871, when Norwegians decided to make it their own. The two areas that were first settled were on the Marsh River, near where the current town of Halstad is. The region was sparsely populated until the Ojibwe claims to the most fertile portions of the Valley were extinguished during the Treaty of Old Crossing in 1863. After the is Treaty, it opened rapidly to agricultural development and settlement in the 1870s and 1880s. History Clay County was originally called Breckenridge County after John C. Breckenridge, the United States Vice President from 1857-1861. However, Breckenridge sided with the Confederates during the Civil War, so the Minnesotans in the area wanted the county to be renamed. The name was changed to Clay County after Henry Clay (1777-1852) in 1862. Clay was known as a Statesman and Orator, referred to as “The Great Pacificator.” In 1871, the decision was made to have the Northern Pacific Railroad cross the Red River at the site that is now Moorhead. The railroad bought Job Smith’s land, platted a townsite, offered lots for sale and named the town “Moorhead.”
Landscape and Topography At first glance, the landscape of page 40 looks rather plain. As flat as can be, no parks, forests or even lakes to be seen. But realizing that this expansive area was one the bottom of a ginormous, ancient lake, Glacial Lake Agassiz, makes it very fascinating. In what is now known as the Red River Valley, the stratigraphy of the sediments show that this area was once repeatedly occupied by glaciers, lakes and rivers.
Biomes The part of Minnesota that page 40 covers is a Prairie Grassland. The landscape lines are clean, with no trees cluttering the horizon. Grasses ripple like water, and these are the waves that early settlers saw as an ocean-a sea of grass and unbroken soil as far as they could see. The fertile soil (some of the most fertile soil in the country) grew good agricultural crops, however, and most of the prairie grasses were plowed for farming purposes. The patches that remain are mostly remnants that couldn’t be plowed.
Lakes * Rivers * Waters There are no lakes on page 40 of the Atlas. Not a single one, which is highly unusual for the state of Minnesota. However, there are 4 rivers: • the Red River, which doubles as the state line between Minnesota and North Dakota • The Marsh River, which is located at the very northeast corner of the page • The Wild Rice River and the Buffalo River, both which are tributaries to the Red River, and in the southeast corner, the South Branch of the Buffalo River flows also.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE LAND The Land is open and rolling, any trees that you see on the horizon have been planted. The roads are straight and formed in grid patterns. Fires, Bison and drought have influenced the prairie grass lands. These grasslands range from sparsely vegetated sand dunes to vast fields of big bluestem, up to 8 feet tall. From wet meadows to short grass prairies high on the bluffs of the Minnesota River. (which is not located on page 40)
Native Fauna The Bluestem Prairie is located 11 miles east of Moorhead, off of Highway 10. Some native fauna to this area, yet are still rare, are the following: Regal Fritillary, Melissa Blue (pictured), Prairie Vole, Plains Pocket Mouse (pictured), Northern Grasshopper Mouse, Henslow’s Sparrow (pictured), Upland Sandpiper, Marbled Godwit, Eastern Meadowlark, Loggerhead Shrike and the Greater Prairie Chicken.
Here to There…Highways There are two US Highways and one Interstate that are prominent on page 40. The Interstate is 94, which travels east to west, through Moorhead to North Dakota to the west or to Minneapolis if traveling east. The slightly smaller highways are Highway 10, which is also east to west and then north to south Highway 75. Besides these three major routes of travel, there are a smattering of “major connectors”, as the are referred to in the Atlas legend. The rest of the roads and small and rural, laid out in a grid type patter, most likely based upon the original surveyed land done several years ago.
Towns By far the largest town on page 40 is Moorhead. It is a college town, with three colleges within its city limits. Across the Red River into Fargo, ND, which is Moorhead’s “Twin Town” (and my place of birth) there is at least one more large college. Moorhead also boasts the Heritage Hjemkomst Interpretive Center, along with a golf course and the Moorhead Municipal Airport on the very outskirts of town. The other larger towns located on page 40 include Halstad, Hendrum, Perley, Georgetown and Kragnes, which are all to the north of Moorhead on US Route 75. To the south of Moorhead is Sabin. There are three tiny towns, Anthony, which is in the northeast corner of the page and Finkle and Rothruff which are south of Moorhead.
People of the Land The 2000 population for Clay County was 51,229 people, which was double the 1940 population of 25,227. Moorhead is the highest populated city, with 32,177 residents. The median age in the county was 32.3 with 12,822 people ages 17 and under, and 6597 over the age of 65. The 2010 population of Norman County was 6852, which was a decrease from 7442 in 2000. The overall area is 885 square miles and the original settlers were Norwegian, which is how Norman County was named.
Farming in Norman County Farming is an important party of life in Norman County. The leading crop is soybeans with 173,000 acres, followed second by spring wheat with 143,000 acres. After those two main crops, the rest follow: 46,000 sugar beets, 43,000 acres of corn and alfalfa hay, 10,000 acres of sunflowers, 5,000 acres of barley and smaller acreages of dry beans, potatoes, oats and other specialty crops. Livestock numbers in Norman County are small but very important. There are 2000 head of dairy cows (1 large dairy operation with approximately 1000 head alone) and also a large turkey operation with more than half a million birds. There are only a handful of remaining dairy and pig operators. There are dry edible bean, sunflower and oat processing facilities in the county.
