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Full text of "Mississippi River Aitkin County Survey Report 2010"

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ARITlMEr 
ERITAGE 







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Ann Merriman 
Christopher Olson 



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INNESOTA 



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Mississippi River Aitkin 



Countq Surveu Report 

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Gmnt Recipient 

M»NMI=SCiTA hl5TD*ICfli 
tCUlTbHAL GRANTS 







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This side and down imaging sonar survey of 104 miles of the Mississippi 

River in Aitkin County, MN was made possible in part by a grant from the 

Minnesota Historical and Cultural Grants program, also known as the Legacy 

Amendment, voted for and supported by the People of the State of 

Minnesota. 



MHM IS A 50L (c) d NON-PROFIT CORPORATION DEDICATED TO 

- H iif L 'l ^t ^ - * = fl 

THE DOCUMENTATION, CONSERVATION, AND PRESERVATION OP 
MINNESOTA'S FINITE MARITIME CULTURAL RESOURCES 



Acknowledgments 

Maritime Heritage Minnesota thanks the People of Minnesota for their support of the 
Minnesota Historical and Cultural Grants, otherwise known as the Legacy Amendment; 
without the MHC grant MHM received to conduct this survey, the work could not have 
been completed. MHM would also like to acknowledge the Grants Office Staff at the 
Minnesota Historical Society who are always available, helpful, and encouraging. MHM 
also thanks Michael F. Kramer and Ardis and Jack Becklin for their substantial in-kind 
donations to this project. MHM also thanks Dallas and Shanon Olson for their in-kind 
donation. We'd like to extend our gratitude to the folks of Aitkin County for their 
hospitality, including Dick Hlidek, Terry and Marilyn Kullhem, Kelly Olson, and Greg 
Leach of the Aitkin County Historical Society. 






I 






MINNESOTA HISTORICAL 
4 CULTURAL CRAFTS 



Mississippi River Aitkin County Survey 

2010 

Maritime Heritage Minnesota 



Introduction 



Since the organization's founding in 2005, Maritime Heritage Minnesota (MHM) has held 
that a systematic remote sensing survey of the Mississippi River to locate possible 
nautical and underwater archaeological sites was overdue. In fact, every body of water in 
Minnesota would be served by a remote sensing survey; no Minnesota lake, river, or 
stream has ever been the subject of a systematic sonar survey designed to locate 
unknown archaeological sites. Some lakes have been the subject of remote sensing 
projects to locate specific known shipwrecks or suspected sites, but until the Mississippi 
River Aitkin County Survey, no project has ever been designed to thoroughly investigate 
the bottom of a body of water in Minnesota with the specific purpose to find unknown 
archaeological sites. 

Minnesota has 674 miles - 28.6 % - of the 2,350 miles of the Mississippi River lying 
within its border. The Mississippi River Aitkin County Survey encompassed 104 miles - 
15.4% - of these 674 miles, or the entirety of the river within the borders of Aitkin County 
and a bit of Itasca County when the river meandered over the border. MHM chose the 
Mississippi River in Aitkin County for this project because: 1. the only two known 
steamboat wrecks in the Mississippi River within Minnesota's borders lie within the 
specified 104 mile stretch of river in Aitkin County, the Swan and Andy Gibson; 2. there is 
the possibility that the remains of the steamboats City of Aitkin/George H. Houghton, Lee, 
Walter Taylor, and Fawn, as well as remnants of landing sites, piers, docks, personal 
launches, and flatboats, may be found here; 3. all previous maritime historical scholarship 
of Mississippi River steamboats that plied the "Upper Mississippi River" stopped at 
Minneapolis - the Mississippi Headwaters regions has been entirely ignored as if 
steamers did not run above the Twin Cities; 4. in the entire 2,350 mile length of the river 
outside of Minnesota, only 6 wrecks have been documented to any extent and only 24 are 
known to exist (one in Wisconsin, five in Arkansas, and 18 in Mississippi, of which only 
three are steamers and only two of them have been rudimentarily documented); and 5. 
this stretch of the river is nearly unchanged since steamers stopped running between 
Aitkin and Grand Rapids in 1921. Additionally, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) 
ceased dredging operations in the early 20 th Century, thus increasing the chances of 
locating submerged cultural resources that are at least partially intact. 

The data produced during this survey provides MHM with numerous dive sites to 
investigate, hopefully augmenting the Mississippi River Headwaters Wreck Site List that 
currently contains the sternwheelers Swan (exposed parts were documented by the State 
Hstoric Preservation Office (SHPO) in 1996 and MHM briefly investigated the site in 2008 
and 2009) and Andy Gibson (a unique partially dry nautical site whose low water exposed 
remains were documented by MHM in 2008, 2009, and 2010). The Andy Gibson wreck 
rests on a platform designed to prevent hogging, sagging, grounding, and excessive 
leaking of the vessel during her working life - the only site of this nature MHM is aware of 
anywhere in the world. 



Lastly, this project will be used as a template and case study for other side and down 
imaging sonar surveys of the remaining miles of the Mississippi River, its substantial 
number of tributaries, the other large rivers within Minnesota, and several Minnesota 
lakes that saw significant waterborne traffic require examination as well. This project 
represents a first step that establishes an efficient and effective system that allows for the 
systematic survey of Minnesota's waterways for maritime, nautical, and underwater 
archaeological sites that have remained undocumented for too long. 

Survey Methodology 

MHM's initial concern was, of course, acquiring an appropriate and affordable side and 
down imaging sonar unit that would suit the ever - changing, shallow nature of the 
Mississippi River in Atikin County. The unit chosen was a Humminbird 898c SI with a 
boat-mounted high and low frequency transducer. This sonar unit came on the market in 
March 2010, has accurate GPS, several screen modes including a split sonar/GPS 
choice, and is capable of recording all survey data onto a 16 gb memory card for later 
review. A significant feature of this unit is the lack of a towfish - any type of towed 
transducer would have been lost to any one of a thousand snags encountered in the river. 
The 898c SI transducer was designed to be bolted through a boat's transom; however, 
MHM's Christopher Olson adapted some hardware to allow the transducer to be attached 
through an oarlock with a removable mounting system, allowing flexibility and use with a 
variety of watercraft. Prior to commencing the Mississippi River Aitkin County Survey 
(MRACS), MHM conducted tests of the new sonar equipment on known wreck sites in 
Lake Minnetonka in order to experiment with the image range and depth ratios and high 
and low frequency transducer images. 





Left: The sonar unit set - up on the research boat, 
inluding the GPS mast, umbrella for sun and rain, 
and the starboard tranducer oarlock attachment. 

Above: A close-up of the sonar screen. 





Left: The research boat ready for 

survey at the Aitkin Campground 

Public Access. 

Above: One of MHM's MHCG 

sign, attached to the boat during 

the work. 



One of the most important considerations - and quite a basic one - in planning the 
MRACS was locating accessible boat launch sites throughout Aitkin County. The 
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has produced boater's guides for the 
whole of the river in Minnesota, and the two maps that covered our survey area were 
invaluable in locating public access boat launches - with one notable exception. MHM 
had no problems launching the 12 - foot aluminum survey boat at the public accesses at 
the Aitkin Campground, Waldeck, Bergland Park at Palisade, Wold's Ferry Crossing, the 
USACE Recreation Area at Big Sandy River, and at Jacobson Campground. 
Unfortunately, the Kimball Public Access - located between Aitkin and Waldeck - has not 
been maintained, seemingly for several years. MHM had to launch from Aitkin for an 
additional day, adding extra miles in "deadheading" to that day's survey. 




Left: Waldeck Public Access. 

Below Left: The un-maintained Kimball Public 
Access. 

Below Right: Deadheading. 




