||Site 13: Arv Hus Museum|
Main Street in Milan.
This museum contains exhibits from privately-owned sources and items donated to the Milan Arv Hus organization.
In the museum is the wonderful gift shop called Billy Maple Tree's. Locally produced items include rosemaling, hardanger, Norwegian knives, tina boxes, water colors, acrylics, photography, rustic timber frames, jewelry, pottery, willow furniture and home accents, rustic timber furniture and home accents, woven rugs, quilts, collage boxes, hand-knit items, books by local authors, cookbooks, bath and body products, handcrafted pens, shibori dyed items, and woodcarvings.
The Arv Hus Museum contains unique exhibits from privately-owned sources and items donated to the Milan Arv Hus organization. Owner and curator Billy Thompson has his sawdust artwork on display, as well as some beautiful hand-crafted wood frames showcasing the beautiful wood available locally. This museum contains a unique collection of vintage photos and other pioneer items from the culturally rich Milan area.
Spend an afternoon at the Arv Hus Museum. Historian and curator Billy Thompson has stories to tell that will keep you laughing all day!
Hours of the Museum are by appointment, chance or when the gift shop Billy Maple Tree's is open. If museum is closed, ask around town for Billy Thompson - he is usually not too far away. Group tours available, free admission.
|Site 14: Norwegian Stabbur |
From Milan go 3 miles east on TH 40, then turn south (right) for 1 mile and east again for 1/2 mile.
The Stabbur, a Norwegian pantry, is a freestanding building on the Don and Alta Peterson farm in rural Milan. A Stabbur is a granary built of wood (Scandinavia and Iberia) or stone (Iberia) and raised from the ground by pillars ending in flat stones or "mueles" to avoid the access of rodents. Ventilation is allowed by the grooves in its walls.
The stabbur was intended as a gift to the people of the United States from the people of Norway as a way of saying "thanks" for care packages sent to Norway after World War II. Halvard Pettersen of Vmstra, Norway, a restaurant owner and taxi cab driver, built the stabbur with his son in Norway. In a letter explaining his gift Pettersen writes, "Packages from America had to be picked up at the post office and then the children from the whole neighborhood would come to get a glimpse. It was quite an event at that time. Norway then had rationing of everything."
In 1987, the stabbur was shipped here in pieces. Shipping costs totaled $1,800 and it took 10 days to reassemble the building on the Peterson farm. The stabbur was used as an outdoor pantry where smoked hams were hung in the early days of Norway. The stabbur is an excellent granary since it is raised off the ground and is rodent proof. Today it is more decorative and is considered an antique. A photo essay of the construction of the stabbur can be found at the Arv Hus Museum in Milan as recorded by Billy Thompson.
This traditional Norwegian Stabbur is located on the family farm of Don and Alta Peterson.
||Site 15: Plover Prairie Nature Conservancy Preserve|
From Bellingham, take State Highway 75 about three miles north to County Road 38. Turn east, and drive for two miles. Turn north, and drive for one mile. At this intersection, the preserve is located on the northwest and northeast corners, and is marked by a large wood sign.
To visit the west unit, turn west and go two miles to State Highway 75. Turn north for one-half mile. The main sign and entrance are located on the east side of the highway.
Plover Prairie is truly unique in the plethora of plant and animal species that call this wet prairie home. Located in the heart of the Minnesota River Valley, Plover Prairie joins thousands of acres of state and federally owned lands to create a large block of habitat for plants and animals. The site's newest resident, the greater prairie chicken, is being restored through cooperative efforts with private and public agencies, and is now becoming more common to observe.
The preserve is adjacent to Lac qui Parle and Pyramid wildlife management areas, which are managed by the state, and two miles southeast of Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge.
Plover Prairie is a complex of wet lowland prairie feathering into mesic and dry prairie on higher ground. Among the scattered boulders and granite outcrops - the area's signature land feature - can be found large populations of small white lady's slippers, prickly pear cactus, Carolina foxtail, slender milk vetch, lotus milk vetch, water hyssop, mudwort, mousetail and soft goldenrod.
