Sunday, May 25, 2014

Whitefish Creek Bridge (Bridge 3355)

Wigwam Bay
US Highway 169

This bridge carries Highway 169 over Whitefish Creek at Wigwam Bay, Mille Lacs Lake. It was designed by the National Park Service and built by the CCC in 1939, one of several area road features built by the Garrison CCC Camp.

Whitefish Creek Bridge (Bridge 3355), Oct 2013
(east railing)

West headwall

West railing

This bridge probably used granite quarried at the Isle-Warman granite area by the Cold Spring Granite Company.

Whitefish Creek Bridge (Bridge 3355), Aug. 1997
(east railing)

from 1939 bridge plan - MnDOT

1920 bridge - reinf. concrete slab span

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Garrison Rest Area - Mille Lacs Lake Wayside

Garrison, MN
US Highway 169, just south of Garrison.

This rest area was constructed in 1937-1938 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) working in cooperation with the Department of Highways and the National Park Service. Significant changes were made beginning in 1969.

The wayside had a kitchen shelter (partially demolished 1998) built by the CCC in 1937 on a rise in the southern half of the area, two brick picnic shelters near the parking area (1969), a restroom building (1969), and two drinking fountains (1969). The geological marker is missing and the restrooms replaced with porta-johns.

Geological Monument (1953) pedestal, the missing plaque read:
Geology of Minnesota. Mille Lacs Lake Region.

This part of Minnesota was covered by glacial ice, several thousand feet thick, on at least four occasions during the last million years. As the glaciers moved in from Canada they brought with them enormous quantities of glacial drift -- clay, sand, gravel, and boulders of granite and limestone --which was deposited in sheets or in irregular hills and depressions along stationary ice fronts. One such zone, a terminal moraine, formed during the last or Wisconsin stage of glaciation 10,000 years ago, encircles Mille Lacs on the west and south, from Nicholas to Isle, and effectively dams the water to form the second largest lake in the state.  
Mille Lacs is 18 miles long and 14 miles wide. Its surface is 1,249 feet above sea level and its depth -- 30 to 40 feet -- is quite uniform throughout. The overflow of the lake is discharged through the Rum River which flows from Vineland to Anoka about 70 miles to the south, where it empties into the Mississippi. 
Erected by the Geological Society of Minnesota in cooperation with the Department of Highways, State of Minnesota, 1953.

Boat launch

Parking area

The rest area encompasses a large area along Highway 169, beginning in the south with an access road off Hwy 169 which continues to the parking areas, and the land between the highway and access road. The state data sheet notes, "The overall integrity of the property has been changed considerably."¹

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

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Fond du Lac Historical Marker

Mn Highway 23
Fond du Lac

This site consists of a small roadside parking area and a stone pedestal with a metal plaque historical marker.

Text of Metal Plaque
"Fond Du Lac. Fond du Lac was incorporated in 1857 and became a part of the city of Duluth in 1895. This is the site of a major Chippewa Indian settlement from the 16th through the 19th centuries and is situated on the early canoe route along the St. Louis River from Lake Superior to Lake Vermillion and the upper Mississippi. Daniel Graysolon, Sieur du Lhut, visited the site in 1679. The American Fur Company established a trading post in 1817. Louis Cass camped here in 1820 while searching for the source of the Mississippi River as did Henry R. Schoolcraft in 1826. The Chippewa Indian treaty negotiated by Cass was signed at Fond du Lac in 1826. 
"A branch of the Superior-St. Paul Military Road was built to Fond du Lac about 1856, and the first railroad to reach Duluth -- the Lake Superior and Mississippi -- was constructed to the settlement in 1870. Erected by the St. Louis County Historical Society in cooperation with the Minnesota Highway Department 1956."

The site was built as part of a 7.1-mile roadside development project along T.H. 23 in 1956. The plans were signed in October of 1955 by Harold E. Olson (Engineer or Roadside Development Division), E. J. Rowland (Engineer of Lands and Right-Of-Way), R. J. Wolfangle (Engineer of Plans), Walter Schultz (Assistant Engineer of Plans and Surveys), L. H. Miller (District Engineer), G. G. Gladman (Engineer of Plans and Surveys), and J. C. Robbers (Asst. Chief Engineer). The project also included planting Colorado Spruce and American Elms in the grassy median on the divided roadway.¹

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

Monday, May 12, 2014

Hamm Brewing Company Beer Depot

East Grand Forks, MN

Trackside brick refrigerated warehouse built in 1907 by St. Paul-based brewery to serve its expanding market.¹ Added to the Register September 20, 1984.

¹ National Register Property Details : National Register of Historic Places : (n.d.). Retrieved March 24, 2014, from

Monday, May 5, 2014

Thompson Hill Overlook - Historical Views

Highway 61 approaching Duluth from the south was designated Highway 1 until sometime between 1932 and 1940. The postcard¹ below shows an early rest point at Thompson Hill.

View from rest point on Highway No. 1, entrance to Duluth 
Published by the Duluth Photo Engraving Company

A gentleman appears to be reading a marker on the left of the scene. 

¹ Personal collection