Initially, MHM planned to conduct the 104 mile survey in 11 days of various lengths 
covering between five and 20 miles a day - with deadheading distance taken into 
consideration - with an additional cushion of four days for bad weather and other 
unforeseen issues. In the end, MHM spent nine days conducting the survey, with a small 
portion of day 10 spent creating several additional images of the Andy Gibson wreck site. 
During any given day, MHM recorded several hours of sonar data - 30 hours 50 minutes 
in total - and noted 244 anomalies. Encountered were several areas of Class I rapids - 
Island Rapids, Moose Rapids, Scott's Rapids, Noyes Rapids, Oxbow Rapids, the rapids 
at Verdon Landing, Crooked Rapids, and two sections of Pine Rapids - that were not too 
difficult to navigate. However, the survey boat did hit two boulders at Scott's and Noye's 
Rapids, outside of the boundaries of the rapids areas marked on maps, indicating the 
rapids are migrating a bit. The sonar unit permits the establishment of "waypoints," 
numbers marked on the corresponding GPS map that allows MHM to call up data 
regarding each anomaly marked by a waypoint. Additionally, the snapshot function (with 
zooming capability) creates a picture of an anomaly on demand. 



Depth ft 




Wl 




2i 


•: 


' ^S^^ 




Course 1*1 


} 






203 


(Qfe 




M If. 56.634' 


OJivm 






WO93 D 17.Z0&' 






Time 








940 








Speed mph 








10.4 


/^* 






Screen shots of the sonar map option that not only indicates the research boat's 
location on the river but in relation to roads and towns. 

The Anomalies 

Two hundred four of the 244 anomalies noted by MHM as waypoints, snapshots, and in 
the survey notebook were, after review, comprised of trees (snags of various 
configurations from complete trees with root balls to cut timber), silt deposits, ridges 
comprised of layers of small pebbles deposited during different water levels, boulders, 
and weeds. 




Depth ft 

3.6 

Course Pt 

331 


105 Left A Right 105 


N 46*58.078- 


1 &2JR] 


W 093<"I7.3«3' 


fill w^^^^^H 


Time 




1*11 

Speed mph 

3.6 


III 

11 4 



Above Left: A tree with a root ball. 
Above Right: A sonar image with: 1 . layers of silt deposits; 2. weeds; 3. ridges of small pebbles; 4. a boulder. 









Above Photos: Four examples 
of snags that protruded above 
the water and were avoidable. 

MHM hit several snags and 
boulders that were never seen, 

including driving over a 

complete tree along its length 

in Jacobson. 

Right: Ridges of small pebbles 

that are seen in sonar images; 

refer to #3 in the photo on the 

previous page. 







Beyond the known nautical archaeological sites of Swan and Andy Gibson, MHM 
recognized three additional sites that warranted Minnesota Archaeological Site Forms. 
These new sites were assigned site numbers after MHM submitted the forms (Appendix 
A) to the Office of the State Archaeologist (OSA). These sites - the Sandy River 
Steamboat Crib (21-AK0117), the Mississippi Landing Logging Pier (21-AK0116), and the 



Mississippi Landing Railroad Spur and Bridge Remains (21-AK0115) - were recognized 
immediately by MHM as archaeological sites since they are partially exposed above water 
(and in the river banks), even during the high water conditions MHM experienced during 
MRACS. The side imaging sonar proved useful in the rudimentary documentation of the 
three new sites, since sections of these archaeological remains are only evident 
underwater. The sonar images will be used as a guide to determine the exact boundaries 
of these sites during future documentation. 

The 40 anomalies depicted in the following pages that MHM has determined deserve 
further investigation primarily suggest "boat-shaped" objects or rectangular flatboats, with 
a few having artificial - looking outlines but no sharp or square ends like a boat, and one 
anomaly suggests a pipe. MHM will investigate these anomalies by SCUBA in the near 
future if all goes as planned. The 898c SI records location (latitude and longitude), water 
depth, research boat speed, and course. When examining the sonar images on the 
following pages, keep in mind that the latitude/longitude seen on the sonar screen 
indicates the location of the research boat (the little boat icon at the top of the image). The 
898c SI zoom function allowed MHM to center the unit's cursor on the anomalies and in 
that way, determine its exact location. Also, the anomalies are listed from the border of 
Crow Wing County to the border of Itasca County, as if the boat is traveling upstream, 
which is the direction MHM always recorded the sonar data. But, because MHM started 
the survey in Aitkin and then traveled toward Crow Wing County, the anomaly numbers as 
listed are not in ascending order. Lastly, it must be remembered that the water depth 
indicated on the sonar images is for the day the image was recorded and does not reflect 
what the river level will be when these sites are investigated in the future. 



1. Anomaly 49 

Recorded: 8/14/2010 

Identification: Feature 

Depth: 9.1 Feet 

Size: Approximately 39 feet 

Location: West side of river, starboard 
side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible buried artifact, outline 
suggests silt accumulation around large 
object 



Depth Ift 

9 



.4 



Course 



202 



N 46°33.823' 
W 095*47.957' 

Time 

1206 

Speed !mph 

3i 




1on Distance 

lZ9ft 



BRG 003 *t 



Zoom 2k 
Right 125 



\ 



2. Anomaly 55 

Recorded: 8/14/2010 

Identification: Rectangular Feature 

Depth: 10.4 Feet 

Size: Approximately 18 feet 

Location: South side of river, starboard 
side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible buried artifact, outline 
suggests silt accumulation around large 
object with portions protruding above the 
river bottom 



Depth Ift 

13.5 



Course ~Pt 

143 



N 46°33.723' 
W 093*47.372' 



Time 



1217 



Speed mph 

4.o 



Q|61.2ft 

104 Left 



Cursor 



Depth 



4 rtP -Distance 

195ft 



BUG 3QO*t 



Zoom 2k 




3. Anomaly 56 

Recorded: 8/14/2010 

Identification: Feature, Possible Pipe 

Depth: 9.4 Feet 

Size: Approximately 25 feet 

Location: West side of river, starboard 
side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible artifact, outline 
suggests a metal pipe or other long 
object 



Depth ft 

8.8 



BRG 0H*t 



Course l*t 

210 



N 46*33,474' 
W 093*47. 194 N 



Time 



1224 

Speed imph 

2.7 




4. Anomaly 62 

Recorded: 8/14/2010 

Identification: Rectangular Feature 

Depth: 10.8 Feet 

Size: Approximately 79 feet 

Location: Northeast side of river, port 
side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible partially buried 
artifact with layers of silt covering it from 
the river bank 



Depth ft 

11 



.5 



Course 



144 



N 46*33.286' 
W 093*47.405' 



Time 



1233 

Speed Imph 

2.9 




5. Anomaly 71 

Recorded: 8/14/2010 

Identification: Boat Shaped Feature 

Depth: 11.7 Feet 

Size: Approximately 36 feet 

Location: West side of river, starboard 
side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible partially buried 
artifact that resembles a boat lying 
considerably on its side 



Depth ft 

11.4 



brg ooo t 



Course rt 

198 



N 46*32.956' 
W 093*46.976' 



Time 



1250 

Speed Imph 

2*9 




6. Anomaly 80 

Recorded: 8/14/2010 

Identification: Rectangular Feature 

Depth: River Bank 

Size: Approximately 48 feet 

Location: West side of river, starboard 
side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible partially buried 
artifact embedded partly in the river bank 



BRG 333"! 




7. Anomaly 82 

Recorded: 8/14/2010 

Identification: Boat Shaped Feature 

Depth: River Bank 

Size: Approximately 49 feet 

Location: South side of river, starboard 
side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible partially buried 
artifact that resembles a boat partly 
embedded in the river bank 




8. Anomaly 88 

Recorded: 8/14/2010 

Identification: Boat Shaped Feature 

Depth: 15.8 feet 

Size: Approximately 15 feet 

Location: South side of river, port side of 
boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible partially buried 
artifact that resembles a boat, possibly a 
small skiff or launch 



Depth Ift 

15.2 



Q|30.1ft 

1 12 Let 



Cursor 



BfiG art 
Zoom 2k 



Course 



289 



N 46°33.227' 
WQ93*AS,SJ6 ¥ 



Time 



147 



Speed mph 

2.9 




9. Anomaly 96 

Recorded: 8/14/2010 

Identification: Boat Shaped Feature 

Depth: 18 feet 

Size: Approximately 16 x 47 feet 

Location: Northwest side of river, port 
side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible partially buried 
artifact that resembles a boat, in the 
deepest part of the river channel 



Depth ift ^ 32i g ( c 



Cursor 




10. Anomaly 106 

Recorded: 8/14/2010 

Identification: Boat Shaped Feature 

Depth: 17 feet 

Size: Approximately 4x11 feet 

Location: North side of river, port side of 
boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible buried artifact whose 
outline resembles a boat, possibly a small 
skiff, in the deepest part of the river 
channel 



