151 Wagon Roads of Minnesota 1879
Rand, McNally & Co.'s Minnesota
Rand, McNally & Co.’s map of Minnesota is part of a larger body of work published in the Rand, McNally & Co.'s Business Atlas (1878-1879). William Rand and Andrew McNally were American publishers of maps, atlases, and globes that served a number of purposes including reference, travel, educational books, and business. The company was founded in 1856, and in 1872 Rand, McNally & Co. produced its first map which was a railroad guide. Their 1878-9 Business Atlas featured large scale maps of each U.S. state and its territories, along with a complete reference map of the world, and detailed illustration of the entire railroad system of North America.
This very detailed historic state map of Minnesota is a guide detailing its railroad system, and it identifies cities, towns, post office, railroad stations, villages, counties, islands, lakes, and rivers, among other locations. The map was created to accurately and completely illustrate the state of Minnesota with particular emphasis on the railroad system and the commercial usefulness of the map.
In the maze of lines and names, one can find notable cities such as the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Sauk Rapids, Litchfield, Kerkhoven, Creswell, Jackson, Cambridge, Mankato, Alexandria, and the township of Beaver Falls. Counties are identified using uppercase letters, and Minnesota’s hundreds of lakes, along with rivers are also illustrated across the map. Lake Superior is clearly identified among all the detail, and one can also find Swan Lake, Red Lake, the Minnesota River, and the Red River of the North as well. The map further shows portions of the State of Wisconsin including Chippewa Falls and Grantsburg also known as the “Gateway to Crex Meadows-the largest wildlife area in Wisconsin, and it also shows parts of North Dakota.
This map not only shows the location of places, but it also identifies railroads and their routes. The Red River and Manitoba Railroad, Chicago and Northwestern Railway, Northern Pacific Railroad, Saint Paul and Pacific Railroad, and the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway are all present on the map, giving an idea of the extensive railroad system that Minnesota utilized early on. Also identified on the map are Pembina Chippewa Indian Reservation located on the along the Red River of the North between Minnesota and North Dakota, and the Nett Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota.
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