We haven’t had an outdoor adventure in far too long, sadly work schedules and other commitments have been taking their toll on our scamping adventures. Getaway plans are on the horizon, but in the meantime I have been looking back at outings we had in the spring until we once again find ourselves in the woods slapping mosquitoes.
This week I was looking back to our stay at Crow Wing State Park in the beginning of May. It was a beautiful weekend and our first trip out in our shiny, new Scamp. I hope you enjoy my walk down memory lane.
Within the borders of Crow Wing State Park are the remnants of Old Crow Wing, one of the most populous towns in Minnesota during the 1850s and 60s.
The town was at the confluence of the Crow Wing and Mississippi Rivers which provided easy travel routes and good hunting.
In early years, the region was inhabited by Dakota and there were conflicts with the Ojibwe who eventually gained control over the area.
By the late 18th century, European fur traders were in the area and a trading post was opened in 1823. The town slowly grew around it.
The economy boomed and three churches were established, the remains of a small cemetery are visible near the site of the Catholic church.
At its peak, there were between 600-700 residents in the town, approximately half were Ojibwe.
Clement Beaulieu ran the American Fur Company’s trading post. His home is the oldest standing structure in Minnesota north of St. Anthony Falls and was considered a mansion when it was built in 1849.
But the success of the town came to a quick end.
In 1868, the Ojibwe were relocated to the White Earth Indian Reservation. And in 1871, railroad magnate James J. Hill decided to route his Northern Pacific Railroad over the Mississippi in Brainerd, 10 miles north of Old Crowing.
Most of the town’s residents had moved on by 1880.
Today, Crow Wing State Park is on the National Register of Historic Places.