Depth Ift 

16o 



Q|29.6f, 

105 Lett 



Cursor 



BRG 2?6*t 



Course Ft 

084 



N 46°33.536' 
W 093*44.4 17 h 

Time 

Speed Imph 

3.4 




11. Anomaly 9 

Recorded: 8/12/2010 

Identification: Boat Shaped Feature 

Depth: 16.7 feet 

Size: Approximately 20 feet 

Location: South side of river, starboard 
side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible buried artifact whose 
outline resembles a boat, possibly a small 
skiff 



Depth ft 

16.3 



BRG 263°t 



Course l*t 

106 



N 46°32.934' 
W 093*43. 852' 

Time 



1240 



Speed mph 

2.o 




12. Anomaly 11 

Recorded: 8/12/2010 

Identification: Rectangular Feature 

Depth: 14.5 feet 

Size: Approximately 28 feet 

Location: North side of river, port side of 
boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible artifact whose outline 
resembles a flatboat, probably embedded 
in a crevice 




13. Anomaly 12 

Recorded: 8/12/2010 

Identification: Boat Shaped Feature 

Depth: 17 feet 

Size: Approximately 11 feet 

Location: West side of river, starboard 
side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible artifact whose outline 
resembles a small boat, possibly a skiff 
and hollowed-out 



Depth Ift 

17i 



Course 



154 



N 46°32.6D5' 
W 093*43.434' 



Time 



1 



Speed Imph 

1.6 



■0121.9ft 

70 Left 



Cursor 




14. Anomaly 13 

Recorded: 8/12/2010 

Identification: Rectangular Feature 

Depth: 18.5 feet 

Size: Approximately 13 feet 

Location: In middle of river channel, seen 
best in down image 



Analysis: Possible artifact that resembles 
a pontoon 



Depth ft 



OlO.Oft 



Cursor 



■IO ^ Depthl^ j Distance 
lOJii lift 



BRC 0O7*t 



Zoom 2k 



Down Image 




15. Anomaly 15 

Recorded: 8/12/2010 

Identification: Rectangular Feature 

Depth: 6.7 feet 

Size: Approximately 40 feet 

Location: South side of river, starboard 
side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible buried artifact whose 
outline resembles a flatboat 



47.9f, 



loo un 




Cursor 



Depth 



47 



Distance 
ft 



BRG 180*t 



Zoom 2x 



fr • A- 



■ : -h> 



_ ! . "• ..' '. ' 




16. Site 1 - Andy Gibson 

21-AK0109 

Recorded: 8/12/2010 

Identification: Steamboat Wreck 

Depth: 11 feet 

Size: Approximately 140 feet 

Location: South side of river, starboard 
side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Areas of wreck site that are 
always underwater hold great promise, 
port cylinder timber may be in situ 



Depth ft 

11.0 

Course l*t 

066 

N 46*32.4 19' 
W 093*43,012' 

Time 

1136 

Speed Imph 

2.6 




17. Anomaly 17 

Recorded: 8/12/2010 

Identification: Rectangular Feature 

Depth: 15.6 feet 

Size: Approximately 20 feet 

Location: East side of river, starboard 
side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible rectangular artifact 
partially buried in the river channel 



Depth ft 

16 



Q| 18.8ft 

60 Left 



Cursor 



mDist a rice 
ft 




BUG 172*t 



Zo om 2k 
SRight 60 



18. Anomaly 19 

Recorded: 8/12/2010 

Identification: Possible Structure 

Depth: River Bank 

Size: Approximately 20 feet 

Location: West side of river, starboard 
side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible boat or dock remains 
protruding from river bank in area where 
beams were exposed in 2008 



Depth Ift 

21 




19. Anomaly 20 

Recorded: 8/12/2010 

Identification: Rectangular Feature 

Depth: 9.1 feet 

Size: Approximately 41 feet 

Location: Southwest side of river, 
starboard side of boat traveling upstream 
46 32.553 n 093 42.013 w 

Analysis: Feature resembles large 
timbers used in sternwheel construction, 
may be associated with Anomaly 21 



OlllOft 



Cursor 




Depth 



4Qfl Dis * 4rK& 

lZOft 



BRG 263 °t 



Zoom 2k 




20. Anomaly 21 

Recorded: 8/12/2010 

Identification: Boat Shaped Feature 

Depth: 10 feet 

Size: Approximately 50-70 feet 

Location: Southwest side of river, 
starboard side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible buried artifact whose 
outline resembles a boat in the area 
where the steamer Walter Taylor was 
reportedly abandoned and covered in silt; 
might be associated with Anomaly 20 



Depth ft 



9.i 



Course 



138 



N 46°32.554' 
W 093*41,981' 



Time 



Speed mph 

li 



k 




21. Site 2 -Swan 

21-AK0084 

Recorded: 8/12/2010 

Identification: Steamboat Wreck 

Depth: 13.4 feet 

Size: Approximately 80 feet 

Location: South side of river, starboard 
side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Wreck site has less detritus 
covering it than in 2008 




22. Anomaly 118 

Recorded: 8/15/2010 

Identification: Rectangular Feature 

Depth: River Bank 

Size: Approximately 20 feet 

Location: East side of river, starboard 
side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible artifact partially 
imbedded in river bank 



Depth ft 

20 




Speed Imph 

4 



23. Anomaly 120 

Recorded: 8/15/2010 

Identification: Boat Shaped Feature 

Depth: River Bank 

Size: Approximately 42 feet 

Location: South side of river, starboard 
side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible artifact whose outline 
resembles a boat, buried amidships with 
the bow and stern exposed 



Depth Ift 

16 



.9 



Course 



125 



N 46°33.790' 
W 093*40.919' 



Time 



1126 



Speed Imph 

3.8 



Q|44.6f, 

104 Left 



Cursor 



Depth 



4 f« Distance 

Ml i 



ERG 2&7 M 



Zoom 2k 




24. Anomaly 130 

Recorded: 8/16/2010 

Identification: Boat Shaped Feature 

Depth: 7 feet 

Size: Approximately 13 x 69 feet 

Location: East side of river, starboard 
side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible artifact whose outline 
resembles a boat 



Depth 




25. Anomaly 133 

Recorded: 8/16/2010 

Identification: Boat Shaped Feature 

Depth: 8 feet 

Size: Approximately 20 x 100 feet 

Location: East Southeast side of river, 
starboard side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible artifact whose outline 
resembles a boat in the area where 
steamer City of Aitkin/George H. 
Houghton burned and sank 



Depth ft 

8.4 

Course l*t 

026 


120 Left ,| 


Right 120 


1 


N 46*39.879' 
W G91*3S.909 N 

Time 

1208 

Speed Imph 

3.8 



26. Anomaly 134 

Recorded: 8/16/2010 

Identification: Boat Shaped Feature 

Depth: 7 feet 

Size: Approximately between 71-109 feet 

Location: East side of river, starboard 
side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible artifact whose outline 
resembles a boat in the area where 
steamer City of Aitkin/George H. 
Houghton burned and sank 



Depth ft 

7.6 

Course l*t 

030 


130 Left A Right 130 


N 46*40.1 82' 


W 093*36, 48T 


11 > : A" 


Time 


II 


1232 

Speed Imph 

3.6 


i 



27. Anomaly 142 

Recorded: 8/17/2010 

Identification: Rectangular Feature 

Depth: 8.4 feet 

Size: Approximately 35 feet 

Location: East side of river, starboard 
side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible artifact partially buried 
in silt 




28. Anomaly 147 

Recorded: 8/17/2010 

Identification: Rectangular Feature 

Depth: 6.2 feet 

Size: Approximately 27 x 100 feet 

Location: Northwest side of river, port 
side of boat traveling upstream 

Analysis: Possible artifact buried in silt 



Depth ft 

7.2 

Course l*t 

051 


1 10 Left 


Right 1 10 






1- 

II V ^ 1 

1 








N 46*42.0 18" 
W G91°29.583 N 


Time 

1119 

Speed Imph 

3.8 









29. Anomaly 184 

Recorded: 8/19/2010 

Identification: Boat Shaped Feature 

Depth: 12.2 feet 

Size: Approximately 81 feet 

Location: South side of river, starboard 
side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible artifact whose outline 
resembles a boat 



Depth 




30. Site 3 - Steamboat Crib 

21-AK0117 

Recorded: 8/21/2010 

Identification: Steamboat Landing Crib 

Depth: River Bank and 5-7 feet in 
channel 

Size: Approximately .07 acres 

Location: South side of Sandy River near 
the confluence with the Mississippi River, 
starboard side of boat traveling 
downstream 



Analysis: Remains of stone and wood crib 
that served as a steamboat landing at the 
site where the American Fur Company 
Post once stood 




31. Anomaly 189 

Recorded: 8/21/2010 

Identification: Boat Shaped Feature 

Depth: 8 feet 

Size: Approximately 14 x 26 feet 

Location: West side of river, port side of 
boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible artifact whose outline 
resembles a boat 



Depth Ift 

8 



.8 



Course 



024 



N 46°48.693' 
W 091*20, 466' 



Time 



948 



Speed Imph 

3.8 



Q|43.9ft 

104 Left 



Cursor 



Depth 



BRG PIT! 




