Monday, March 24, 2014

David and Wanda Park House (NRHP)

Bemidji, MN

One of the few residential examples of the Streamline Moderne style in Minnesota, this bold two-story, poured-concrete house has the smooth surfaces, flowing lines and repeated geometrical detail typical of the style. Banded windows linked by ornamental striations emphasize the structure’s horizontal lines.¹


Nov 2013
Add to the National Register May 16, 1988.

Nov 2013



¹ David and Wanda Park House : National Register of Historic Places : mnhs.org. (n.d.). Retrieved February 25, 2014, from http://nrhp.mnhs.org/property_overview.cfm?propertyID=44

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Congregational Church of Ada (NRHP)

Ada, MN

Craftsman-style church of cream-colored Ada brick with Queen Anne belfry, designed by Ohio architect Charles Waterbury, built in 1900. Added to National Register November 08, 1984.¹





¹  National Register Property Details : National Register of Historic Places : mnhs.org. (n.d.). Retrieved March 22, 2014, from http://nrhp.mnhs.org/NRDetails.cfm?NPSNum=84000236


Sorlie Memorial Bridge (NRHP)

US Highway 2 (Business)
Grand Forks, ND - East Grand Forks, MN

Metal Parker through truss with abutments adapted to clay banks of Red River, built in 1929 as joint Minnesota–North Dakota project.¹ Added to National Register July 19, 1999.





A Parker truss bridge is a Pratt truss design with a polygonal upper chord. 
Truss bridge. (2014, March 21). In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Truss_bridge&oldid=600605680

Portion of maintenance plan
  (http://dotapp7.dot.state.mn.us/cyberdocs_guest/Libraries/Default_Library/Groups/GUESTS/frameset.asp?initpage=%2Fcyberdocs%5Fguest%2Floginandgoact%2Easp&initarg=loginmsg%7EYou)


¹   National Register Property Details : National Register of Historic Places : mnhs.org. (n.d.). Retrieved March 22, 2014, from http://nrhp.mnhs.org/NRDetails.cfm?NPSNum=99000844

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Lester River Bridge - Historical Views

Duluth, MN
Highway 61

The original plans for the bridge:

General Plan for Earth Filled and Open Spandrel Arch Bridge over Lester River - 1924

Original plan sheet from 2010 preservation plan (MnDOT)
{MnDOT EDMS. (n.d.). Retrieved March 20, 2014, from http://dotapp7.dot.state.mn.us/cyberdocs_guest/Libraries/Default_Library/Groups/GUESTS/frameset.asp}


The Lester River Bridge inspired at least one postcard¹ (1933).

Lester River Bridge. Highway No. 1, Duluth, Minn.
Published by the Duluth Photo Engraving Company

Highway 61 was designated Highway 1 until sometime between 1932 and 1940.


Lester River Bridge


¹ Personal collection

George Wohlheter House (NRHP)

Fairmont, MN



Ornate Queen Anne/Classical Revival frame mansion built in 1899 by prominent grain merchant and civic leader.

Added to the Register June 20, 1975.



  1 National Register Property Details : National Register of Historic Places : mnhs.org. (n.d.). Retrieved March 4, 2014, from http://nrhp.mnhs.org/NRDetails.cfm?NPSNum=75000994

Monday, March 17, 2014

Saum Schools (NRHP)

Saum, MN


One-room log school (1903) and two-story frame schoolhouse (1912) built as one of Minnesota’s first consolidated schools. 1  Added to the National Register March 27, 1980.









1 National Register Property Details : National Register of Historic Places : mnhs.org. (n.d.). Retrieved March 9, 2014, from http://nrhp.mnhs.org/NRDetails.cfm?NPSNum=80001937

Thompson Hill Overlook - Thompson Point Overlook

Duluth, MN
US Highway 61/Interstate 35

This roadside feature was a Works Progress Administration project dating to 1938 and provided a scenic overlook on Highway 61 at the southern approach to the city of Duluth. It is located southeast of the Thompson Hill Rest Area, the top of the structure right along I-35 northbound, between Boundary Avenue and the TH 2 entry. [Note: this no longer exists or serves as an overlook] There is no safe way to view the site from the Interstate. The structure can be viewed from the rail tracks which run below the highway grade. It requires a short hike to get to the rail tracks; the Superior Hiking Trail east from the Spirit Mountain trail head will get you there.

