Motley in Morrison County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Motley began as a lumber and railroad town. Its location between two rivers ensured its future. Down these rivers logs were floated to sawmills built by Morrison on the Crow Wing and Curtis and Laurence on the Long Prairie. From there the rough-cut lumber was shipped by rail. As the white pine was logged out, clearings were cultivated. And the town became a farmers market-place. Opinions differ as to how the town got its name. Some holding that it was named after John Lothtrop Motley an American diplomat and historian. But the more popular version is that a Northern Pacific Railroad official looking at the rough-hewn frontiersmen gathered at the railhead exclaimed, "What a motley crew!" The word caught on and Motley had its name.
In this Centennial year 1987 we celebrate Motley's heritage and salute its future. This future is entrusted to the school children who dedicate this memorial as a centennial gift to their town.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars Settlements & Settlers • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1887.
Location. 46° 20.271′ N, 94° 38.703′ W. Marker is in Motley, Minnesota, in Morrison County. Marker is on Main Street East just east of U.S. 10, on the left when traveling east. Marker is located near the center of Motley Veteran's Memorial Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 49 Main Street East, Motley MN 56466, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Staples Station (approx. 7.3 miles away); "A Cloud of Barbed Arrows" (approx. 10.4 miles away); Here you stand at 4th & Main (approx. 10.4 miles away).
Also see . . .
1. Motley, Minnesota.
Motley was laid out in 1874. A post office has been in operation at Motley since 1873. In 1881, the Northern Pacific Railway built a 20’ x 40’ passenger station on the east side of 2nd Street (between Front Street and Main Street) and built a 24’ x 60’ freight depot on the west side of 2nd Street. A spur line ran south from the mainline along 4th Avenue to a planing mill that was located on the bank of the Long Prairie.(Submitted on October 4, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Motley, Minnesota History.
The village of Motley began its life early in the 1870's due to the Lake Superior and Puget Sound Railroad Company, which ran east to west, but the community was sustained by an active lumber industry. The earliest settler was Calvin Priestly, sent by the railroad company in the autumn of 1872. In 1878, H.B. Morrison built a large lumber mill. In 1881, Curtis and Lawrence also opened a mill one mile from the village-sawing lumber, shingles and lath. These two mills provided employment for arriving workmen and opened the door for settlement. Soon additional industries sprang up, as did a thriving retail community.(Submitted on October 4, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 4, 2022. It was originally submitted on October 4, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 137 times since then and 71 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 4, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.