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

A Sea of Grass

A Sea of Grass Marker image. Click for full size.
April 15, 2022
1. A Sea of Grass Marker
Inscription.  When the wind blew it looked like waves upon the sea. This was the sight that greeted the explorers and then later settlers to southwestern Minnesota. Home for centuries to American Indians, this was a unique sight to people from the forested eastern United States. Stretching from Illinois to the Rocky Mountains was grass growing up to six feet high, broken with scattered trees near lakes and streams, this land lay waiting to be tilled.

Called the prairie, which is a French word for meadow, this expanse is duplicated in few other parts of the world; including the pampas of Argentina, and the Black Earth Belt of Russia. There are three types of prairie, the short grass, the mix grass and the tall grass prairie. It was the tall grass prairie that covered southwestern Minnesota where three grasses grasses dominated. They were the Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardi), Indian Grass (Sorghastrum nutans) and Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum).

Pollen records appear to indicate that prairies were established following the retreat of the Wisconsin Glacier some 18,000 years ago. The pattern of grass was maintained over the following years
A Sea of Grass Marker at the Adrian East Rest Area image. Click for full size.
April 15, 2022
2. A Sea of Grass Marker at the Adrian East Rest Area
Click or scan to see
this page online
by moisture or lack thereof, fires, and the fact that once a prairie sod is established it is hard for other seedlings to compete. Today the prairie remains only in small patches in reserves or untillable areas. Most of the trees you see were planted as shelter belts by the homesteaders and later farmers. Although the prairie disappeared after nourishing the buffalo (bison) for years, it still continues to nourish. The rich farmlands of the corn belt, that help feed the nation, are the direct result of thousands of years of rotted grass roots.
Erected 1995 by the Minnesota Historical Society.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureEnvironment. In addition, it is included in the Minnesota Historical Society series list.
Location. 43° 38.219′ N, 95° 58.869′ W. Marker is near Adrian, Minnesota, in Nobles County. Marker is on Interstate 90 at milepost 24,, 5.4 miles east of County Highway 3, on the right when traveling east. Located at Adrian Rest Area - Eastbound, on the south side of Interstate I-90. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Adrian MN 56110, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fire on the Prairie (within shouting distance of this marker); Military Highways
Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
(approx. 0.7 miles away); Prairie Life (approx. Ύ mile away).
Credits. This page was last revised on April 23, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 17, 2022. This page has been viewed 103 times since then and 48 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 17, 2022.

Share this page.  
Share on Tumblr

CeraNet Cloud Computing sponsors the Historical Marker Database.
Paid Advertisements

Mar. 30, 2023