Archive for July 2007

July 18, 2007


Big Stone County
Founded: 20 February 1862

• Named after Big Stone Lake. The name was a translation of a Sioux name for the outcrops of granite and gneiss found in the Minnesota Valley nearby.
Evidence of recent prehistoric occupancy of Big Stone County by an Indian-like race abound. Following the Indian outbreak, western Minnesota was practically deserted, except for soldiers stationed at various points, who patrolled the frontier to protect the settlements farther east. Thus, Sioux bands of Sisseton and Walperton continued for some years to wander over the nearby Dakota prairies to which they had fled. Fear of all Indians was intense at this time. Settlement of the Big Stone area was thus delayed. In August 1870, there were 6 houses in the County, and 2 families. Following Government surveys made in 1871 and 1872, people came in gradually, and by the spring of 1875, there were 85 families in the County.

Major Industries: Farming, granite mining.

Population: 5820 (2000 Census)

Cities: Barry, Beardsley, Clinton, Correll, Graceville, Johnson, Odessa, Ortonville.

County Seat: Ortonville


Total: 522 sq. miles.
Land: 497 sq. miles
Water: 31 sq. miles


Big Stone County is situated on the western border of the State almost midway between the north and south boundaries. It has Traverse County and a part of Stevens County on the north, Stevens and Swift Counties on the east, Lac qui Parle County and the Minnesota River on the south, and the Minnesota River, Big Stone Lake and the State of South Dakota on the west. The county has a total area of 522 square miles of which 31 are water.

Recreational opportunities:

Hunting and Fishing.

Public Recreation Sites
• Ortonville Golf Course.
• Graceville Golf Course.
• Toqua Park
• Big Stone Lake State Park
• Bonanza State Park and Education Center.
• Minnkota Archery Range.
• Big Stone Federal Wildlife Refuge

Upcoming Events
• Big Stone County Fair, July 12 to 15, 2007.
• For a complete list of events in Big Stone County, visit

Thanks to the Big Stone County Website for the information!

Information gathered by Eric Anunobi, Sesquicentennial Fellow

County of the week – Benton County

July 18, 2007

Here is another interesting county, check out the facts, and add any that you know of! 

Benton County
Founded: 27 October 1849

• Named after Thomas Hart Benton, a U.S. Senator from Missouri, who lived from 1821 to 1851
• Fur trading and lumbering first drew settlers to the County.

Major Industries: Agriculture, services, granite mining, non-durable goods,
  manufacturing, retail, durable goods manufacturing.

Population: 34, 226 (2000 Census)

Cities: Foley, Gilman, Rice, Ronneby, Royalton, Sartell, Sauk Rapids,
  St. Cloud


• Lake Maria State Park
• Charles A. Lindbergh State Park
• Benlacs State Wildlife Management Area.
• Bibles State Wildlife Management Area.
• Lions Park
• Riverside Park.
• Sartell State Wildlife Management Area.
• Wilson Park.
• Wisneski State Wildlife Management Area.

Other Places to Visit
• Benton County Historical Society and Museum.

Upcoming Events
• Benton County Fair, July 31, to August 5, 2007.
• For a complete list of events in Benton County, visit

Thanks to the Benton County Website for the information!

Information gathered by Eric Anunobi, Sesquicentennial Fellow

Hot Dish versus Casserole

July 10, 2007

Bryan brings up a great issue below. Is it hot dish or casserole? We wanted to go to the experts to find out. Please let us know what you think.

  Hot dish or casserole – which do you use?

  1) Hot dish
2) Casserole

View Results
Make your own poll 

So you think you’re a Minnesotan?

July 9, 2007


 We hope you tried at least one of the ten activities that were given last week! Here are 10 more things to make sure that you are enjoying the warm days and cool nights that we have here in Minnesota.

140. Explore the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, the beautiful artworks and architecture
139. Check out any of the 87 county fairs
138. Go sailing on Lake Superior
137. Go strawberry picking on a warm summer afternoon
136. Visit one of the many farms and milk a cow
135. Lay on the dock on a warm summer night and count the stars
134. Hike on one of the many trails in Minnesota
133. Attend a pot luck, and be sure to enjoy the casseroles
132. Explore the beginning of the Mississippi river
131. Purchase fresh corn and tomatoes from a roadside farmer’s market

Feel free to send in any activities that you enjoy doing in Minnesota!

Posted by: Laura Baratto on July 9, 2007

The Sesqui Banner Joins the Mountain Iron Parade

July 6, 2007

Thanks to Arrowhead Library System Director Jim Weikum for sending the following update on the Sesquicentennial Banner…

The Sesquicentennial banner appeared on the Wednesday, July 3 in the Mountain Iron Fourth of July parade. The banner is currently on display in the Mountain Iron Public Library where it was also presented by library director Sally Peterangelo at the Library’s Tuesday Tea.

Banner in Mountain Iron MN

Anoka County

July 5, 2007

Continuing with our spotlight on Minnesota Counties this week features Anoka, Becker, and Beltrami. As always, if you know of any celebrations, county fairs, or special tidbits your county is known for, e-mail us at and we’ll include your information when we feature your county!

Anoka County
Founded: 23 May 1857
• The area of Anoka County was first founded by fur traders in 1850
• The word Anoka originates from a Native American word meaning “both sides”
Population: 320,803 (2005 Census)
Major towns: Anoka, Coon Rapids, Blaine, Fridley
Acres: 446 square miles
Location: Anoka County is located in the eastern section of the state, northeast from the Metro area.
Fun facts
• The city of Anoka is considered the Halloween Capital of the world. Be sure to stop by in October for haunted houses and candy!
• This year (2007) Anoka County is celebrating its Sesquicentennial. Happy 150th Birthday!
Public Recreation Sites
• Bunker Hills Regional Park
• Lake George Regional Park
• Locke County Park
• Mississippi West Regional Park
Other Places to Visit
• Wargo Nature Center
• Bunker Beach Water Park
• Anoka County Historical Society
Upcoming Events
• Anoka County Fair, July 24th-29th
• Ghosts of Anoka Tour – summer months only
• Anoka County Heritage Home & Garden Tour, July 15th

**Thanks to the Anoka County Website for the information!

Information gathered by Claire Plank, Sesquicentennial Fellow

Beltrami County

July 5, 2007

Beltrami County
Founded: 17 May 1897
• Named after Italian explorer Count Beltrami
• Was originally part of Becker County, one of the state’s 9 original counties
Population: 43,169
Major towns: Bemidji, Blackduck, Funkley, Kelliher
Acres: 1,604,695
Location: Containing parts of the Red Lake and Leech Lake Indian Reservations, Beltrami county is in Northern Minnesota
Fun facts
• There are 16,887 acres of lakes and 459,851 acres of state forest in Beltrami County
Public Recreation Sites
• Lake Bemidji State Park
• Chippewa Forest
• Red Lakes
Other Places to Visit
• Beltrami County History Center
Upcoming Events
• Beltrami County Fair, July 25th-29th
**Thanks to the Beltrami County and Explore Minnesota websites for the information!

Information gathered by Megan Jung, Sesquicentennial Fellow