History Lessons

It seemed a good location for a town, here where the Crow Wing River converges with the great Mississippi.

Once the scene of a major battle between the Dakota and Ojibwe Indians, it remained the northernmost European-American settlement on the Mississippi River for more than a century.

The lucrative fur trade drew voyageurs from the Northwest and American Fur Companies. A trading post was opened in 1823, followed by a river ferry and a branch of the Red River ox cart train. Territorial leaders soon settled here as well, helping it become one of the largest population centers in the state.

It ended, quickly. The railroad was expanding west, and instead of crossing the river here, as many had anticipated, the Northern Pacific was routed ten miles to the north. The town vanished, almost overnight.

All that remains now is an open space of land, a cemetery, and an empty house standing crooked on its foundation.

Jesus once talked to his Followers about the importance of investing their lives in things that will last. On earth, he said, things will rust and decay and disappear.

Heaven, however, has no ghost towns.

For wisdom to live today's moments in light of That Which Will Last,

[Historical Citings: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources]