Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Clearwater in Stearns County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Exploring The Mississippi Headwaters

 
 
Exploring The Mississippi Headwaters Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, October 24, 2013
1. Exploring The Mississippi Headwaters Marker
Inscription. After the American Revolution, the 1783 Treaty of Paris, signed by those representing the American Colonies and Great Britain, sought to establish the boundary of the new country. In the middle of the continent the boundary was to run east to west along a line from Lake of the Woods to the Mississippi River and then along a line located in the middle of the river to the southern boundary. No one knew the exact location of the river in the north nor did the map used to draw the treaty show its location. To establish the boundary, it became important to find the river's source.

The first American explorer of the Upper Mississippi River was Zebulon Pike, an army officer, who led a detachment of soldiers up the river in 1805. Mistakenly, he declared Leech Lake to be the river's source. Later explorers erroneously named Lake Julia and Cass Lake as its source.

In 1832 Henry Schoolcraft aided by Qzawindib, an Ojibway Indian, led an expedition which correctly identified the lake now regarded as the source of the Mississippi River. By this time the boundary was no longer in dispute, but Schoolcraft continued to search for the source of the mighty river. He gave the lake a new name, Itasca, from portions of two Latin words meaning true head, "Veritas caput."

After Schoolcraft's expedition, geographer Joseph Nicollet,
Exploring The Mississippi Headwaters Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, October 24, 2013
2. Exploring The Mississippi Headwaters Marker
east side of marker with duplicate text
in 1836, explored this region in order to make a detailed map of what is now Minnesota and the eastern parts of North and South Dakota. He visited five creeks flowing flowing into Lake Itasca: regarding the largest he said, "This creek is truly the infant Mississippi."

In 1891 the State of Minnesota set aside a large area around the Mississippi headwaters and in 1893 developed it as the first state park open to the public. Today, people can explore for themselves the source of the great Mississippi River.

seal of Minnesota Department of Transportation
seal of The Minnesota Historical Society, Instituted 1849

Erected by the Minnesota Historical Society
1997

 
Erected 1997 by the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Minnesota Historical Society.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Minnesota Historical Society marker series.
 
Location. 45° 25.14′ N, 94° 4.32′ W. Marker is near Clearwater, Minnesota, in Stearns County. Marker can be reached from Interstate 94 at milepost 177, 0.9 miles west of State Highway 24, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at the westbound Fuller Lake Rest Area. Marker is in this post office area: Clearwater MN 55320, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Exploring The Mississippi Headwaters Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, October 24, 2013
3. Exploring The Mississippi Headwaters Marker
At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Luxemburg (approx. 8.8 miles away); Maine Prairie Corners (approx. 9.9 miles away); Fort Holes (approx. 9.9 miles away); Petters Building (approx. 10.6 miles away); B.P.O.E. Building (approx. 10.6 miles away); D.B. Searle Building (approx. 10.6 miles away); St. Mary's Building (approx. 10.6 miles away); McClure & Searle [Building] (approx. 10.6 miles away).
 
Also see . . .
1. Mississippi River Facts. National Park Service. (Submitted on October 27, 2013.) 

2. Mississippi River. Wikipedia entry. (Submitted on October 27, 2013.) 

3. A Trip North to the Mississippi Headwaters. (Submitted on October 27, 2013.)
4. Mississippi Headwaters Region. (Submitted on October 27, 2013.)
 
Categories. ExplorationWaterways & Vessels
 
Fuller Lake Rest Area and Marker image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, October 24, 2013
4. Fuller Lake Rest Area and Marker
Fuller Lake Rest Area image. Click for full size.
By K. Linzmeier, October 24, 2013
5. Fuller Lake Rest Area
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 27, 2013, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 353 times since then and 57 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 27, 2013, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.
Paid Advertisement