My father-in-law had some pictures that he saved from his parents. These pictures show his parents, relatives, and friends as they lived in the Arrowhead region of Minnesota as they homesteaded the area. When my father-in-law passed away I found these albums in a old suitcase as I was cleaning out his house.
These are one of a kind pictures that show the life his parents had up on the Iron Range. They worked in the iron ore mines near Hibbing and Virginia Minnesota. They also traveled within the state as well. Spent a lot of time near Lake Kabetogama where they built a cabin and enjoyed the wilderness along with all the outdoors can offer.
These pictures give a historical perspective and lifestyle of the hard working people who settled in the northern part of the state. I have shown some of these pictures in a couple of outdoor sites and had great interest in them by people visiting those sites. I also had Hubbard County ask me if they could publish a couple of photo’s I have from that county. They used one of the photo’s in their annual tourist information booklet.
Hope you enjoy these vintage photo’s.
This was from 1923, showing a good day of hunting snowshoe rabbits. You can see the canvas tent where they would spend the night.
Taking a dip in Lake Kabetogama on a summer day. This was 1936. The stringer of fish were very full back in the day. I was told that live bait was mostly used. Minnows that they netted themselves. They didn’t have all the fancy gear we have today but sure caught the fish.
This was one of a few CCC Camps in northern Minnesota. About a mile from where I deer hunt there was a CCC camp at one time. You can still see the foundations of buildings that housed the workers. Civilian Conservation Corps was a public works relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the US for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families, ages 18 to 25 as part of Rossevelt’s New Deal.
We have big semi trucks to deliver our goods these days. Back then dog sleds were very important in delivering goods to the few corner store’s that were operating up on the range. I’m realy blessed to have these picture’s so I can share them with you. Dog sleds were also used by some for transportation in some areas and for trapping and hunting.
One of the neighbors hauling branches to clear a spot for their homestead on Lake Kabetogama in 1932. All of the work done on these homesteads were done by hand. Took longer to build up the homestead but it had quality workmanship. All of the timber that was used was cut right on the property or nearby.
This is also a unused post card from northern Mn. showing a couple of workers cutting lumber for building homesteads. The lady is dressed to kill. Well it is an old saying, but in this case it’s for real, small game that is. Women played an active role in hunting during this period. Providing much needed wild game for the table.
Camping on the Poplar River on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Sure would like to time travel there and check out the native brook trout in that river. Caught many brookies in the upper parts of that river.
One of the things that struck me when I was going over these pictures was how well dressed everyone was while camping [and in daily lives] people were. Don’t think I ever wore a tie camping. I have a lot of respect for that time period and the people who settled the northland.
George Bauman was my father-in law’s best friend [on the left]. He was a World War Two hero as a pilot of a bomber as I understand it. This pic was taken in 1937, right before the war. His family and his friends family made homesteads on Lake Kabetogama.
It doesn’t say on the picture but I think this is Lief Erickson Park in Duluth in 1922. Spent a lot of time there as a kid. They also hold special events in that park to this day. It’s located near the shore’s of Lake Superior.
These men just got done fishing and are in the process of smoking some fish. Notice the tri-pod made from small trees in the background and the fish hanging there. They make a fire in the center and wrap canvas around the tri-pod and leave the top open. They add wood as needed to supply low heat and plenty of smoke.
Love these old pics of fish caught many years ago in northern Mn. These were all northern pike and some nice ones. Not much catch and release back then. Wild game and fish supply’d much of the needed food for the homesteaders.
Making a meal at the Split Rock River on the North Shore of Lake Superior. We had a large canvas tent kind of like that [without the stove]. Tripped on those ropes more than once, but they were good tents.
Check out that wheelbarrow!! My understanding of this style was that longer logs were often used with this one along with other larger items that would not fit on regular styles. Not a bad idea. Makes a nice chair too.
Camping at Anderson Lake near Ely, Minn. Those sturdy canvas tents kept you dry and comfortable. 1925.
Watching the boat races at Longyear Lake near Chisholm, Minn. in 1928. It was a very popular event during those times and drew folks from all over the state.
Didn’t have a big tractor to plow the fields on this homestead but this will do the job.
Husband and wife team up to clear their homestead in 1932.
