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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Browns Valley in Traverse County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Browns Valley

The Continental Divide / The Browns Valley Man

 
 
Browns Valley Marker image. Click for full size.
October 30, 2021
1. Browns Valley Marker
Inscription.  
Browns Valley
The Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway begins with the birth of the river at the Continental Divide north of here. The river winds through colorful prairie and hardwood forest, skirting by farmsteads as it starts its' journey to join the Mississippi River near Minnesota's eastern border.

You'll find many towns and historical resources along this route that reveal more about the people who made this land their home. The route offers a wealth of recreational opportunities, including managed wildlife areas, six state parks and many accesses to canoe the river.

The Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway also provides travelers a chance to see native Minnesota prairie. Although now very rare, the prairie was once the predominant ecosystem in the state.

The Continental Divide
Today the Minnesota River travels a path that was charted as the result of glacial movements thousands of years ago.

At one time this was the southern shore of Glacial Lake Agassiz which stretched across much of Minnesota into the Dakotas and southern Canada. As Glacial
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Lake Agassiz reached the Continental Divide, it began draining south and created a large waterway called Glacial River Warren which cut the path for the Minnesota River Valley.

Figure Text:
Continental Divides
The dashed line indicates the approximate boundary of Glacial Lakes Agassiz in Minnesota.
Hudson Bay Watershed (in blue)
Superior Watershed (in yellow)
Mississippi Watershed (in pink)
Missouri Watershed (in purple)
Arrows indicate the current water flow.


The Browns Valley Man
By chance in 1933, amateur archeologist William H. Jensen discovered one of the oldest skeletons ever found in the United States.

Jensen noticed pieces of human bone and a stone weapon in a pile of fresh gravel dumped in Browns Valley. He went to the gravel's source and found more evidence of earlier civilizations. He then excavated the site, uncovering a prehistoric human burial pit and additional artifacts.

University of Minnesota anthropologists determined that the skeleton was a male, between 20 and 40 years old. It dates from the Paleo-Indian culture of 9,000 years ago.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Anthropology & ArchaeologyRoads & VehiclesWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1933.
 
Location.
Browns Valley Marker image. Click for full size.
October 30, 2021
2. Browns Valley Marker
45° 35.902′ N, 96° 50.909′ W. Marker is near Browns Valley, Minnesota, in Traverse County. Marker is on State Highway 28, 0.2 miles west of State Highway 27, on the left when traveling west. The marker is located at Sam Brown Valley Wayside Park west of Browns Valley. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Browns Valley MN 56219, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Wadsworth Trail (a few steps from this marker); Samuel Jerome Brown (approx. 0.4 miles away); Sam Brown Log House (approx. 0.4 miles away); Browns Valley Man (approx. 1˝ miles away); Travare (approx. 1.6 miles away in South Dakota); Ancient River Warren Channel (approx. 1.6 miles away in South Dakota); The Continental Divide (approx. 5˝ miles away in South Dakota); Roberts County Veterans Memorial (approx. 10.7 miles away in South Dakota). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Browns Valley.
 
Browns Valley Marker, from the east image. Click for full size.
October 30, 2021
3. Browns Valley Marker, from the east
Browns Valley Marker, from the west image. Click for full size.
October 30, 2021
4. Browns Valley Marker, from the west
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 4, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 4, 2021. This page has been viewed 283 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 4, 2021. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 22, 2024