Along with the introduction of the prairie chicken comes the ability to observe the prairies' long-time residents such as Loggerhead shrike, Wilson's phalarope, short-eared owl, a number of nesting waterfowl, and the upland sandpiper and marbled godwit, both listed as species of special concern by the state. One of the butterflies residing at the preserve is the state-threatened Dakota skipper. A large number of mammals live on the preserve, including northern grasshopper mouse, plains pocket mouse, prairie vole, western harvest mouse, coyote and badger.
|Site 16: Lac qui Parle County Historic Center |
250 8th Ave S Madison, MN, the corner of Hwy 75 and 40 in Madison
The museum is a one-story log building built in 1972, with an 18 by 36 foot addition, a 30 by 46 foot auditorium addition and a 36 by 48 foot display addition with no steps and wide aisles, filled with exhibits. These exhibits include thousands of things relating to pioneer lifestyles including a pioneer kitchen, living rooms and bedroom, a pioneer store and church, pioneer tools, pioneer clothing and toys, the Ethel Melum Doll Collection (http://www.prairiewaters.com/attractions/museums/emdolls.php3) numbering about 300 dolls and three rooms of Ethel Melum's Victorian furniture, a new collection of Civil War artifacts (the largest in the area), a military display, Indian artifacts, a large game animal display, a county flora and fauna exhibit, Township Row, a photo gallery, a research library and an extensive obituary file.
The agriculture building is a steel covered building on one level, filled with agricultural tools and machinery, blacksmith shop tools and transportation items such as a surrey, sleigh, mail wagon, an old ambulance, stagecoach, covered wagon and street water wagon. Steel farm equipment and road building machines are displayed outdoors.
The four outbuildings that are not wheelchair accessible are: a fully furnished old country school from the 1880's; a log cabin from the 1870's furnished with pioneer items; the Robert Bly Study, an old country school completely restored, that world-famous poet-author-native son Robert Bly used as his work study when he lived on his farm located 2 to 3 miles southwest of Madison in the 1950's and 1960's; and a small gas station that is currently being restored.
May through October, Monday-Friday, 9am-4:30pm Sunday 1:30-5pm.
||Site 17: Marsh Lake|
Two miles south of Appleton on TH 119, turn right on the first gravel road marked by Marsh Lake Dam sign.
Marsh Lake is on the Minnesota River between Swift and Lac qui Parle Counties near Appleton, Minnesota. The Marsh Lake Dam is owned and maintained by the Corps of Engineers as part of the Lac qui Parle flood control project. The fixed-crest dam holds a conservation pool in the upper portion of the Lac qui Parle reservoir.
Marsh Lake lies within the Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area, managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. In the fall, as many as 150,000 Canada geese use the management area at one time. Marsh Lake is also home to Minnesota's largest breeding colony of American white pelicans and several species of fish. Creation of the reservoir and rerouting of the Pomme de Terre River in 1939 increased reservoir fish and wildlife habitat and created new colonial water bird habitat. It has crappie, walleye, northern pike and white bass.
|Site 18: Chippewa Prairie Preserve |
Located in Western Minnesota, Chippewa and Swift counties, between Milan and Appleton. From Milan, travel northwest on US Highway 59. Although several gravel roads take you to the preserve, the best route is the county line gravel road about three miles northwest of the Milan town limits. Take this road west two miles to the preserve. Park along the road. Please do not drive onto the preserve.
Chippewa Prairie lies along a reservoir of the Upper Minnesota River named Lac qui Parle (lake that speaks) by early French explorers. Chippewa Prairie represents a small remnant of the once vast northern tallgrass prairie ecosystem. Huge numbers of migratory waterfowl use Chippewa Prairie; it is a vital natural area link to Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge and Lac qui Parle (state) Wildlife Management Area.
Chippewa Prairie is a good example of mesic prairie, with its deep, black loam soil. The dominant plant species are big bluestem, little bluestem, and Indian grass. Other common plants include purple coneflower, Maximilians sunflower, and side-oats gramma. Rare plants on the preserve include slender milk-vetch and small white ladys slipper, both species of special concern.
Spring and fall are good times to observe migrating flocks of geese, ducks, sandpipers, godwits and other shorebirds. The bluffs above the marshes on the western edge of the preserve are recommended vantage points. In spring evenings, listen for the haunting call of the upland sandpiper. In mid-summer, visitors may see the short-earred owl, a species of special concern. A daytime hunter, this owl sails low over open country in search of small rodents. Other species of special concern include the marbled godwit and two butterflies, the Powesheik skipper and regal fritillary.
||Site 19: Red River Trails|
Six miles east of Dawson on TH 212, 5 1/2 miles north on County Road 31, then 1/2 mile east of the township road to Lac qui Parle Village, turning left on second street into the village to the bridge road.
