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Minnesota Motor Corps

The Minnesota Motor Corps was the first militarized organization of its kind in the United States. Comprised of volunteers and their vehicles, the corps existed for the duration of World War I. It provided disaster relief, transported troops, and aided police. The Motor Corps’ services proved crucial, but many viewed it as a state-sponsored police force that infringed on the rights of citizens.

Black and white photograph of Curtiss aircraft used for Dayton’s merchandise delivery, 1922.

Dayton’s Dry Goods Plane

Curtiss aircraft used for Dayton’s merchandise delivery, 1922.

Black and white photograph of the steamer Ethel Howard, 1898. The Ethel Howard, shown here at Central Point, delivered the bodies of victims of the sinking of the Sea Wing to Red Wing in 1890.

Steamer Ethel Howard

The steamer Ethel Howard, 1898. The Ethel Howard, shown here at Central Point, delivered the bodies of victims of the sinking of the Sea Wing to Red Wing in 1890.

Black and white photograph of National Guardsmen searching for survivors in the wreckage of the Sea Wing, 1890. The men at left are standing in the Sea Wing’s attached barge, Jim Grant. The Lake City steamer Ethel Howard is in the background.

National Guardsmen searching for survivors in the wreckage of the Sea Wing

National Guardsmen searching for survivors in the wreckage of the Sea Wing, 1890. The men at left are standing in the Sea Wing’s attached barge, Jim Grant. The Lake City steamer Ethel Howard is in the background.

Black and white photograph of rescue workers searching for bodies in the wreckage of the Sea Wing, 1890.

Rescue workers at the wreckage of the Sea Wing, Lake Pepin

Rescue workers searching for bodies in the wreckage of the Sea Wing, 1890.

Black and white photograph of the Sea Wing, c.1889. Its owners typically used it as a work boat, often towing log rafts down the Mississippi.

The Sea Wing

The Sea Wing, c.1889. Its owners typically used it as a work boat, often towing log rafts down the Mississippi.

Black and white photograph of the steamer Sea Wing, c.1889.

Steamer Sea Wing

The steamer Sea Wing, c.1889.

Sea Wing Disaster

The July 13, 1890, capsizing of the steamer Sea Wing on Lake Pepin and the deaths of ninety-eight of its passengers horrified Minnesota and the nation. The accident ranks among the most deadly on America’s inland waterways.

Black and white Photo print of the steamboats Itasca and War Eagle at the St. Paul levee, 1859.

Steamboats Itasca and War Eagle at St. Paul levee

Photo print of the steamboats Itasca and War Eagle at the St. Paul levee, 1859.

Black and white photograph of the ground level view of the Hennepin Bridge, c.1868.

First Suspension Bridge, Minneapolis

Ground level view of the Hennepin Bridge, c.1868.

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