Having a picnic at a friends homestead on Crane Lake near Ely Minn.
Now that’s a big sturgeon that came out of the Rainy River area!!!!
Couple of men with a day’s catch of walleye’s while camping.
Relaxing on the banks of the Poplar River on the North Shore of Lake Superior.
This lady caught a very nice walleye at Lake Kabetogama.
Picking choke cherries up on the North Shore of Lake Superior by the Split Rock River. Choke cherries is what I call them, but these folks called them Pin Cherries. They made Jam and Wine from them.
A young boy with a nice fish he caught while fishing with his dad in 1932.
Look at the background of the picture. You can see Lake Superior there, and this chicken farm had to be on the hill overlooking Duluth at the time. You can also see part of some houses/buildings below the hill going into the city. Realy love this picture.
This is a man standing near City Hall in Duluth Minnesota.
This is an alley in a housing area near the mine where these folks lived up in the Hibbing Minnesota area.
Great picture of the guy’s working in the Shenango Mine Pit near Hibbing Minnesota.
The work shop in the Shenango Mine Pit near Hibbing Minnesota.
Island Lake near Duluth Minnesota many years ago. A couple enjoying the day out in their boat.
Looks like this lady caught a nice pair of fish while out on Island Lake near Duluth Minnesota.
People standing near the Embarrass River in northern Minnesota.
Couple of guy’s fishing off shore on Lake Vermillion near Ely, Minnesota.
Taking the boat out for a ride on Lake Vermillion near Ely Minnesota.
Nothing like a day at the fair. This was the fair at Hibbing Minnesota.
Hibbing Minnesota fair grounds back in the 1920’s.
This was the race track at the Hibbing fair grounds.
Morgan Park in Duluth Minnesota many years ago. Notice the trees were cleared for the homes to be constructed. Driving through Morgan Park at the present time, one would never recognize this area today. You can see in the background the hills of Skyline Drive where you can go to overlook Morgan Park and Duluth.
Fishing the Embarrass River in northern Minnesota.
A float in the homecoming parade in Chisholm Minnesota back in 1919.
Another float at the Chisholm homecoming parade back in 1919.
A float all dressed up in the Nation’s colors and flags in the Chisholm homecoming parade.
Lot’s of folks gathering for a BBQ after the homecoming parade in 1919.
McKinley Park on Lake Vermilion near Ely Minn. has been around for a long time. I have camped there a few times myself.
Time to change a tire. Back then you just put in new tubes, pumped them up, and your good to go.
Here is a original picture I have the terrible tornado that went through Fergus Falls Minnesota many years ago in the 1920’s.
Always dressed nice at a gathering of a new homestead on Crooked Lake in northern Minnesota.
Having dinner in the jungles the pictures say’s up in Tower Minnesota with Lake Vermilion nearby.
Here is a original picture I have of the huge fire in Chisholm Minnesota that destroyed the town. This is overlooking Main Street at the time.
Two couples ready to head out for a boat ride on Lake Kabetogoma.
Three guy’s ready to go on a fishing trip on the many waters of the north country of Minnesota.
Make my day.
These are the people that built our north country. A family posed in front of their log cabin.
Another nice stringer from Lake Kabetogoma.
I think if we all cut our grass with a push mower we would all be in better shape. Think I’ll stick to my gas mower though. However I still remember using them and you can even still buy them.
Shenango Mine station near Hibbing Minnesota.
Great Northern train wreck near Hibbing Minnesota on the fourth of July.
St. Louis County Court House in Duluth Minnesota back in time.
Native American village near Bena Minnesota.
A man walking through the shallows of Sturgeon Lake in northern Minnesota.
Having some lunch at the site of their new homestead. The logs are for their new home.
Getting the electric shovel ready for a day’s work in the mine near Hibbing Mn.
Inside the mine near Hibbing Mn. in 1928.
Building a homestead on Eagle Nest Lake near Ely, Minnesota in 1926.
Workmen at a mine near Virginia Minnesota in 1928.
This is a homestead camp on Lake Kabetogoma in 1931. This is where folks stayed while building their homes on the lake.
Neighbors and friends help each other while building homesteads and in this case those nice docks they had back then.