32. Anomaly 203 

Recorded: 8/21/2010 

Identification: Boat Shaped Feature 

Depth: 8 feet 

Size: Approximately 15 feet 

Location: Southwest side of river, 
starboard side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible artifact whose outline 
resembles a boat, partially buried 



O 32 J « 



Cursor 




Depth 



I 



H -^Distance 

14b ft 



ERG 302 t 



Zoom 2k 
Right 95 



i 




33. Anomaly 210 

Recorded: 8/22/2010 

Identification: Rectangular Feature 

Depth: 10.8 feet 

Size: Approximately 8 x 25 feet 

Location: West side of river, port side of 
boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible artifact whose outline 
resembles a flatboat, partially buried 



Depth ft 

10.8 



Q|30.8ft 

120 Left 



Cursor 



BR<5 214*t 



Course 



013 



N 46*55.574' 
W 093*18. 692 1 

Time 



1030 



Speed Imph 

3.6 




34. Anomaly 213 

Recorded: 8/22/2010 

Identification: Boat Shaped Feature 

Depth: 12 feet 

Size: Approximately 19 feet 

Location: East side of river, starboard side 
of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible artifact whose outline 
resembles a boat 



Depth Ift 

12 



O 35.8o 



.4 



Course 



330 

N 46°56.078' 
W 093*18.493' 

Time 

1045 

Speed Imph 

4.o 




Cursor 




35. Anomaly 219 

Recorded: 8/22/2010 

Identification: Boat Shaped Feature 

Depth: 8 feet 

Size: Approximately 51 feet 

Location: Northeast side of river, 
starboard side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible artifact whose outline 
resembles a boat 



Depth Ift 



O 32.5it 



Cursor 



Depth 



Course 




N46°57.155" 
WG93*17,S57 N 



Ti 



me 



1118 



Speed mph 

3.8 




93 ft 



Distance 



BRG 11QM 



Zoom 2k 



ght 105 



36. Anomaly 225 

Recorded: 8/22/2010 

Identification: Rectangular Feature 

Depth: 4 feet 

Size: Approximately 10 x 24 feet 

Location: West side of river, port side of 
boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible artifact partially buried 
in river bank 




37. Anomaly 233 

Recorded: 8/22/2010 

Identification: Boat Shaped Feature 

Depth: 9 feet 

Size: Approximately 13 feet 

Location: Southeast side of river, 
starboard side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible artifact whose outline 
resembles a boat 



Cursor 



.Distance 



BRG 19S t 



Zoom 2k 



Right 1 10 




38. Anomaly 234 

Recorded: 8/22/2010 

Identification: Rectangular Shaped 
Feature 

Depth: 9 feet 

Size: Approximately 96 feet 

Location: Southeast side of river, 
starboard side of boat traveling upstream 

Analysis: Possible artifact, partially buried 




39. Anomaly 235 

Recorded: 8/22/2010 

Identification: Boat Shaped Feature 

Depth: 7 feet 

Size: Approximately 100 feet 

Location: Southeast side of river, 
starboard side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible artifact whose outline 
resembles a boat, partially buried 




Right 100 





40. Site 4 - Mississippi Landing 
Logging Pier 

21-AK0116 

Recorded: 8/22/2010 

Identification: Pilings from Mississippi 
Landing Logging Pier 

Depth: 10 feet 

Size: Approximately .51 acres 

Location: East side of river, starboard 
side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: At least 39 pilings exist, some 
protrude above the surface during high 
water conditions - the streaks in the sonar 
image represent the shadows of the 
pilings. There is also an interesting 
anomaly within the site that may be some 
machinery - or simply some foliage 
snagged on some pilings. The image on 
the right is comprised of two sonar 
snapshots stitched together. 



Depth ft 

n 



100 Left 





An historic 

photograph of the 

Mississippi Landing 

Logging Pier remains. 

From Leo Trunt's 

Prosper, Can You 

Tell Me More? 



Auaust22. 2010 



41 - 42. Anomalies 237 & 238 

Recorded: 8/22/2010 

Identification: Boat Shaped Features 

Depth: 7 feet 

Size: Approximately 40 & 43 feet 

Location: North side of river, starboard 
side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible artifacts whose 
outlines resemble boats in the area where 
steamer Fawn caught on a snag and sank 



Depth ft 




43. Site 5 - Mississippi Landing 
Railroad Spur & Bridge Remains 

21-AK0115 

Recorded: 8/22/2010 

Identification: Pilings from Mississippi 
Landing Railroad Spur and pilings from 
the Mississippi, Hill City & Western 
Railway Bridge 

Depth: River bank and 9 feet 

Size: Approximately 2.7 acres 

Location: North side of river for large 
number of pilings, port side of boat 
traveling upstream; East side of river and 
in channel for other pilings 



Analysis: 39 or more pilings in the 
northern bank and 6 pilings in the eastern 
bank are the remains of the Swan River 
Logging Company's railroad spur trestles; 
12 or more pilings in 2 rows in the river 
channel and 4 pilings in the eastern bank 
supported the Mississippi, Hill City 
Western Railway Swing Bridge 





Above: Railroad trestle support pilings 

at the Southeastern - most edge of the 

site. 

Below: Railroad bridge support pilings 

at the Northeastern - most edge of the 

site. 




Even during high water conditions, 

2 rows of bridge pilings protrude 

above the surface; other pilings 

exist underwater as well. 



The river channel has migrated 

since the early 20 th Century; the 

double red lines indicate where the 

Mississippi Landing Railroad Spur 

once ran along the riverbank to 

meet up with one of the Logging 

Piers, the box marks the pilings for 

the Mississippi, Hill City & Western 

Railway Bridge. 



Depth Ift 

7.6 

Course l*t 

013 


90 Left £ Right 90 




Mr the br^ 
Breaks ta| 
He shadoj 
H the pill™ 
Block theB 
beanrS 


N47°0 1.267' 
WG93*1S.74G' 

Time 

206 

Speed Imph 

4.o 


Kiti 




i 










45. Anomaly 239 

Recorded: 8/22/2010 

Identification: Rectangular Feature 

Depth: 7 feet 

Size: Approximately 51 feet 

Location: South side of river, port side of 
boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible buried artifact whose 
outline suggests a flatboat 



Depth Ift 

1.2 



Course 



298 



N47°0 1.296' 
W 093*16.117* 



Time 



211 



Speed mph 

3.8 



■0j3O.Oft 

95 Leftl 



Cursor 




Distance 



ORG 130*t 



Zoom 2k 



Right 95 




46. Anomaly 242 

Recorded: 8/22/2010 

Identification: Boat-Shaped Feature 

Depth: 9 feet 

Size: Approximately 27 feet 

Location: East side of river, starboard 
side of boat traveling upstream 



Analysis: Possible buried artifact whose 
outline suggests a boat, possibly a steam 
launch 




Speed mph 

4 



2i3. 



—3 "W^ . asi 



Maritime Heritage Minnesota 

Mississippi River 

Aitkin County Survey 

2010 
Anomalies and Sites Hap 




2*tSl 



Possible New Wreck and Underwater Sites 

Reviewed below are the anomalies that MHM is the most eager to investigate, in order of their 
significance. 

