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Black and white photograph of Pine woods at Lake Itasca, 1900.

Pine woods, Lake Itasca

Pine woods at Lake Itasca, 1900. Photographer unknown.

Black and white photograph of Outdoor activities at Itasca State Park, 1898.

Man seated by a tent at Lake Itasca

Outdoor activities at Itasca State Park, 1898. Photographer unknown.

Black and white photograph of Jacob Brower, 1897.

Jacob Brower

Jacob Brower, 1897. Brower was a surveyor who was instrumental in forming Itasca State Park and became the park’s first commissioner. Photographer unknown.

Detailed hydrographic chart of the source of the Mississippi River (Lake Itasca) and surrounding area completed by Jacob Brower in 1891.

Map of the source of the Mississippi River

Detailed hydrographic chart of the source of the Mississippi River (Lake Itasca) and surrounding area completed by Jacob Brower in 1891.

Black and white photograph of Jacob Brower at the Lake Itasca basin at DeSoto Lake, 1889.

Jacob Brower at DeSoto Lake

Jacob Brower at the Lake Itasca basin at DeSoto Lake, 1889.

The Creation of Itasca State Park

The Itasca forest during the late nineteenth century contained towering pines and numerous lakes. Individuals like surveyor Jacob Brower became captivated by the region and the wildlife that inhabited it. They recognized that the economic potential of northern Minnesota would change its landscape. Their effort to preserve Lake Itasca led them to contend with the lumber industry, public interests, and the politics that weaved between them.

Black and white photograph of the Ranger Residence at the Marcell Ranger Station, 1940.

Ranger's Dwelling at Marcell Ranger Station

The Ranger Residence at the Marcell Ranger Station, 1940.

Black and white photograph of the Marcell Ranger Station, c.1994.

Marcell Ranger Station

The Marcell Ranger Station, c.1994.

Marcell Ranger Station

Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) between 1934 and 1935, the Marcell Ranger Station exemplifies the core principles of the National Park Service's architectural philosophy: minimalist construction and use of native materials.

Map of Morrison County, c.1874.

Map of Morrison County

Detail view of a map reproduced in Alfred Andreas's An Illustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Minnesota. Chicago: A.T. Andreas, 1874. The map shows the location of the Belle Prairie Mission relative to Fort Ripley and Little Falls.

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