Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hull–Rust–Mahoning Open Pit Iron Mine (NRHP)

Hibbing, MN

The world's largest open-pit mine, active 1895–present. Also one of Minnesota's National Historic Landmarks.
Hull Rust Mine from viewing overlook

The mine was added to the National Register November 13, 1966.¹



¹ Hull-Rust-Mahoning Mine : National Register of Historic Places : mnhs.org. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2014, from http://nrhp.mnhs.org/property_overview.cfm?propertyID=2

TH 169 Culvert at St. Albans Bay

Built by the Garrison CCC camp in 1939. It carries drainage under Highway 169 to Mille Lacs Lake. The original plan referred to it as "Box Culvert at Lagoon."




This feature also used granite from the Isle area, the Isle-Warman Creek granite region which produced Cold Spring Pearl White granite. That name partially derived from the Cold Spring Granite Company which operated a quarry at the Isle site circa 1935.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

MacDougal Homestead (NRHP)

Hilton Road, near Royalton.

Warren, William, Two Rivers House Site and McDougall, Peter, Farmstead

Site of ca. 1847 trading post of Warren, who authored first published history of Ojibwe Indians; 19th-century farmstead with English-style barn (1874). 1







The trading post was a stopping point on the Woods Trail of the Red River Ox Cart Trail system.


1 National Register Property Details : National Register of Historic Places : mnhs.org. (n.d.). Retrieved February 23, 2014, from http://nrhp.mnhs.org/NRDetails.cfm?NPSNum=74001031

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Razed and disused - Spang Spring Roadside Parking Area - Grand Rapids Spring

Hwy 169
South of Grand Rapids, MN

Progress occurs at a cost. Spang Spring Roadside Parking Area was built along the west side of US Highway 169 in 1935 by the Minnesota Highway Department. The site included a stone spring enclosure, granite retaining wall, and pull-off area.

By 1997 when an inventory1 by Mn DOT was conducted, the site was described as:
"...overgrown with weeds and vegetation. Most of the spring enclosure has deteriorated and fallen into ruin. The retaining wall is in similar condition. The remaining concrete curbing is in poor condition and overgrown with weeds. The entire area is swampy, with stagnant water standing in pools around the site. It appears that the spring continues to flow, or at least ground water is seeping out at some point near the spring enclosure."

1947 aerial view
MHAPO. (n.d.). Retrieved February 18, 2014, from https://www.lib.umn.edu/apps/mhapo/
1989 aerial view of site
MHAPO. (n.d.). Retrieved February 18, 2014, from https://www.lib.umn.edu/apps/mhapo/
When the Supplement to Historic Roadside Development Structures on Minnesota Trunk Highways was issued in 2005 the site was listed as razed. Mn DOT had widened US Highway 169 to a 4-lane highway past the site.


View Spang, MN in a larger map

Contemporary aerial of Spang Spring site


1 Susan Granger, Scott Kelly, and Kay Grossman. (1998, December). Historic Roadside Development Structures on Minnesota Trunk Highways. Minnesota Department of Transportation.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Supervisor's Office Headquarters - Chippewa National Forest (NRHP)

Cass Lake, MN

Chippewa National Forest main office, added to the the National Register of Historic Places January 31, 1976.


1936 log building constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration. This building continues to serve as the main office for the Chippewa National Forest. 

Large example of chinkless log construction, built of native red pine by Finnish craftsmen and CCC and WPA workers in 1936.¹



(“National Register Property Details : National Register of Historic Places : mnhs.org,” n.d.)   

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lester River Bridge - Bridge 5772 (Roadside Structure and NRHP)

Duluth, MN
US Highway 61


The Lester River Bridge is an intact concrete and stone "earth filled and open spandrel arch bridge." The bridge was "Erected by Joint Contribution of Chester A. Congdon Estate, City of Duluth and County of St. Louis in 1924."¹ A plaque which was installed at completion read exactly that but is no longer on the bridge.






The bridge is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places (Mn Historical Society)² added September 6, 2002.

The bridge was incorporated into the trunk highway system in 1934. Rail damage repair was conducted in 2005 and bridge preservation in 2010.


Lester River Bridge (Bridge 5772), Oct. 1997
Minnesota Dept. of Transportation Historic Roadside Development Structures Inventory ³


¹ General Plan for Earth Filled and Open Spandrel Arch Bridge over Lester River (MnDOT)


²  National Register Property Details : National Register of Historic Places : mnhs.org. (n.d.). Retrieved February 11, 2014, from http://nrhp.mnhs.org/NRDetails.cfm?NPSNum=02000934


³ Susan Granger, Scott Kelly, and Kay Grossman. (1998, December). Historic Roadside Development Structures on Minnesota Trunk Highways. Minnesota Department of Transportation.




Lester River
The National Atlas Streamer Map. (n.d.). Retrieved February 11, 2014, from http://nationalatlas.gov/streamer/Streamer/streamer.html



Sunday, February 2, 2014

Garrison Concourse

Garrison, MN
US Highway 169

The Garrison Concourse is near the intersection of US Highway 169 and MN 18, along the lake side of Hwy 169. The site was designed by A. R. Nichols and the National Park Service and built by the CCC between 1936-1939. The common use is a roadside parking area.

The Garrison walleye (added 1985) greets travelers as they turn into the RPA

The monument behind the fish was erected by the Park Service, the Minnesota Highway Department and the Village of Garrison.


Flagpole base with history plaque
Mille Lacs Lake 
Named from the fur traders' phrase "The thousand lake region." This lake is 1250 feet above sea level and covers about 200 square miles. It formerly included much low ground and several adjacent lakes. When visited by Du Luth in 1679, Sioux villages, now indicated by the numerous burial mounds, lined the lake shore. 
Concourse designed and constructed by Minnesota Highway Department National Park Service Village of Garrison Civilian Conservation Corps

Overlook wall

The concourse underwent a major repair (PDF)¹ (October 2013), even the walleye was moved to a temporary location. Lakeland News story of the completed work (Nov 2013).

Fall 2013 construction on the concourse

North elevation

Seen from the Garrison Rest Area

Tauer Monument, approximately 80' north of concourse

Garrison Concourse, Circa 1953 (Mn/DOT photo)
Minnesota Dept. of Transportation Historic Roadside Development Structures Inventory
Garrison Concourse, May 1937 (Mn/DOT photo)
Minnesota Dept. of Transportation Historic Roadside Development Structures Inventory

¹ Thanks Mn DOT