Positive Burning ~ Keeping Minnesota Prairies Alive! Fire is essential in shaping ecosystems and life forms around the globe. But in ecosystems today, the role of fire is severely out of balance, threatening to devastate both human and natural communities. In Minnesota, fire prevents brush and trees from overtaking the prairie, prevents build-up of dead vegetation that encourages weeds and disables growth and improves habitat for prairie birds, mammals and butterflies.
Education and Colleges As previously stated, Moorhead is a college town, with 2-4 year colleges, one a private Liberal Arts College, Concordia College and the other a State University, Moorhead State University. There is also Moorhead Community College, which is a 2 year school. The two high schools on page 40 of the atlas would be Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Senior High, outside of Moorhead in Clay County, home of the Rebels. The high school in Norman County is Norman County West Secondary, home of the Panthers, in Halstad.
Special Events, Areas of Interest and Famous People Some special events happening in the area during the summer of 2011: *Red River Valley Fair July 8 thru 16th, 2011 Moorhead *Moorhead Parks & Recreation Neighborhood Party July 26, 2011 Moorhead *Midwest Viking Festival July 16-17, 2011 Moorhead *RiverArts July 12, 2011 & August 9, 2011 Moorhead Places of Interest: *Heritage Hjemkomst Interpretive Center *Moorhead State University *Concordia College Famous People: Warren G. Magnuson Born April 12, 1905 in Moorhead Died May 20, 1989 in Washington Famous US Politician
WORKS CITED/REFERENCES http://www.co.clay.mn.us/AboutUs/History.htm http://kroshus.mnwebsteps.com/pdf/MNNorman.pdf https://www.dmr.nd.gov/ndgs/ndnotes/Agassiz/Lake%20Agassiz.asp http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_River_Valley http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/biomes/prairie.htm http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mnnorman/ http://www.exploreminnesota.com http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/snas/sna00996/index.html http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/minnesota/newsroom/the-benefits-of-fire.xml http://www.co.norman.mn.us/index.asp?Type=B_LIST&SEC=%7BF4718074-47C6-49A4-A424-1489547E3A63%7D
Introduction Page 82 of the Atlas is comprised of 4 Southern Minnesota counties: Cottonwood, Jackson, Martin and Watonwan. Both Jackson and Martin’s southern borders are Iowa. The land is mostly farm country with some lakes, rivers and wetlands. Let’s explore!
History of the Land: Cottonwood & Jackson Counties Cottonwood County was organized on July 29, 1870. It was named for the Cottonwood River, which touches the northeast corner of Germantown Township. The first deed on record was filed January 10, 1870 and the first land assessments were made in 1871, and the first taxes were paid in 1872. • Jackson County’s first white settlers were brothers: William, George and Charles Wood from Indiana by way of Mankato. In 1856 they established a trading post and named the proposed town “Springfield”
History of the Land:Martin and Watonwan Counties Martin County was created on May 23, 1857 from Brown and Faribault Counties and was named after either Henry Martin or Morgan Lewis Martin. Watonwan County was created November 6, 1860 from neighboring Brown County. The county was named from the Watonwan River, whose headstreams flow through it.
Landscape & Topography The area of page 82 is flat with prairie grasslands, but it is also dotted with several lakes, rivers and wetlands. There are several Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) and contour lines indicating there are hillier areas than just flat. The roads are still grid-like and straight.
BIOMES The Prairie Grassland is the Biome of page 82. This area is at the very southern part of Minnesota. The Des Moines Lobe of the Laurentide Ice Sheet originally came from the northwest and advanced in a south easterly direction across Minnesota and into Iowa. It’s fine textured till consisted of limestone, shale and granite fragments, from which developed the fine prairie (now agricultural) soils found in these areas.
Rivers, Lakes and Wetlands The Des Moines River flows southward through the west side of page 82. There are several lakes and rivers also in this area. In the south east corner near Ceylon, MN, there appears to be a chain of lakes, with the largest lake being Okamanpeedon Lake, and the Des Moines River does flow into the lakes area. Half of the lake is in Minnesota and the other half is located in Iowa. Near Sherburn and Welcome is Fox Lake, and over near Windom, which is in the north west corner of the page, there are several lakes including Cottonwood, Warren and Clear Lake(s). These are just a handful of the waterways in the area.
Wildlife Management Areas There are several Wildlife Management Areas on page 82. From west to east, they are as follows: Delft WMA Regehr WMA Bennett WMA Voss WMA Caraway WMA Rosedale WMA Summers WMA Ceylon WMA Little Sioux WMA Laurs Lake WMA Sangl WMA Pavelko WMA Minnesota WMA
Highways Interstate 90 runs through southern Minnesota, going east to west, and US Route 71 runs north and south. There are also US Route 4 that runs north and south, and US Route 60 that goes east to west. The rest of the roads on page 82 are connecting roads, or more rural roads that aren’t as easy to travel. 90 runs just north of Jackson, on the southern part of the page whereas 60 runs through St. James, Butterfield, Mountain Lake, Bingham Lake and Windom, across the northern part of the page.
http://www.co.cottonwood.mn.us/ http://www.jacksonmn.com/historical.htm http://www.n2genealogy.com/minnesota/mn-county-martin.html http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/snas/naturalhistory.html http://www.censusfinder.com/minnesota-historical-museums.htm