That is a nice walleye!! Back then most fish were eaten, regardless of size. Fish and wild game were an important source of food.
A young man with a very nice catch!!
A lady walking the trail overlooking the mine up on the Iron Range.
Finished homestead on Lake Kabetogoma in 1933.
Gunflint Trail used to be a dirt road, but still a great place to be, as it is today.
I think these folks could out-fish any so called “Pro’s” of today with all the fancy gear with the stringers I see in all these old pictures. My understanding is that although spoons were used once in awhile, live bait netted right on the lake was the primary bait.
Stopping for lunch on the Continental Divide. Looks like they had a fold-up table and everything needed for the trip.
One of my favorite photos. Didn’t even know that Lutsen Resort was around those many years ago when I first saw this pic in the album. Check out the price. One buck for the night.
They don’t make picnic tables like this one anymore.
Another view of this picnic table that I think nobody plans on moving.
Lot’s of fishing on Kabetogoma was done off shore, and everyone had their own favorite spots like this one.
Couple of guy’s standing on the stump of of tree that was cut down. Say’s on the back of the picture that it was blown half way over by a storm that went through.
Got the tent up for a weekend of camping up north.
Sack full of fish instead of a stringer.
Shorelines of Kabetogoma are full of big boulders and rocks. Looks like a good shoreline for smallmouth.
Out for a little road hunting.
Early made kayak. It was covered in canvas.
Standing on the shores of Lake Kabetogoma. No snow gear like today but those wool jackets were very warm.
Looks like a big storm on the way over the lake.
Heading out and coming back from a boat ride out of Lake Kabetogoma.
That’s a nice batch of northern pike!! Back in 1922.
Great day to be out on the lake.
Having a picnic on the shores of the St. Louis River in 1926.
This man shot a wold near the Shenango Mine near Virginia Minnesota.
Having a picnic on the 4th of July neat the Vermillion Dam by Ely Minnesota in 1925.
Looks like a nice one from Little Vermillion on Oct. of 1923.
Hunting Party up north. Must have had good tracktion with those rigs. That forest road looks pretty muddy.
The guy’s got the tent all set with all the gear and rifles. Looks like we know who the cook is here at hunting camp. You can see a lake in the background also for a little shore fishing.
Not much difference in a set-up for this fishing camp. Nice big canvas tent.
The rotisserie of old. I’ve seen this set-up in other pictures I have used here on a family homestead or even camping. They have a deer cooking here. You can see the person on the left stoking the fire and on the right turning the deer to get all sides.
Bailing hay near Chisholm Minnesota.
Ladies watching the kids swim in Sturgeon Lake in Northern Minnesota.
Standing near shore by the river on a Sunday afternoon.
Train went off the rails near Virginia Minnesota.
On the banks of the St. Louis River.
Taking the ladies out for a boat ride on Lake Kabetogoma.
All dressed up and on the way to Duluth from the Iron Range.
They had a Elk farm near Hibbing Minnesota called Bennett Park many years ago.
They also had some Bison at the park.
Some pictures of the parade in Hibbing Minnesota in 1922.
Chisholm High School a few years after it was built.
Folks coming over for a visit.
Bringing home another stringer from Kabetogoma. Check out those nice wood piles. The wood was not only for cooking but for the upcoming winter.
I like this picture of not only the fish, but of the rods they used and that outboard motor.
A young lad with some walleyes for the da’y’s meal.
Nice string of fish from Lake Kabetogoma in 1931.
Seems like everyone caught plenty of fish while enjoying camping at Kabetogoma.
Chisholm 4th of July pictures in 1926.
A couple making lunch on the wild shores of Lake Vermillion back in the 1920’s.
Having meal at a site of a future homestead on Crooked Lake near Isabella Mn. back in 1921.
Another great picture I have of this school in Koochiching County in northern Minnesota. Teacher and students present for school this day.
Raising pigs up in Koochiching County.
Family and friends gather on Bear Lake Road anticipating a homestead location. Realy love the old way of setting up for cooking a meal. I have done this myself at times.
Setting up camp in 1924 up north.
Stopping to have lunch up in Ely, Minnesota in 1927.
Dinner at Myrtle Lake, Minnesota in 1931.
