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.
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.
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.
Former squatters and lumberjacks from the Beltrami Island area in Northern Minnesota. When the land was bought up by the government, this home-Northern Minnesota Pioneers' Home-was established. All these men are over seventy." Photographed by John Vachon for the Farm Security Administration in 1939.
Mrs. Cornelius and son standing by their log house, homesteaded in 1912.They were resettled as part of the Beltrami Island reforestation project. Photographed by Paul Carter for the Farm Security Administration in 1936.