Collections Carousel – Charles A. Lindbergh State Park Shelter and Bridge Postcards

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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