Big pine’s up near Cass Lake, Minnesota.
A homestead near Lake Kabetogoma in 1032.
Building a cabin in Koochiching County during winter.
Another view of the same cabin
After a picnic on the St. Louis River near Duluth, it’s great to take a nap.
Resting by his cabin near the Winnibigoshish Dam.
I always have wondered what that barrel was doing on top of the roof there. Nice cabin on Winnibigoshish Lake.
Always impressed by the nice cloths people wore back then when camping and standing next to the Prairie River such as in this picture.
Now this isn’t Minnesota but I thought i would throw in a picture of how Fairfax South Dakota looked like many years ago This was main street back then.
According to the back of this picture this was people looking at future homesteads on the Pike River Road in northern Minnesota.
The Gopher docked in Duluth back in the early 30’s. Prop driven and also by sails.
A new homestead being cleared and built outside of Duluth in the late 20’s.
The Chisholm High School right after it was built.
The newly settled Morgan Park. This was the south side of Duluth many years ago back in the late 20’s.
Another view of Morgan Park. These homes were new when the pic’s were taken here. Notice the lawns and the lack of mature trees which were cleared to build these homes.
A Ford and Goodyear float as part of a parade in Chisholm Minnesota.
Part of West Duluth in the late 20’s. Not even a gravel road yet but it let’s you get to where you want to go.
A school built just outside of Duluth.
Part of the 4th of July Parade in Chisholm Minnesota back in 1915. Notice the wire’s for the trolly cars.
A large elk park in Virginia Minnesota.
The whole family took part in this nice catch of walleye’s and smallmouth from Lake Vermillion near Ely, Minnesota
Rented a cabin on big Lake Winnibigoshish at the Red Lodge and ready for a day’s outing.
These folks visited Lake Winnibigoshish and were from Lake Kabetogoma.
Ready for the firearms deer season back in the late 1920’s in northern Minnesota.
Stopping on the Embarrass River Bridge after a long drive back in 1918.
Having a picnic near Sturgeon Lake, in northern Minnesota back in 1918.
So, after the picnic, a good time fishing out on Sturgeon Lake.
Hauling out the ore up on the Iron Range in the Shenango Mine near Hibbing Mn.
The Shenango Mine Pit crew posed for this picture back in 1916.
Couple of big lake trout from Lake Superior.
These people really knew how to fish and mainly used live bait netted from the shorelines. These were caught in Lake Kabetogoma in 1933.
Couple of guy’s going off the diving board of the dock in Lake Kabetogoma back in 1938. Both of these guy’s became officers in the US Air Force during World War Two.
Kids watching a boat race near Chisholm Minnesota.
Here is the picture that Hubbard County asked permission to print in their annual tourism brochure. A very unique billboard.
People gathering to claim homesteads in northern Minnesota.
Fishing was good up on Hill Lake in Northern Minnesota back in 1928. Check out the vintage motor in the front center of the picture.
Nice big pike!!
This was the typical cottage or house belonging to folks who lived in the mines up near Virginia.
Fourth of July dinner party back in 1915 up near Hibbing, Minnesota.
People fishing off shore right after ice-out, on Lake Kabetogoma.
This old picture looks more like a hunting party camping. However it’s a fishing camp in Northern Minnesota. A rifle was always near back then.
This does look like a great place for picking blueberries as the picture states. I remember picking blueberries as a kid in Germany in an area that looked just like this. In the Ely area, you may want to go up there in July when the picking starts to get good right into August.
Walking the banks of the Little Swan River near Grand Rapids Minnesota.
The same two ladies near a broken bridge on the Little Swan River.
This was the construction of the dam on Prairie river in 1920.
On the back of this picture it says they were fishing here on the Little Fork River. They were standing on the bridge going over the road.
Nice day to fish off shore on Island Lake in Northern Minnesota.
One heck of a snow drift after a blizzard. Got to shovel to get into the store.
Digging in for that iron ore to be shipped on those rail cars in the background.
No snow on the ground but it must be cold with those fur coats the ladies are wearing. A homestead near the Bear River, off the Bear River road.
Ladies in the bushes near Joyce’s Landing on Lake Vermillion.
