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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Fisher in Polk County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Welcome to Minnesota / Glacial Lake Agassiz

 
 
Welcome to Minnesota<br>(<i>marker south side</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 16, 2012
1. Welcome to Minnesota
(marker south side)
Inscription.  
Welcome to Minnesota (south side)
Known to her citizens as the North Star State or the Gopher State, Minnesota has never claimed to be the Land of giants. But two famous American giants do hail from Minnesota. The giant lumberjack Paul Bunyan cut the pine forest to the north that helped build America's towns and cities, and the Jolly Green Giant towers over the south's lush corn, vegetable, and soybean fields, part of the midwest's fertile farm belt.

Like its neighbors, the thirty-second state grew as a collection of small farm communities, many settled by immigrants from Scandinavia and Germany. Two of the nation's favorite fictional small towns — Sinclair Lewis's Gopher Prairie and Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon — reflect that heritage. But the vast forests, the huge open pit iron ore mines, and the busy shipping lanes of Lake Superior attracted different settlers with different skills and made Minnesota a state of surprising diversity.

Best known for its 15,000 lakes, Minnesota has some 65 towns with the word "lake" in their names, not counting those whose names mean "lake" or "water"
Glacial Lake Agassiz<br>(<i>marker north side</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 16, 2012
2. Glacial Lake Agassiz
(marker north side)
in the Chippewa or Dakota Indian languages. There are also 13 "falls," 10 "rivers," 5 "rapids," and a smattering of "isles," "bays," and "beaches." Even the state name itself means "sky colored water" in Dakota. The mighty Mississippi River starts as a small stream flowing out of Minnesota's Lake Itasca, and a Minneapolis waterfall called Minnehaha inspired "the song of Hiawatha," even though Longfellow never actually visited the falls his poem made known to every schoolchild.

Minnesotans are proud of their state's natural beauty and are leaders in resource conservation and concern for the quality of life.

Glacial Lake Agassiz (north side)
As the Wisconsin Glacier slowly began to melt some 12,000 years ago, it created Glacial Lake Agassiz, the largest known glacial lake in North America. At its maximum the lake covered an area of over 110,000 square miles — more than the area of the combined Great Lakes — spread over parts of areas known today as Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Ontario. Over 400 feet deep in places it extended over 700 miles from its southern tip near Browns Valley to its northern tip near Hudson Bay.

While the glacier moved south during its advance, it built up a moraine on its southern end which ponded the melt waters when the ice began its retreat. Eventually the
Welcome to Minnesota / Glacial Lake Agassiz Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 16, 2012
3. Welcome to Minnesota / Glacial Lake Agassiz Marker
( Fisher's Landing Information Center and Rest Area in background)
water over flowed, cutting an outlet which created the present Minnesota River valley. Over approximately 3,000 years, as the glacier continued to melt, numerous beaches were created along the lake's shores. Still visible today these beaches are named after towns such as Herman, Tintah, Norcross, and Campbell.

About 7,500 years ago, when the glacier had receded far enough north that the melt waters began to drain into Hudson Bay, Glacial Lake Agassiz disappeared. A few undrained depressions — Upper and Lower Red Lake, Lake of the Woods, and Lake Winnipeg — remains today to remind us of the size of the glacial lake. The area it covered in northwestern Minnesota is almost flat and lakeless, and the rich land produces bountiful yields of wheat, sugar beets, potatoes, sunflowers, and other crops. Thanks to Glacial Lake Agassiz, the region is sometimes called "the bread basket of the world."
 
Erected 1989 by Minnesota Historical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureIndustry & CommerceSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Minnesota Historical Society series list.
 
Location. 47° 50.75′ N, 96° 50.998′ 
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W. Marker is in Fisher, Minnesota, in Polk County. Marker can be reached from U.S. 2 0.1 miles west of 370th Avenue Southwest, on the right when traveling west. Marker is located along the sidewalk in front of Fisher's Landing Information Center and Rest Area. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 37174 US Highway 2, Fisher MN 56723, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Alexander Griggs (approx. 9.9 miles away in North Dakota); Grand Forks County Courthouse (approx. 9.9 miles away in North Dakota); Sorlie Memorial Bridge (approx. 10 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  Lake Agassiz (Wikipedia). Numerous lakes have formed in this glacial lake basin. The best known are the Great Lakes of Manitoba; Lake Winnipeg, Lake Manitoba, and Lake Winnipegosis. In northern Minnesota, there are Roseau, Thief, Mud, and Maple lakes, besides three large lakes of that state, Rainy Lake, the Lake of the Woods, and Red Lake. (Submitted on December 17, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 16, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 40 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 17, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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Mar. 2, 2021