Anomalies 21 and 20: These two anomalies are located where the sternwheeler Walter Taylor 
is believed to have been abandoned, and may be part of the same site. In 2008, during low 
water conditions, MHM located a concentration of bricks (possible remains of a steamer's 
firebox - the wreck Swan has a similar collection of bricks), two worked wooden planks, 
wooden beams resembling stanchions protruding from the river bottom, and a metal cable 
protruding from the upper river bank, suggesting a mooring site. 




Left: Concentration of bricks that might be 
the remains of a steamer's firebox. 

Below: Two worked planks and a possible 
stanchion protruding from the silt. 





Above: Two possible stanchions or 

wreck components protruding from 

the silt. 

Right: Metal cables protruding from 
the river bank. 




Walter Taylor was owned by Cluff and Taylor of Aitkin, and was christened on 17 September 
1895. This steamer worked the river between Aitkin and Grand Rapids. She sank once during 
her working life, at the mouth of the Sandy River in early October 1897, but was raised quickly 
and resumed service (Aitkin Age, 21 September 1895, 9 October 1897). In late May 1899, 



Walter Taylor conducted a weekly packet service 
report of this steamer's activity seems to be her 
named Falconer, who required the steamer to 
construction site (Aitkin Republican, 1 June 1899 
an Aitkin resident, her "husband worked at Gyde 
mouth of Mud [Ripple] River. It sprang a leak and 
bail it out, hoping they could save it, but it sank, 
(Schroeder 1948). 



between Aitkin and Sandy Lake, and the last 
charter on 19 October 1899 by a contractor 
carry himself and his supplies to a bridge 
; Aitkin Age, 21 October 1899). According to 
's mill and saw the Walter Taylor sink at the 
Mr. Cluff went down every day for a month to 
and in a few years was covered with sand" 




Walter Taylor. Courtesy of the Aitkin County Historical Society. 



Anomalies 237 and 238: Anomalies 237 and 238 are in close proximity and may be associated 
with each other - possibly both as pieces of the sternwheeler Fawn. Fawn had the longest 
working life of the Headwaters Mississippi steamboats. She was launched in 1882 according to 
one of her captains, Christopher Columbus Sutton, and operated until 1894 (Hart 1952, 11). 
She had an adventurous and busy schedule, and like Walter Taylor, sank more than once. The 
first time was at the mouth of the Mud [Ripple} River in Aitkin in mid - April 1894, but she was 
raised and put back in service by mid - June. However, by late August she sank again, this 
time at her mooring place, but by early September she was repaired and back to work. 
However, the "Fawn struck a snag in the river just below the mouth of the Swan [River] on 
Thursday, and sank in the channel," this becoming her final resting place (Aitkin Age, 21 April, 
24 June, 25 August, 10 November 1894) near the Mississippi Landing Logging Pier site (21- 
AK0116). It has been reported that "after a while, the steamboat got filled in with sand and it 
became stuck into the sandbars of the river. In 1942, it was dynamited out by some local men 
who sold it for scrap iron" (Trunt 1993, 100). MHM can only assume that the "scrap iron" 
referred to must be the steamer's machinery since the vessel was wooden - hulled. Although 
we aren't thrilled with learning the wreck might have been blown - at least partially - up, it is 
hoped that the wreck's bottom is somewhat intact. 




Fawn next to a wanigan. Note the Andy Gibson - with steam up - in the 
background. Courtesy of the Itasca County Historical Society. 

Anomalies 133 and 134: Both of these large anomalies are good candidates for the location of 
the abandonment and burning of the sternwheeler City of Aitkin/George H. Houghton. The 
wreck has reportedly been seen during low water conditions and the boat "was burned there 
about 300 feet above. ..a portage which the river cut through in 1903" just above Clarks Landing 
(Sanford 1948). While anomalies 133 and 134 are abut two and three miles south of this 
location, MHM holds that they are still good contenders for this wreck. 



Conclusion: Other promising anomalies that may be steamboats, flatboats, wanigans, steam 
launches, and small personal craft are numbers 12, 88, 96, 184, 213, and 242. MHM plans to 
dive on every anomaly - and if the water is low, walk on them - and document (using SCUBA) 
the three newly identified sites in 2011 if proper funding can be secured. With the positive 
results of the Mississippi River Aitkin County Survey in hand, MHM is confident that the 
potential for identifying more Headwaters Mississippi River steamboats and other watercraft is 
very good. 



Rev.: 03.31.97 



MINNESOTA ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE FORM 



OFFICE OF THE STATE ARCHAEOLOGIST STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE 

Fort Snelling History Center, St. Paul, MN 55111 (612)725-2411 345 Kellogg Boulevard W., St. Paul, MN 55102 (612)296-5434 

OSA License #: 10-03, 10-04 SHPO RC #: 

Date(s) of Fieldwork: August 21,2010 _/ New Site _ Site Update 

SITE#: 21-AK0117 Site Name: Sandy River Steamboat Crib Field #: 

LOCATIONAL INFORMATION (attach USGS topographic quad and sketch map with site location outlined) 

County: Aitkin City/Twp. Name: Libby SHPO Region: 

USGS 7.5' Quadrangle Map (name and year): Libby Quadrangle, 1966 

Township: Libby Range: T 50 N R 24 W Section: 25 3 Sections (at least 2): NW 1/4, SE 1/4, SE 1/4 

Township: Range: Section: 3 Sections (at least 2): 

Township: Range: Section: 3 Sections (at least 2): 

UTM Site Coordinates (use 1927 datum; identify center point only): 

Zone 15 Easting 475997.69 m Northing 5181846.66 m 

Other locational information: 

The crib is located on the northwest bank of the Sandy River near its mouth at the confluence of the Mississippi River. 

SITE CHARACTERISTICS 

Acreage: .07 Site Dimensions (both horizontal and vertical/depth, in metric): 76mx61 mx 14mx35mx4m vertical 

Features {/ all that apply): earthwork _ depression _ foundation / other _ none 

describe: Stone pile on the north bank of the Sandy River 

Site Description (V all that apply and describe): 

/ single artifact _ artifact scatter _ lithic scatter _ earthwork/mound 

/ structural ruin _ rock alignment _ rock art _ cemetery/burial 

_ standing structure (SHPO structure # if known): _ other: 

describe : Remains of stone and wood crib that served as a steamboat landing 

Inferred Site Function ( must specify): The crib served as a landing place for steamboats where passengers and cargo would be 
off-loaded and on-loaded 

Current Land Use (V aU that apply): 

_ cultivated _ woodland _ commercial _ unknown 

_ fallow _ recreational _ industrial _/ other: river bank & channel 

_ grassland _ road _ residential 

Surface Visibility 

/ excellent / good - parts underwater but shallow _ fair _ poor _ none 

Degree of Disturbance (V and describe): 

_ minimal _ moderate _/ heavy _ destroyed _ unassessed 

describe disturbance type(s): The crib has collapsed over time and it appears that many of the stones have been removed from 
the site over the years and some stone have migrated into the center of the channel. An informant has told MHM that some wood 
survives along the crib's sides, probably in the river bank now. 