This is a fish hatchery in Northern Minnesota. You can see the jars on the left. Doesn’t say on the back of the picture where up north this was located. My guess would be Lake Vermillion.
Having a picnic on the 4th of July by McCarthy Beach on Lake Vermillion in 1920.
Camping on Side Lake [next to Sturgeon Lake] in Northern Minnesota.
Fixing a flat on the Bear River Road. Those days it meant inflating the inner tube and putting it inside the tire and you’re on your way.
Early days of the Winnibigoshish Dam.
Loading ore in the railroad cars near Hibbing Minnesota.
Native American family on the shores of Lake Winnibigoshish.
Ladies taking a walk up t he big hill near Trout Lake in Northern Minnesota in 1921.
This is real cooking over an open fire for sure near Myrtle Lake Minnesota in 1921.
Staying at a cabin on Trout Lake in Northern Minnesota.
The screening plant at a ore mine near Hibbing Minnesota.
Another picture of the screening plant at the Webb Mine near Hibbing Minnesota.
Rail cars getting loaded with ore at the screening plant at the Webb mine near Hibbing Minnesota.
Having lunch at Anderson Lake near Ely Minnesota.
The timber yard on the Shenango Mine near Virginia Minnesota. These timbers were used to build and repair the rail lines.
Workers posing in front of the rail timbers at the Shenango Mine near Virginia Minnesota in 1921.
A very nice buck and a doe laying in front of a home at the Shenango Mine in 1921.
Hunters posing with a timber wold they shot near the Shenango Mine in 1921.
Kids playing in front of a farmers home in Koochiching County Minnesota.
Standing in front of their homestead cabin in Koochiching County in Northern Minnesota. These homesteads were mainly built by the owners and friends nearby. The timber used came mainly from the owners property.
Roadside stop for some quick lunch near Myrtle Lake.
Would have love to been there in 1921 on the shores of Trout Lake in Northern Minnesota.
Good day for a swim in this Northern Minnesota lake.
Everyone is ready to pick some blueberries south of Hibbing Minnesota. Sure would have been nice to own a hat factory back then. Gals and guy’s all wore hat’s back in these days.
There was lot’s of logging in the early days of homesteads near Lake Winnibigoshish. These folks are standing by what’s left of a huge tree at one time.
A family standing in front of their cabin by Vermillion Dam near Ely Minnesota in 1923.
Another cottage by Little Vermillion near Ely, Minnesota.
Ready for a drive up north. Twin spare tires in the back and all dressed up for the day.
Always dressed very nice, a boy and some gals having a good time on the upper Mississippi River.
Ever had raccoon’s for a pet? Well this guy seems to be very comfortable with them in their cage.
I have this picture in my collection, but it’s not from Minnesota. This was taken in Michigan after one of the worst snow storms they had back then. I think this was in Ironwood Michigan.
The table is set for a nice dinner with the lady cutting into a pie [it says on the back of the picture].
Getting ready for a picnic on Leech Lake near Walker Minnesota.
Work hard, play hard as seen by that pile of wood and stringer of fish by Lake Kabetogoma in 1929.
Setting up camp on a National Park up north in 1926.
Somebody is proud of this fine vehicle parked in McKinley Park on Lake Vermillion near Ely, Minnesota in 1923.
I cant even remember being this nicely dressed camping like these folks.
This is a more open campground near Brainerd Minnesota
Another nice stringer out of Kabetogoma.
I don’t know if you call this a canoe or kayak. I do know it was all wood except the cover was heavy canvas.
That’s a real nice walleye from the Kab!!!
Filling up the railcars in a mine near Virginia Mn. in 1929.
Men and heavy equipment are hard at work in the mines near Virginia Minnesota back in 1929.
This is a picture taken in Finland Minnesota. My guess is that the lady is standing by the Babtism River which runs through the town.
Camping on Thisledew Lake in 1928.
Ready for a good day’s fishing. All wooden boats and powered by that vintage motor.
Sled dogs played an imprtant role with early homesteder’s in northern Minnesota. It was the only way folks got their food and supplies during the winter months.
Getting camp ready for hunting.
Caption for this picture could be “Ok, who’s going to clean all these”?
Some big snow drifts on Lake Kabetogoma. More to come……….