Printing Plate for 1936 Condition Map of Minnesota Trunk Highways, Minnesota Department of Highways
The 1930s may have been a time of economic crisis but that did not stop all progress, including the improvement of roads. This 1936 printing plate for a Condition Map of Minnesota Trunk Highways, published by the State of Minnesota, Department of Highways, in St. Paul, Minnesota, shows that most major road surfaces throughout the state had been markedly improved during the previous decades. Instigated by popular demand and the pressure of the newly formed highway lobby, which was initially funded by bicycle manufacturers, the good roads movement led to the passing of federal and state legislation and the improvement of road networks, including those in Morrison County. According to the printing plate, Morrison County’s major roads in 1936 were either paved or bituminous. Both Highway 371 and the portion of Highway 10 from Royalton to Little Falls were paved. Highway 10 from Little Falls through Randall and Cushing was bituminous. State Highway 27, the main route running east-west across the center of the county, was also bituminous.
The printing plate was donated by the family of Mary (Johannes) Fietek (1921-1984). Mary was born in Culdrum Township on October 15, 1921, to Erich and Anna Johannes. She married Clement Fietek on October 15, 1940, and had five children – Clarence, Leon, Gregory, Anna and JoAnn. Mary worked as an inspector for Munsingwear Manufacturing of Little Falls for twenty years. One of Mary’s hobbies was apparently printmaking, which came as a surprise to her children who found the printing plate and a marking stamp set while cleaning out a closet in the family home.
For more information on the history of Minnesota roads, Minnesota Department of Transportation Library or call 651-366-3791 (toll free 800-657-3774).
Printing Plate for 1936 Condition Map of Minnesota Trunk Highways (Legend), Minnesota Department of Highways
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Lindbergh Bridge, Circa 1945
On May 21, 1936, the Little Falls Daily Transcript announced that Charles A. Lindbergh State Park in Little Falls, Minnesota, had received approval from the Works Progress Administration (WPA) for a $23,777 Lindbergh State Park development project. Work was to start the following week and employ between forty and fifty men. The project was to include construction of a “log kitchen shelter” in the picnic area and two bridges, one a replica of the suspension bridge built by the famous aviator, Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr. Named for Lindbergh’s father, U. S. Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr., the park got its start in 1931 when the family donated the home and 90 acre farm on the banks of the Mississippi River to the City of Little Falls. Initial improvements to the site were focused on clearing the property and securing the home from further damage by souvenir hunters. (For more information on the Lindbergh family see Morrison County Influentials). Both the log cabin shelter and the bridge exemplify the rustic design and construction that became the signature style of the WPA. Designed by architects H. Nielson and L. Taylor, the cabin was built in 1938 and includes a massive stone fireplace and peeled saddle-notched corner logs. While the bridge was later replaced, the log cabin shelter remains and continues to be used today. The original 110 acre site has expanded to encompass the park’s current size of 576 acres.
The hand-colored photo postcards of the bridge and the log cabin shelter were produced by the Albertype Company of Brooklyn, New York. Founded in 1890 by two brothers, Adolph and Herman Wittemann, the company produced over 25,000 collotype images of towns and cities from across the United States before it closed in 1952. The collotype, or albertype, was a fairly cheap and extremely accurate method for reproducing photographic images through a photomechanical process. Introduced in 1855 by Alphonse-Louis Poitevin, a French photographer and chemical engineer, the process was adapted by other French photographers and quickly became important to the photographic reproduction industry.
Log Cabin Shelter House, Circa 1945
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Our new porch is now undergoing painting by Phil Solem. That means that we need to have our guests enter the museum around back through the southeast courtyard door. We’ve got signs to direct you to the appropriate door.
Incidentally, you’ll be able to pass right by the tree recently chewed by a beaver, which is quite a dramatic sight.
Work on the porch should be finished within the next week or two, so please bear with us.
Phil Solem sanding the Weyerhaeuser Museum ramp for painting. Sept. 27, 2012
Phil Solem sanding ramp, Weyerhaeuser Museum porch awaiting paint. Sept. 27, 2012.
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