In the early 1800s large-scale sheep raising pushed thousands of Scottish tenant farmers off the land. Forced to move by hunger, these peasant farmers relocated to Pembina, Canada, in the Red River Valley, where the Metis hunters, who were French and Indian, already lived.
In an effort to survive, these farmers began trapping and tried to market their furs. However, the Hudson Bay Company in Manitoba, Canada had a monopoly on fur trading. It was illegal to remove furs from Canada without an export license.
John Jacob Aster owned the American Fur Company in St. Paul and paid 2-4 times more for furs than the British. So, these peasant farmers built their own unique carts to transport furs and goods to St. Paul. The carts were made entirely out of wood for lightness and flotation and ease of repair. Rawhide held the carts together. The wheels were high so they wouldnt overturn. In fact, the wheels could be flipped over on the cart to use as a flotation device.
Routes ran along the river to provide the basics - water, wood and food. Regular cart service was established between Pembina and St. Paul by 1843. The Minnesota Valley Trail ran on each side of the Minnesota River. On the east side was the Fort Garry or Fort Abercrombie to Mendota Trail. On the west side, the Lac qui Parle to Red River Trail.
Remnants of the Lac qui Parle to Red River Valley Trail can be found on the virgin prairie hills in the Lac qui Parle Valley near Lac qui Parle Village.
The Lac qui Parle River Valley helps to define our sense of community. Local and former residents value a sense of home - a place for their roots.
|Site 20: Lac qui Parle Village |
Six miles east of Dawson on TH 212, 5 1/2 miles north on County Road 31, then 1/2 mile east on the township road to the village site.
This prairie town and its cemetery lie above the scenic Lac qui Parle River Valley. Between 1871 and 1884 the village was the county seat, the only commercial center in the county, and a rendezvous point for Scandinavian, German, Irish, English and eastern United States emigrants. A centennial marker stands near the village's first courthouse site. A cemetery ½ mile west of the village has early pioneers and a Civil War veteran buried in a beautiful prairie setting overlooking the river valley.
||Site 21: Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area and Refuge
Located on the lower end of Lac qui Parle Lake between Watson and Milan.
Lac qui Parle is a French translation of the name given to the lake by the Dakota Indians who called it the lake that speaks. If you visit in the spring or fall you'll understand why. The lake is a stop over for thousands of migratory Canada geese and other waterfowl.
Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area, or WMA, lies in Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle and Swift Counties. It is about 25 miles long, 1 to 3 miles wide, and encompasses more than 31,000 acres or over 48 square miles of land and water. Made up of wetlands, brushlands, woodlands, native prairie, and other grasslands and cropland. Lac qui Parle Lake (6,400 acres) and Marsh Lake (5,100 acres) are the most prominent features.
Natural wetlands and man-made impoundments provide habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds and aquatic furbearers. Most wetlands are near the lakes, but some upland areas contain marshes and smaller impoundments.
Intensive management is required for sustained wildlife production. More than 2,000 acres of corn food plots are planted each year by local farmers and WMA personnel to provide feed for geese, deer and other wildlife. Native prairie nesting cover is maintained by controlled burning. Tree plantings are established for winter and escape cover. Water levels of impoundments are manipulated to maintain aquatic plant growth and enhance wildlife habitat.
Public hunting is the primary recreational use of the WMA, although thousands of bird watchers and nature observers visit the area each year.
Geese are the most commonly hunted species, followed by duck, deer, and pheasants. Fox, raccoons, squirrels and rabbits are other species hunted on Lac qui Parle WMA.
Birdwatchers enjoy many song birds and waterfowl that use the WMA for nesting and as a migratory stopover. A bald eagle nest is located on an island in the Sanctuary. Anyone who likes to see abundant wildlife will enjoy a hike through the WMA. Within easy distance of woodlands, wetlands and prairie a variety of wildlife and plant species exist. Lac qui Parle's mix of hardwood, prairie and food plots have created a healthy deer herd. The sight of a whitetail or ducks at dawn are common almost any time of the year.