Current Threats to Site: 

_ erosion _ development _ agricultural _ none known S_ other: ice, water, floating debris 



Rev 03.3i.97 MINNESOTA ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE FORM 

SITE#: 21-AK0117 Site Name: Sandy River Steamboat Crib Field #: 

CULTURAL/TEMPORAL AFFILIATION 

(S all that apply; include level of certainty: 1 = confirmed; 2 = probable): 

Period: _ indeterminate _ Contact (1650-1837) 

_ Pre-Contact (9500 BC - 1650 AD) S\ Post-Contact (1837-1945) 

Pre-Contact Context: (if unable to discern specific context, ^ here _) 



page 2 



Paleolndian Tradition 


_ indeterminate 
_ Clovis 


_ Folsom 

_ Eastern Fluted 


_ Lanceolate Point 
_ other: 


Archaic Tradition _ 


indeterminate 
_ Shield 


_ Prairie 

_ Lake-Forest 


_ Riverine 
_ other: 


Woodland Tradition 


_ indeterminate 
_ Early 
_ Brainerd 
_ Black Duck 


_ Fox Lake 

_ Transitional 

_ Kathio 

_ Havana Related 


_ Laurel 

_ Lake Benton 

_ Psinomani/Sandy Lake 

_ Southeastern MN Late 

_ other: 


Plains Village 


_ indeterminate 
_ Great Oasis 


_ Cambria 
_ Big Stone 


_ other: 


Mississippian Tradition 


_ indeterminate 


_ Silvernale 


_ other: 


Oneota Tradition 


indeterminate 


Blue Earth Orr 


other: 



Contact Context: (if unable to discern specific context, S here _) 

American Indian _ indeterminate _ Eastern Dakota 

_ Ojibwe _ Western Dakota 



EuroAmerican 



_ indeterminate 
French 



_ British 
Initial US 



other: 



other: 



Post-Contact Context: (if unable to discern specific context, ^ here _) 
_ Indian Communities & Reservations (1837-1934) 
_ Early Agriculture & River Settlement (1 840-1 870) 
S_ Northern MN Lumbering (1870- 1930s) 
S_ Tourism & Recreation ( 1 870- 1 945) 



St. Croix Triangle Lumbering (1830s- 1900s) 
Railroads & Agricultural Development (1870-1940) 
Iron Ore Industry (1880s-1945) 
Urban Centers (1870-1940) 



Dating Methods (V aU that apply): 
_ artifact style/cross dating 
_ Sanborn maps (list years): _ 



radiocarbon 



S_ historic accounts 
plat maps (list years): 



Andreas atlas (1874) 



S_ other(s) {specify): historic photograph 
Specify context dates (if radiometric, cite lab no. and uncalib. date; note ifAMS): 1870-1921 

MATERIALS PRESENT 

Material Classes (V aU that apply): 
Ceramics Lit hies 



Aboriginal 
EuroAmerican 



projectile points 
_ other flaked stone tools 
_ debitage 
_ ground/pecked stone 



Biological Remains 
animal 
_ human 

_ unidentified bone 
floral 



Other Materials 
glass 
_ metal 
_ FCR 
S other: stones, wood 



Additional information (e.g., temper, charcoal type, raw material, etc.): 



Rev.: 03.31.97 



SITE#: 21-AK0117 



MINNESOTA ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE FORM 

Site Name: Sandy River Steamboat Crib Field #: 



page 3 



Major Exotic Materials (i.e., "exotic" relative to local area; ^ all that apply): 

_ catlinite _ native copper _ Hixton orthoquartzite 

_ Knife River Flint _ obsidian _ other: 

Diagnostic Type/Information (e.g., Brainerd ceramics, machine- cut nails ; describe decoration, function, manufacturer, etc.): 

Ceramic 

Lithic 

Glass 

Metal 

Other historic photograph and account insure the crib's identification 

Additional information: 



ENVIRONMENTAL DATA 

Major Drainage System 
_ Cedar River 

S_ Mississippi River (N of MN River) 
_ Mississippi River (S of MN River) 



Des Moines River 
Red River 
Missouri River 



_ Lake Superior 
Rainy River 
St. Croix River 



Minnesota River 



Watershed Index Map no. (MnDNR, Division of Waters, 1990): 9 

Distance to Existing Water Source (per USGS topographic map, in feet or miles): 
Ancient/Former Water Feature (name, type and distance to such feature) : Mississippi River, 



Topographic Setting (V aU that apply): 
Upland 

_ general upland 
_ bluff edge 
_ hilltop 

_ glacial beach ridge 
_ wetland 
other: 



Riverine Lacustrine 

_ alluvial fan _ inlet/outlet 

_ terrace _ peninsula 
_ stream-stream junction _ island 

_ bluff-base _ isthmus 

_ cave/rockshelter _ shoreline 

S other: riverbank other: 



HISTORIC SITES ONLY: 

Historic setting: S_ rural 



Type(s): 



industrial 



_ urban 
S commercial 



other: 



domestic 



government 



S other: recreational 



Historic transportation route (e.g., road, waterway, rail); identify type, direction & distance: Sandy River running in a 
generally East- West direction, miles & Mississippi River running in a generally North-South direction, 40 yards 



OWNERSHIP INFORMATION 

Ownership Type (V all that apply): 
federal S state 



local 



tribal 



• 



private 



S unknown 



Land Owner (name and address): The site is at least partially - if not entirely - owned by the State of Minnesota, since at least a portion of the site falls within the 
bottom and river bank of the Sandy River covered by the State. However, a portion of the site might be considered to be on private land because, since its 
construction, the river bank has shifted and part of the site might be considered 'on land," not in/on the river bank. The last known owner was Gene W. Hill, 
53581 State Highway 65, McGregor, MN 55760-5501. Mr. Hill would be quite elderly if he is still living; his listed phone number has been disconnected. MHM 
gained this information from Ken Muller, Olson's stepfather, whose parents Floyd and Clara Muller owned this land in the 1960s. Cliff Muller, Ken's brother, 
remembers seeing the wooden sides of the crib still extant in the 1970s. 

Significant historic owner(s) and period(s) of ownership, if known: John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company owned the land in the mid- 19 th Century, and it 
was later the site of the Libby Post Office. The steamboat crib itself was constructed around 1870 and was not associated with the AFC as far as MHM can 
surmise. 



Year and Source of Ownership Information (e.g., plat map, recorder's office, etc.): Hart, Irving H. 
Minnesota History, December 1926. 



"The Site of the Northwest Company Post on Sandy Lake" in 



Rev 03.3i.97 MINNESOTA ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE FORM page 4 

SITE#: 21-AK0117 Site Name: Sandy River Steamboat Crib Field #: 

INVESTIGATOR/REPORTER INFORMATION 

Type(s) of Investigation (V aU that apply): 

S_ reconnaissance ^_ evaluation S_ data recovery ^_ other: photography 

Methods/techniques employed (% aU that apply): 

_ informant report _ small diameter soil coring (. 1" diameter) 

_ surface survey _ geomorphological survey (specify): 

_ shovel testing _ geophysical survey (specify): 

_ excavation units 1 00% other(s): remote sensing 

Informant Name and Address: none 

Artifact Repository (name and accession nos.): none 

Report Citation: Mississippi River Aitkin County Survey, Maritime Heritage Minnesota, 2010 

Major Bibliographic Reference(s) to Site: 

Hart, Irving H., "The Site of the Northwest Company Post on Sandy Lake" in Minnesota History, 3 1 1-325, December 1926. 

Hart, Irving Harlow, "Steamboating on Mississippi Waters," in Minnesota History, 7-19, Spring 1952. 

Principal Investigator (name and affiliation): Ann Merriman and Christopher Olson, Maritime Heritage Minnesota 
ADDITIONAL NOTES (use space below or attach extra sheets, as needed) 




Photo of the crib taken by Irving H. Hart in 

1949, looking southwest toward the mouth 

of the Sandy River. 



August 2010. MHM attempted to create the same 

angle and distance for the photograph as Hart used, 

but large snags prevented us from positioning the 

boat properly. 



MAPS (attach USGS topographic quad and sketch map with site location outlined) 



Form Completed by (name and date): Ann Merriman and Christopher Olson, November 25, 2010 




/ 



,<F 



i* 



Jr* 



..---. 




%\. 




p. 



J i • • ■ 



s-iJV^ 



i - ^=- 




M 

i 

s 
s 

i 

s 
s 

i 

P 

P 

i 

R 

i 
v 

e 
r 






Approaching the site from the southwest, coming from the Mississippi River. 



Depth ft 

7 



Course 



.7 

7^ 



270 



n 46°47.398' 

W093°19.612> 



Time 



908 

Speed Irnph 

2.7 



87 Left 




Sandy River 




This sonar image was taken when traveling downstream heading in a 

southwesterly direction toward the mouth of the Sandy River. MHM is confident 

that some stones that once made up the Steamboat Crib have rolled into the 

channel of the Sandy River and are circled. Other stones are evident - and 

picked up by the sonar unit - among the long grasses that, in August 2010, 

grew prolifically around the crib in the high water. 