I-35 at Thompson Hill
Southbound lanes near, northbound away. 

In the photo above the top of the 1938 Overlook can be seen along the northbound guardrail. This photo was taken from the Thompson Hill-Skyline Parkway Overlook, another historic feature.

Aerial view with photos from rail tracks

Another view of the top of the structure

The Mn DOT inventory sheet includes a description from the 1938 Annual Report of the Accomplishments of Roadside Development. Some 4,462 cubic yards of native stone were used to construct the wall. The report summarizes the project:
On the southerly approach into Duluth along T.H. #61, a beautiful panoramic view is obtained of the City proper with Lake Superior in the distance. This area is a natural stopping point for the travelling public to enjoy the unusual vista. Here under a W.P.A. setup, a stonemasonry concourse wall has been constructed to provide an area for parking which is separated from the highway traffic by a 6 foot island. Native stone was used throughout and provision was also made for pedestrian traffic by incorporating a flagstone walk along the concourse proper (Annual Report 1938:42).
The concourse, walkway and other grade level features are covered by grasses. 


The overlook wall seen from the rail grade





The wall is essentially a retaining wall for I-35. It is quite a massive and beautiful structure. Below, a 1948 aerial photo with arrows added pointing to overlook structure and roadway.

Note automobiles parked at overlook (MHAPO. (n.d.). Retrieved February 18, 2014,
from https://www.lib.umn.edu/apps/mhapo/)

Thompson Hill Overlook, Oct. 1997
(Susan Granger, Scott Kelly, and Kay Grossman. (1998, December). Historic Roadside Development
Structures on Minnesota Trunk Highways. Minnesota Department of Transportation)


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Conservation Building (NRHP)

Walker, MN

Craftsman-style, clapboard and shingle wildlife museum and civic building designed by Donald J.C. Parsons and built in 1934-36 under the SERA and WPA. 1

The building was added to the Register January 15, 2003.


The Leech Lake Chamber of Commerce and Walker Bay Spirits occupy the building.



1   National Register Property Details : National Register of Historic Places : mnhs.org. (n.d.). Retrieved March 4, 2014, from http://nrhp.mnhs.org/NRDetails.cfm?NPSNum=02001706
SERA - State Emergency Relief Administration
WPA - Works Progress Administration (Works Projects Administration, after 1939)

Minnesota Woman Roadside Parking Area

US Highway 59
Near Pelican Rapids

The Minnesota Woman Roadside Parking Area is located a couple of miles north of Pelican Rapids along the east side of US 59. It consists of a wayside rest area and historical marker.The marker commemorates the discovery of a prehistoric human skeleton, referred to as Minnesota Woman.

Monument text::
Minnesota Woman

Minnesota Woman -- the skeleton of a girl about 15 years of age -- was discovered at this point in 1931 by a highway repair crew. Although the skeleton has not been dated exactly, based on the site geology scientists believe it to be perhaps 10,000 years old. This would make Minnesota Woman one of America's oldest human skeletons.Two artifacts -- a dagger of elk horn and a conch shell -- were discovered with the bones. Archaeologists believe that the girl drowned in Glacial Lake Pelican, which had joined Glacial Lake Agassiz, a huge body of water that covered much of northwestern Minnesota at the end of the last ice age.Erected by the Minnesota Historical Society 1992.[Seals of the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Minnesota Historical Society]
The original historic plaque contained the same text but referred to the skeleton as "Minnesota Man" (see link above).  The 1992 plaque corrected that to read "Minnesota Woman."