Trappers harvest from good populations of muskrat, mink, fox, raccoon and beaver. Permits are required to trap on the WMA.
Lac qui Parle and occasionally Marsh Lake have excellent crappie, walleye, northern pike and white bass fishing.
http://www.prairiewaters.com/attractions/stateparks/lqp_wildlife_mgt.php3 & http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/lac_qui_parle/index.html
|Site 22: Lac qui Parle Lake ("lake that speaks") |
Lac qui Parle is a French translation of the name given to the lake by the Dakota Indians who called it the lake that speaks. If you visit in the spring or fall you'll understand why. The lake is a stop over for thousands of migratory Canada geese and other waterfowl. You'll hear a chorus of honking, quacking, and other vocalizations. Paddle the lake, or cast a line and catch walleye, northerns, perch, or crappie. Explore one of the trails by foot or horseback. Visit the historic Fort Renville and Lac qui Parle Mission sites. While in the area, be sure to visit the 27,000 acre Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area.
If you are looking for a quiet place away from the city, this is the perfect place. Lac qui Parle is located on the Upper Minnesota River in western Minnesota near the South Dakota border. The nearest city, Minneapolis, is 120 miles away.
For all fishers, Lac qui Parle is known as the best walleye fishing place in Western Minnesota because the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources annually stocks the lake with walleye. There is also catfish, bluegill, small mouth bass and northern pike.
Boating, picnic areas, rest rooms, hiking trails and playgrounds are available. There are a total of 19 boat accesses (including canoe portages). It is also a great place to view wildlife. The Prairie Pot Hole Region is made of many small wetlands which can feed and shelter wildlife all year long. A flock of white pelican, rare to this part of the country, uses it as breeding grounds.
Hunting is also allowed. There are Canadian geese, mallard ducks, ring-necked pheasants, Hungarian partridge and the white-tailed deer in which you are able to hunt. Be sure to check with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for restrictions and regulations regarding public hunting.
||Site 23: Lac qui Parle State Park|
Lac qui Parle CSAH 33. About 140 miles west of the Twin Cities in the Minnesota River Valley, northwest of Montevideo between the towns of Watson and Milan
Shortly after 1826, an independent fur trader named Joseph Renville built a stockade overlooking the foot of Lac qui Parle. Within the stockade, Dr. Thomas Smith Williamson and Alexander Huggins founded the Lac qui Parle Sioux Mission in July, 1835. The missionaries translated the Gospel and several hymns into the Dakota language. They also completed the first dictionary of the language. At the mission, Minnesota's first cloth was also made. Lac qui Parle was designated as a state park in 1941.
The best way to learn more about Lac qui Parle State Park is to stop in at the park office for a map and information about what to see in the park. Although the park does not have a naturalist on staff, activities are offered occasionally throughout the summer.
The management of wildlife -- white-tailed deer, geese and other animals -- is a major success story. In the fall of 1958, only 150 geese were counted at Lac qui Parle. Since then, management practices have brought as many as 120,000 geese at one time. The geese arrive in early March from their primary wintering post at Swan Lake, Missouri. Spring migrations continue through April. In late September, geese arrive and continue until the last birds leave in early December. Flights of whistling swans pass over Lac qui Parle in April and November. Pelicans nest in the area on an one-acre island.
Lac qui Parle State Park contains river floodplain and prairie hillsides. Lac qui Parle Lake is approximately fourteen feet deep, perfect for diverse wildlife habitat. Spring and fall migrations can be spectacular at the park.
Byway featured attractions:
This 530 acre park consists of 56 campsites, 33 picnic sites, swimming beach, drive-in boat launch, 6 miles of hiking and horseback trails, horseback campgrounds, 5 miles of cross country ski trails and several canoe access points. In fall, thousands of geese descend on the lake in the nearby Lac qui Parle Wildlife Refuge. Bald eagles perch in nearby trees, deer are commonly seen, and fishing is popular year-round.
Daily or annual permits are required for all vehicles entering a state park. They may be purchased at the park headquarters.
|Site 24: Fort Renville |
From Watson, 1 mile northwest on TH 7, turn left on County Road 13, go 2.2 miles, turn right on CR 32 and go one mile - on left side of road.
