Sunday, June 29, 2014

Orr Roadside Parking Area (Historic Roadside Structure and NRHP)

Highway 53
Orr City Park. Orr, MN

This roadside feature is one of several that have also been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.¹

The structure includes an overlook wall and fishing pier at the northern end of the site. The wall was built in 1938 by the CCC. The fishing pier was built by the City of Orr and the Mn DNR in 1989.

South of the overlook wall is a picnic shelter built by the Orr Lions Club in 1980 and a foot bridge (1989) which spans a drainage ditch. The 1989 footbridge replaced an earlier one.

Overlook wall:




Parking area and wall




Fishing pier





¹    National Register Property Details : National Register of Historic Places : mnhs.org. (n.d.). Retrieved June 27, 2014, from http://nrhp.mnhs.org/NRDetails.cfm?NPSNum=02000937




Saturday, June 28, 2014

Northern Pacific Passenger Depot (NRHP)

Wadena, MN

County's only remaining passenger depot, a standardized brick replacement depot (1915) that spurred city's growth.¹








¹   National Register Property Details : National Register of Historic Places : mnhs.org. (n.d.). Retrieved June 21, 2014, from http://nrhp.mnhs.org/NRDetails.cfm?NPSNum=88003012

Friday, June 27, 2014

Big Winnie General Store - Winnibigoshish Resort (NRHP)

US Highway 2
Bena, MN


Big Winnie General Store is a welcome stop on US 2 between Grand Rapids and Bemidji. The store has been recently renovated and offers everything from fresh burritos to Jack Daniels. The store has two cabins and a full service campground, updated remnants of the earlier resort. The resort was added to the National Register May 23, 1980.¹







¹  National Register Property Details : National Register of Historic Places : mnhs.org. (n.d.). Retrieved June 20, 2014, from http://nrhp.mnhs.org/NRDetails.cfm?NPSNum=80001989

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Cut Foot Sioux Ranger Station (NRHP)

Minnesota Highway 46
Chippewa National Forest, Itasca County

The first Ranger Station at Cut Foot Sioux was located on the north shore of Little Cut Foot Sioux Lake, northwest of Deer River. The location was chosen because it was an area that had previously been used by Indians. The one room building was added to the Register August 7, 1974.¹ 




The key to the station and a guided audio tour can be checked out at the Cut Foot Sioux Visitor Center.

The second Ranger Station was a two story building seen here. The third building, circa mid-1930s, remains in use as a bunkhouse for seasonal staff.


¹  National Register Property Details : National Register of Historic Places : mnhs.org. (n.d.). Retrieved June 19, 2014, from http://nrhp.mnhs.org/NRDetails.cfm?NPSNum=74001026


District Ranger Harley Hamm at the Entrance to the First Ranger
Station of the Minnesota National Forest 09/1958
(The National Archives)




Saturday, June 14, 2014

Garrison Pedestrian Underpass (Bridge 5265) (Historic Roadside Structure and NRHP)

Garrison, MN
US Highway 169

The Garrison Pedestrian Underpass (Bridge 5265) carries the northbound lanes of Highway 169 over a small creek near the north entrance of the Garrison Rest Area.



East railing

At construction, pedestrians walked under the highway but above the water on a steel culvert one level above the water. The bridge was built in 1938 by the Mille Lacs Lake CCC camp of Garrison. The underpass led between the Mille Lacs Lake CCC camp and the western shore of the lake.

Garrison Pedestrian Underpass (Bridge 5265), Aug. 1997
Minnesota Dept. of Transportation Historic Roadside Development Structures Inventory

The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.¹

Page from original bridge plan




¹ National Register Property Details : National Register of Historic Places : mnhs.org. (n.d.). Retrieved June 14, 2014, from http://nrhp.mnhs.org/NRDetails.cfm?NPSNum=98000681

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

New Duluth Overlook - New Duluth Scenic Overlook

Mn Highway 23
West Duluth / New Duluth

This roadside parking area, built circa 1958, is available to travelers leaving or approaching Gary-New Duluth on Highway 23. The present site has two remnants of the original overlook; poured concrete footings for the original wall and a stone pier at the west end of the wall. The site looks out over the St. Louis River, seen below in these mid-May photographs.

Original concrete footing visible at ground level

Stone pier from original wall

In 1980 large broken boulders of granite were placed along the footing.




The wall was specified on the plans to be 200' long with a curving overlook bay at its midpoint. It was to be 18" thick and 2' tall and built on a concrete footing. The wall was anchored with 26"-square, 28"-tall stone piers at 20' intervals. There was to be a 6'-wide asphalt-paved walkway along the inside of the wall that was lined with a stone curb. Historic photos indicate that the site was actually built with pairs of beams (probably steel) between the piers, rather than the stone superstructure drawn on the plans.¹


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


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Old Wadena Historic District (NRHP)

Northwest of Staples

The Old Wadena Historic District is a townsite established in 1856 to serve travelers on Red River Trail route; former site of trading post, ferry crossing, and area's first farming activity.¹ This was added to the National Register October 9, 1973.


County Park sign

History signs at Old Wah De Nah

4th and Main, Old Wadena

Ferry crossing

Woods Trail crossing at Crow Wing River

This is now a Wadena County Park.


¹  National Register Property Details : National Register of Historic Places : mnhs.org. (n.d.). Retrieved June 7, 2014, from http://nrhp.mnhs.org/NRDetails.cfm?NPSNum=73000997

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Big Pine Lake Roadside Parking Area

Mn Highway 18
Pine County


Big Pine Lake Roadside Parking Area consists of a partially paved parking area, a boat launch, and a dam on Pine River at the north end of Big Pine Lake. The site was built circa 1960.

It is not one of the more remarkable historic roadside structure sites.

1937 WPA dam

The bridge (8921) carrying Hwy 18 over the Pine River was built in 1956.¹

Parking area lake access sign




¹ Historic Roadside Development Structures on Minnesota Trunk Highways (1998)