Rev.: 03.31.97 



MINNESOTA ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE FORM 



OFFICE OF THE STATE ARCHAEOLOGIST STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE 

Fort Snelling History Center, St. Paul, MN 55111 (612)725-2411 345 Kellogg Boulevard W., St. Paul, MN 55102 (612)296-5434 

OSA License #: 10-03, 10-04 SHPO RC #: 

Date(s) of Fieldwork: August 22, 2010 / New Site _ Site Update 

SITE#: 21-AK0116 Site Name: Mississippi Landing Logging Pier Field #: 

LOCATIONAL INFORMATION (attach USGS topographic quad and sketch map with site location outlined) 

County: Aitkin City/Twp. Name: Ball Bluff SHPO Region: 

USGS 7.5' Quadrangle Map (name and year): Jacobson 1966 

Township: Ball Bluff Range: T 52 N R 23 W Section: 9 3 Sections (at least 2): NW 1/4, SE 1/4, NE 1/4 

Township: Range: Section: 3 Sections (at least 2): 

Township: Range: Section: 3 Sections (at least 2): 

UTM Site Coordinates (use 1927 datum; identify center point only): 

Zone 15 Easting 479989.09 m Northing 5206071.88 m 

Other locational information: As of August 2010, the site was in 10 feet of water at its deepest with many pilings above the 
surface, located on the east side of the Mississippi River bank, south of the mouth of the Swan River. 

SITE CHARACTERISTICS 

Acreage: .5 1 Site Dimensions (both horizontal and vertical/depth, in metric): 96mx37mx58mx21 mx3m deep 

Features (/ all that apply): earthwork _ depression _ foundation _/ other _ none 
describe: Wooden pilings imbedded in the river bottom and extending above the surface. 

Site Description (V all that apply and describe): 

_ single artifact _ artifact scatter _ lithic scatter _ earthwork/mound 

^ structural ruin _ rock alignment _ rock art _ cemetery/burial 

_ standing structure (SHPO structure # if known): _ other: 

describe: The remains of the Mississippi Landing Logging Pier, comprised of large wooden pilings, that 

was once a part of a larger area known as Mississippi Landing. At least 39 pilings exist, visible in sonar images. 

Inferred Site Function ( must specify): Logs would be dumped here from railroad cars, rolled onto the wooden pier, and then into 
the river for transport via "log runs" or "log drives." 

Current Land Use (V aU that apply): 

_ cultivated _ woodland _ commercial _ unknown 

_ fallow _S_ recreational _ industrial _^ other: waterborne transportation 

_ grassland _ road _ residential 

Surface Visibility 

S excellent (above water) _good _fair ^ poor (underwater at river bottom) _ none 

Degree of Disturbance (V and describe): 

_ minimal _ moderate S_ heavy _ destroyed _ unassessed 

describe disturbance type(s): Pilings have been worn down/away from ice and water action; dock portion is completely gone. 

Current Threats to Site: 

_ erosion _ development _ agricultural _ none known S_ other: ice, water, floating debris, watercraft 



Rev 03.3i.97 MINNESOTA ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE FORM 

SITE #: 21 - AKO 116 Site Name: Mississippi Landing Logging Pier 

CULTURAL/TEMPORAL AFFILIATION 

(S all that apply; include level of certainty: 1 = confirmed; 2 = probable): 



page 2 



Field #: 



Period: 



indeterminate 

Pre-Contact (9500 BC - 1650 AD) 



_ Contact (1650-1837) 

S_ 1 Post-Contact (1837-1945) 



Pre-Contact Context: (if unable to discern specific context, ^ here _) 



Paleolndian Tradition _ 


indeterminate 
_ Clovis 


_ Folsom 

_ Eastern Fluted 


_ Lanceolate Point 
_ other: 


Archaic Tradition _ 


indeterminate 
_ Shield 


_ Prairie 

_ Lake-Forest 


_ Riverine 
_ other: 


Woodland Tradition 


_ indeterminate 
_ Early 
_ Brainerd 
_ Black Duck 


_ Fox Lake 

_ Transitional 

_ Kathio 

_ Havana Related 


_ Laurel 

_ Lake Benton 

_ Psinomani/Sandy Lake 

_ Southeastern MN Late 

_ other: 


Plains Village 


_ indeterminate 
_ Great Oasis 


_ Cambria 
_ Big Stone 


_ other: 


Mississippian Tradition 


_ indeterminate 


_ Silvernale 


_ other: 


Oneota Tradition 


indeterminate 


Blue Earth Orr 


other: 



Contact Context: (if unable to discern specific context, ^ here _) 

American Indian _ indeterminate _ Eastern Dakota 

_ Ojibwe _ Western Dakota 



EuroAmerican 



_ indeterminate 
French 



_ British 
Initial US 



other: 



other: 



Post-Contact Context: (if unable to discern specific context, ^ here _) 

_ Indian Communities & Reservations (1837-1934) _ St. Croix Triangle Lumbering (1830s- 1900s) 

_ Early Agriculture & River Settlement ( 1 840- 1870) _ Railroads & Agricultural Development (1870-1 940) 

S_ Northern MN Lumbering (1870-1930s) _ Iron Ore Industry (1880s-1945) 

_ Tourism & Recreation ( 1 870- 1 945) _ Urban Centers (1870-1 940) 



Dating Methods (V all that apply): 
_ artifact style/cross dating 

_ Sanborn maps (list years): 

S other(s) (specify): historic photograph 



radiocarbon 



S_ historic accounts 
plat maps (list years): 



Andreas atlas (1874) 



Specify context dates (if radiometric, cite lab no. and uncalib. date; note ifAMS): 1892 ~ 1917 or later 
MATERIALS PRESENT 



Material Classes (V aU that apply): 
Ceram ics L ith ics 



_ Aboriginal _ projectile points 

_ EuroAmerican _ other flaked stone tools 

_ debitage 

_ ground/pecked stone 
Additional information (e.g., temper, charcoal type, raw material, etc.): 



Biological Remains 
animal 
_ human 

_ unidentified bone 
floral 



Other Materials 
glass 
_ metal 
_ FCR 
S other: wood 



Rev 03.3i.97 MINNESOTA ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE FORM page 3 

SITE#: 21-AK0116 Site Name: Mississippi Landing Logging Pier Field #: 

Major Exotic Materials (i.e., "exotic" relative to local area; ^ all that apply): 

_ catlinite _ native copper _ Hixton orthoquartzite 

_ Knife River Flint _ obsidian _ other: 

Diagnostic Type/Information (e.g., Brainerd ceramics, machine- cut nails ; describe decoration, function, manufacturer, etc.): 
Ceramic 
Lithic 
Glass 
Metal 
Other pilings protruding from the water and sonar images 

Additional information: 

ENVIRONMENTAL DATA 

Major Drainage System 

_ Cedar River _ Des Moines River _ Lake Superior _ Minnesota River 

S_ Mississippi River (N of MN River) _ Red River _ Rainy River 

_ Mississippi River (S of MN River) _ Missouri River _ St. Croix River 

Watershed Index Map no. (MnDNR, Division of Waters, 1990): 9 



Distance to Existing Water Source (per USGS topographic map, in feet or miles): 
Ancient/Former Water Feature (name, type and distance to such feature) : Mississippi River, 



Topographic Setting (V aU that 
Upland 
_ general upland 


apply): 


Riverine 
alluvial fan 


Lacustrine 
inlet/outlet 


_ bluff edge 

_ hilltop 

_ glacial beach ridge 




_ terrace 

S_ stream-stream junction 
bluff-base 


_ peninsula 
_ island 
isthmus 


wetland 




cave/rockshelter 


shoreline 


other: 




S other: riverbank & channel 


_ other: 



HISTORIC SITES ONLY: 

Historic setting: S_ rural _ urban _ other: 

Type(s): _ industrial S_ commercial _ domestic _ government _ other: 

Historic transportation route (e.g., road, waterway, rail); identify type, direction & distance: Mississippi River running in a 
general north-south direction near confluence of Swan River that runs generally northeast; one of the Swan River Logging Co. 
spurs that ran parallel to the logging pier ran generally to the northeast & met up with the Great Northern Railroad 

OWNERSHIP INFORMATION 

Ownership Type (V aU that apply): 

_ federal S_ state _ local _ tribal _ private _ unknown 

Land Owner (name and address): State of Minnesota (Mississippi River bottom) 

Significant historic owner(s) and period(s) of ownership, if known: Ammi Wright, Charles Davis, 1892 ~ 1908, possibly longer, 
of the Swan River Logging Co.; taken over by Hill City Railway Co. until 1917 or later 