Brief history of the Minnesota Woman:
During the summer of 1931, a highway construction crew unearthed a human skeleton while excavating a roadway along the eastern shore of Prairie Lake. The skeleton was found nine feet below the surface and was encased in laminated glacial clay. Archaeologists examined the bones and determined they were from a 15-year-old and dated back at least 10,000 and perhaps 20,000 years. To many scientists, the discovery of this skeleton is proof that a prehistoric people occupied this region of North America, arriving from Asia by the Bering Strait land bridge. An elk antler knife and unusual conch shell were discovered near the skeleton. - (Susan Granger, Scott Kelly, and Kay Grossman. (1998, December). Historic Roadside Development Structures on Minnesota Trunk Highways. Minnesota Department of Transportation.)


The marker was preceded by a small white metal sign which had been placed on the T.H. 59 right-of-way near this location. The text of that sign read: "The bones of The Minnesota Man of Pleistocene Age were found in this road cut June 16, 1931."


The parking area and marker were built by the Minnesota Highway Department in 1959. A hand-pump well was added in 1973.



Friday, March 14, 2014

Vineland Historical Marker

Vineland, MN
US Highway 169

The Vineland Historical Marker is located on the east side of Highway 169 along Mille Lacs Lake. The site consists of a parking area and a stone monument with a metal plaque with text addressing the battle between the Chippewa and Sioux which drove the Sioux to southern Minnesota. 

The marker was built in 1952 by the Minnesota Highway Department. The site also had two stone and concrete benches which are missing or removed, drinking water, two tables and two fireplaces, all no longer extant. The Vineland Marker is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

The marker was preceded by a 3' x 5' steel sign as part of the trunk highway marking program¹ of the 1930s. The sign had the same text as noted below.





"Izatys"

"In this vicinity stood the great Sioux village of 'Izatys' where Duluth planted the French arms on July 2, 1679. The settlement was visited by Father Hennepin in 1680. About 1750 the Chippewa, moving westward from Lake Superior, captured the village, and by this decisive battle drove the Sioux permanently into southern Minnesota." [Seals of the Minnesota Historical Society and the Minnesota Department of Highways]

Vineland Historical Marker, Oct 2013
Hwy 169 in background

Vineland Historical Marker, Aug. 1997
Minnesota Dept. of Transportation Historic Roadside Development Structures Inventory

Vineland is a major community of the Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa. From the state data sheet: The site is located within Kathio Historic District, an archaeological district that is a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register. The wayside rest is also located on the Mille Lacs Reservation and within Mille Lacs Kathio State Park.The historical marker was designed by A. R. Nichols and built by the Minnesota Highway Department in 1952. The site is classified as a roadside parking area. (Susan Granger, Scott Kelly, and Kay Grossman. (1998, December). Historic Roadside Development Structures on Minnesota Trunk Highways. Minnesota Department of Transportation.)

VINELAND, a village and port of Mille Lacs near its outlet, in Kathio, was named for the early Norse settlement on the northeast coast of North America in the year 1000, visited by numerous later voyages, which was called in the Icelandic language Vinland, meaning Wineland, from grapes found there. Its post office was called Vineland from 1891 to 1921 and Wigwam Bay from 1921 to 1929, at which time it was discontinued. Minnesota Place Names, A Geographical Encyclopedia, http://mnplaces.mnhs.org/upham/index.cfm



¹ An effort of the Minnesota Historical Society and Minnesota Highway Department dating to 1929. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Red River Trail: Crow Wing Section (NRHP)

Section of Mississippi River crossing leading to Crow Wing village site, part of extensive system of 19th-century fur-trade routes.¹ Added to the Register February 6, 1991.

This section of the Red River (Woods) Trail runs through Crow Wing State Park (which was also listed on the National Register in July of 1970) and can be hiked from the southern border of the park to the Mississippi River crossing. The remains of old Crow Wing village can be viewed in the park. 


Trail sign in old Crow Wing village






¹  National Register Property Details : National Register of Historic Places : mnhs.org. (n.d.). Retrieved March 12, 2014, from http://nrhp.mnhs.org/NRDetails.cfm?NPSNum=90002201


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Norris Camp (NRHP)

Norris Camp
Beltrami Island

One of two surviving CCC work camps in Minnesota, built in 1935 to house workers on Beltrami Island Project, a pioneering federal resettlement effort.1


Panorama view of camp
Added to the National Register September 19, 1994. The Camp is also a DNR wildlife management station.


