Saturday, October 12, 2013

Otter Tail City Historical Marker

The historical marker and parking area. Highway 78 is a few steps to the right.

The marker was built in 1948 by the Minnesota Highway Department and is the main feature of the site. The parking area serves as a wayside rest. The stone was likely quarried in the St. Cloud area. This marker is similar to the Vineland Historical Marker near Mille Lacs Lake.

The marker was preceded by a 3' x 5' steel sign with text a bit longer than that noted below. That sign was placed by the highway marking program of the early 1930s, a joint project of the Minnesota Highway Department and Minnesota Historical Society. 

Otter Tail City
Otter Tail City in the 1850s was an important post on the fur trade route from St. Paul and Crow Wing  to the Red River Valley. It was once the county seat and had the U.S. Land Office for the district. When the county seat was established at Fergus Falls in 1872, the city was abandoned. [Seals of the Minnesota Historical Society and the Minnesota Department of Highways]

The information board was not part of the original design. This site is along the Otter Trail Scenic Byway.

Otter Tail City was a stop on the Red River Ox Cart Trail, both the Woods Trail which came from Crow Wing to the east, and the St. Paul Trail which ran up from the south.

The state inventory sheet notes that the large home just to the north of the site once served as a local stagecoach inn.

 Otter Tail City History