Category Archives: History

October 25

Before Origin of Species there was Vestiges

Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation appeared anonymously in 1844.  Its author was Robert Chambers, a publisher and philanthropist of Edinburgh.  Vestiges, “alarmingly popular despite a merciless critical pounding, was regarded by the orthodox as pernicious in the very highest degree.” This quote comes from the Introduction of Milton Millhauser’s Just Before Darwin (Middletown: […]

June 24

Bemidji in 1947

Bemidji’s 1947 Planning Board document, prepared by Evert, Kincaid, and Dean of Chicago, introduces the city as a “prospering community built along the shores of beautiful Lake Bemidji and Lake Irving.” After briefly mentioning its pioneer history and the timber boom, the introduction says that by 1947, “the community is largely dependent upon agricultural activities […]

May 31

Boosting the Cutover District, 1915

On December 9, 1915, the Bemidji Pioneer printed a 44-page “Booster Edition” of the paper while the Northern Minnesota Development Association was holding its annual meeting in the city. Below is the front page of the edition. The Northern Minnesota lumber boom peaked in 1905, and by 1915 annual lumber production had fallen to half […]