View Norris Camp in a larger map



1   National Register Property Details : National Register of Historic Places : mnhs.org. (n.d.). Retrieved March 12, 2014, from http://nrhp.mnhs.org/NRDetails.cfm?NPSNum=94001080

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Rabideau CCC Camp (NRHP)

Minnesota Highway 39
Beltrami County
Rabideau CCC Camp/Chippewa National Forest

One of two surviving CCC camps in Minnesota, constructed 1935-41.1
Mess and Bakery
Inside the mess
Officers Quarters
Barracks
Inside the hospital
Superintendent's Building


View Rabideau CCC Camp in a larger map



National Register Property Details : National Register of Historic Places : mnhs.org. (n.d.). Retrieved March 9, 2014, from http://nrhp.mnhs.org/NRDetails.cfm?NPSNum=76001046

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Great Northern Railway Company Bridge (NRHP)

The Great Northern Railway Company Bridge is a "Through girder, swing span built ca. 1915 to accommodate tugboat traffic on Steamboat River between logging areas and sawmills." 1  

The bridge now carries the Heartland Trail over the Steamboat River in Cass County; the river runs between Steamboat Lake and Steamboat Bay of Leech Lake.

Fall 2013 approach repair work in progress

The span seen above would rotate (swing) 90' to allow timber barge traffic through.


View Larger Map



1 Minnesota Historical Society
http://nrhp.mnhs.org/NRDetails.cfm?NPSNum=80001990


Friday, March 7, 2014

District No. 132 School (NRHP)

Debs, MN

District No. 132 SchoolClassical Revival frame school designed by local contractors and built ca. 1915. Added to the Register October 27, 1988. 1




1  National Register Property Details : National Register of Historic Places : mnhs.org. (n.d.). Retrieved March 3, 2014, from http://nrhp.mnhs.org/NRDetails.cfm?NPSNum=88002083



Thursday, March 6, 2014

Orville P. and Sarah Chubb House (NRHP)

Fairmont, MN

Greek Revival residence of brick from town’s first brickyard, built in 1867 for an Old-Stock American townsite developer/Fairmont’s first physician and his wife. 1


The Martin County Preservation Association purchased the home in 1992. It is the oldest brick home still standing in Fairmont.


1 National Register Property Details : National Register of Historic Places : mnhs.org. (n.d.). Retrieved March 6, 2014, from http://nrhp.mnhs.org/NRDetails.cfm?NPSNum=95000616


Garrison Concourse - Historical Views

Both postcards appear to be from the 1940s.

The cars on the concourse may help date this postcard¹.

The concourse on Lake Mille Lacs, Garrison, Minn.
L.L.Cook Co., Milwaukee


This postcard¹ nicely shows the size of the concourse. Circa 1950 the walkways had been reduced to one north-south and one east-west walkway that intersected at the flagpole.


Airview of Garrison, Minn.
L.L.Cook Co., Milwaukee



¹ Personal collection

Monday, March 3, 2014

Fairmont Opera House (NRHP)

Fairmont, MN

Classical Revival brick performing arts center with Mankato stone trim designed by C. A. Dunham, built in 1901.1  Added to the Register July 2, 1980.






1 National Register Property Details : National Register of Historic Places : mnhs.org. (n.d.). Retrieved March 3, 2014, from http://nrhp.mnhs.org/NRDetails.cfm?NPSNum=80004530

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Nymore Bridge, Bridge No. 2366 (NRHP)

The Nymore Bridge was added to the National Register November 6, 1989. It is a "Large barrel-vault, reinforced concrete bridge built in 1917 using patented reinforcing system."1 The bridge is also included on the Minnesota Historic Bridge list.2

The bridge carried old 1st Street over the Mississippi River in Bemidji.

Nymore Bridge
Bemidji, MN

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

2 Minnesota Department of Transportation
Minnesota Department of Transportation. (n.d.). Retrieved February 11, 2014, from http://www.dot.state.mn.us/historicbridges/bridges/2366.html