Located in Lac qui Parle State Park on Lac qui Parle County CSAH, near Watson, 1 mile off the byway and 70 miles from Browns Valley. Fort Renville is marked with an interpretive sign for visitors.
As early as 1811 fur traders traveled and lived in the area, establishing posts to trade furs produced in the region. One of the most famous was Joseph Renville, the son of a French trader and a Dakota woman. The city and county of Renville were named for him, a man who had extensive knowledge of the wilderness and served as a guide for many expeditions.
In 1822, he established Fort Renville as a trading post at Lac qui Parle (Dakota for "lake that speaks") and served as a captain during the War of 1812. He was a courier, interpreter, and founder of the Columbia Fur Company. He earned respect that cut across the racial and ethnic boundaries of that era. Renville invited missionaries to establish the Lac qui Parle Mission near his post in 1835, and a trail with interpretive signs connects the two sites.
It was one of the most influential centers of white presence in Southwestern Minnesota, and the only outpost between St. Peter and the British Posts of the Red River. The fort prospered until Renville's death in 1846.
The Chippewa County Historical Society administers this Minnesota Historical Society site.
||Site 25: Lac qui Parle Mission Site|
The Lac qui Parle Mission historic site is northwest of Montevideo, Minn. From Montevideo, go north on U.S. Highway 59 for 6 miles, then go west on Chippewa County Highway 13 for 2.2 miles and turn right at the corner; the mission is on the right.
Missionaries came to Lac Qui Parle many years before white people arrived. A Wahpeton Dakota band established a village along a wide portion of the Minnesota River, today called Lac qui Parle. They hunted the prairies and valleys, and cultivated corn, beans, and squash.
Joseph Renville, an explorer and fur trader whose mother was Dakota and father was French, established a trading post nearby in 1826. The Renville family home became well known for its hospitality, and it was Renville who invited the missionaries to Lac qui Parle.
For many Dakota, the mission was their first intensive contact with Euro-American culture. As was common, the missionaries sought to impart not only Christianity, but also their culture and agriculture. Relationships were often difficult, full of misunderstandings and the inability to see the other's point of view. After the highly respected Renville died in 1846, Indian opposition to the mission grew. The missionaries left Lac qui Parle in 1854, but continued to work with the Dakota. Some 40 Indian Congregational and Presbyterian congregations in Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota today trace their roots to the Lac qui Parle Mission.
Translating the bible: The missionaries had begun developing a Dakota alphabet before they arrived at Lac qui Parle. Because Renville was fluent in French and Dakota, together they began translating the Bible at Lac qui Parle. One missionary would read aloud in French, Renville would translate orally into Dakota, and other missionaries would write what they heard. Dr. Thomas Smith Williamson, who led the mission team, finished the project in 1879. Renville also translated a dozen hymns into Dakota and even wrote one himself. A strong and noble hymn, it is undoubtedly the most widely known product of Lac qui Parle. "Dakota Hymn" is well known in English by its first line, "Many and Great, O God, Are Thy Things." The traditional Dakota music in hymnals is named "Lac qui Parle".
Overlooking the beautiful "Lake That Speaks" is the site of the Lac qui Parle Mission, begun in 1835. The wooden chapel, a Work Projects Administration building, stands on the site of the original adobe structure. A walking path and interpretive signs lead visitors through the tiny area where a small group of Protestant missionary families lived. The spring where they drew their water still runs clear and cold.
The chapel is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily from the last Sunday in April through Labor Day. Visitors may tour the site at any time year-round.
|Site 26: Camp Release State Monument |
Located 1 1/2 miles west of Montevideo on TH 212 in Lac qui Parle County.
The Camp Release Monument is located on the edge of Montevideo, Minnesota, just off Highway 212. The Camp Release Monument stands as a reminder of Minnesota's early state history. The Minnesota River Valley and Montevideo played an integral part in the Dakota War of 1862. In the fall of 1862, the Dakota tribes surrendered to Colonel Henry Hastings Sibley on a bluff overlooking the valley and the present day site of Montevideo. The monument was the first property added to the state park system and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
The Camp Release Monument was dedicated on July 4, 1894, commemorating the release of 269 captives and the surrender of about 1200 Dakota people at the end of the conflict. The four faces of the 51-foot granite monument are inscribed with information about the battles that took place along the Minnesota River during the conflict, the Dakota's surrender, and the creation of the monument.