Year and Source of Ownership Information (e.g., plat map, recorder's office, etc.): Hibbing Sentinel, May 21, 1898; Great 
Northern Railway Records, 1917, MNHS 



Rev.: 03.31.97 



SITE#: 21-AK0116 



MINNESOTA ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE FORM 

Site Name: Mississippi Landing Logging Pier Field #: 



page 4 



INVESTIGATOR/REPORTER INFORMATION 

Type(s) of Investigation (V aU that apply): 

S_ reconnaissance S_ evaluation S_ data recovery S_ other: photography 

Methods/techniques employed (% aU that apply): 

_ informant report _ small diameter soil coring (. 1 " diameter) 

_ surface survey _ geomorphological survey (specify): 

_ shovel testing _ geophysical survey (specify): 

_ excavation units 1 00% other(s): remote sensing: side-imaging sonar 

Informant Name and Address: none 

Artifact Repository (name and accession nos.): none 

Report Citation: Mississippi River Aitkin County Survey, Maritime Heritage Minnesota, 2010 

Major Bibliographic Reference(s) to Site: 

Trunt, Leo, "Jacobson and the Story of Mississippi Landing 1890-1930" in Prosper, Can You Tell Me More?, Gateway Press, 
Inc., Baltimore, 1993. 

Great Northern Railway Records, MNHS. 

Principal Investigator (name and affiliation): Ann Merriman and Christopher Olson, Maritime Heritage Minnesota 

ADDITIONAL NOTES (use space below or attach extra sheets, as needed) 




Remains of the Logging Pier, date unknown. From 
Trunt's Propsper? Can You Tell Me More? 



The visible portion of the site in August 2010. 



MAPS (attach USGS topographic quad and sketch map with site location outlined) 

Form Completed by (name and date): Ann Merriman and Christopher Olson 1 1/24/2010 




JAOflBSA*, MINr«\ 



One row of pilings still protrudes above the 

surface of the water, but sonar images indicate 

there are more pilings protruding from the river 

bottom that cannot be seen during high water 

conditions. 




Mississippi Landing 
Logging Pier Site 



ty&f& 




The long outline in red 

was where the complete 

Logging Pier was located, 

No underwater pilings are 

evident in the sonar 

recordings for the more 

southern part of the area. 

However, there are 

probably pilings in the 

river bank and further on 

shore, since there was 

also a railroad spur here 

as well. 



Depth ft 

11.5 



Course 



345 

N 47*00.503' 
W 093" 15.806' 

Time 

140 

Speed Imph 

3i 
01? 



N 47 o 00.477' 
W09^1S-80a H 



Time 

140 

Speed mph 
Mm*£. 



100 Left 




Sonar image of the Mississippi Landing Logging Pier remains. The streaks leading off 
to the right are the shadows of pilings that are in the river channel. The irregularly- 
shaped object among the pilings is probably a tree, although it could be some large 
metal object, possibly remains of the railroad spur. Note the large tree at the bottom 
of the image on the right, including its shadow. 



Rev.: 03.31.97 



MINNESOTA ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE FORM 



OFFICE OF THE STATE ARCHAEOLOGIST STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION OFFICE 

Fort Snelling History Center, St. Paul, MN 55111 (612)725-2411 345 Kellogg Boulevard W., St. Paul, MN 55102 (612)296-5434 

OSA License #: 10-03, 10-04 SHPO RC #: 

Date(s) of Fieldwork: August 22, 2010 _S_ New Site _ Site Update 

SITE #: 21 - AK0 115 Site Name: Mississippi Landing Railroad Spur and Bridge Remains Field #: 

LOCATIONAL INFORMATION (attach USGS topographic quad and sketch map with site location outlined) 
County: Aitkin City/Twp. Name: Ball Bluff SHPO Region: 

USGS 7.5' Quadrangle Map (name and year): Jacobson 1966 

Township: Ball Bluff Range: T 52 N R 23 W Section: 4 3 Sections (at least 2): NW 1/4, SE 1/2 

Township: Ball Bluff Range: Section: 3 Sections (at least 2): 

Township: Range: Section: 3 Sections (at least 2): 

UTM Site Coordinates (use 1927 datum; identify center point only): 

Zone 15 Easting 479835.1 1 m Northing 5207451.27 m 

Other locational information: As of August 2010, western-most section of the site was visible at the river bank on the northern 
edge of the Mississippi River and the eastern-most edge of the site was visible at the river bank on the eastern edge of the river. 
Part of the site is on land since the river's route has changed in the last 90 years or so, and the railroad bed for the Mississippi, 
Hill City, and Western Railway has been incorporated into a road. 

SITE CHARACTERISTICS 

Acreage: 2.7 Site Dimensions (both horizontal and vertical/depth, in metric): 490 m x 66 m (widest point) x 3 m 
Features (/ all that apply): earthwork _ depression _ foundation pother _ none 

describe: Wooden pilings imbedded in the northern bank and eastern river bank are part of the Swan River Logging Company 
Railroad Spur. Wooden pilings imbedded in the river bottom and the eastern river bank are part of the Mississippi, Hill City, and 
Western Railway Swing Bridge. 

Site Description (V all that apply and describe): 

_ single artifact _ artifact scatter _ lithic scatter _ earthwork/mound 

^ structural ruin _ rock alignment _ rock art _ cemetery/burial 

_ standing structure (SHPO structure # if known): _ other: 

describe: 27 or more pilings in the northern bank and 6 pilings imbedded in the eastern bank are the remains of one of the Swan 
River Logging Company's railroad spurs that would have supported a trestle. 12 or more pilings in 2 rows in the river channel 
and 4 pilings in the eastern river bank supported the Mississippi, Hill City and Western Railway Swing Bridge. 

Inferred Site Function ( must specify): The spur was used by the Company's trains that delivered logs to logging piers so they 
could be dumped into the Mississippi for "driving" down river. The bridge allowed travel from the eastern side of the 
Mississippi River at this point to Hill City. 

Current Land Use (V aU that apply): 

_ cultivated _ woodland _ commercial _ unknown 

_ fallow _S_ recreational _ industrial _^ other: waterborne transportation 

_ grassland _ road _ residential 

Surface Visibility 

S excellent (above water) _good _fair ^ poor (underwater at river bottom) _ none 

Degree of Disturbance (V and describe): 

_ minimal _ moderate S_ heavy _ destroyed _ unassessed 

describe disturbance type(s): Pilings have been worn down/away from ice and water action 

Current Threats to Site: 

_ erosion _ development _ agricultural _ none known S_ other: ice, water, floating debris, watercraft 



Rev 03.3i.97 MINNESOTA ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE FORM 

SITE #: 21 - AKO 115 Site Name: Mississippi Landing Railroad Spur and Bridge Remains 

CULTURAL/TEMPORAL AFFILIATION 

(S all that apply; include level of certainty: 1 = confirmed; 2 = probable): 



page 2 



Field #: 



Period: 



indeterminate 

Pre-Contact (9500 BC - 1650 AD) 



_ Contact (1650-1837) 

S± Post-Contact (1837-1945) 



Pre-Contact Context: (if unable to discern specific context, ^ here _) 



Paleolndian Tradition 


_ indeterminate 
_ Clovis 


_ Folsom 

_ Eastern Fluted 


_ Lanceolate Point 
_ other: 


Archaic Tradition _ 


indeterminate 
_ Shield 


_ Prairie 

_ Lake-Forest 


_ Riverine 
_ other: 


Woodland Tradition 


_ indeterminate 
_ Early 
_ Brainerd 
_ Black Duck 


_ Fox Lake 

_ Transitional 

_ Kathio 

_ Havana Related 


_ Laurel 

_ Lake Benton 

_ Psinomani/Sandy Lake 

_ Southeastern MN Late 

_ other: 


Plains Village 


_ indeterminate 
_ Great Oasis 


_ Cambria 
_ Big Stone 


_ other: 


Mississippian Tradition 


_ indeterminate 


_ Silvernale 


_ other: 


Oneota Tradition 


indeterminate 


Blue Earth Orr 


other: 



Contact Context: (if unable to discern specific context, ^ here _) 

American Indian _ indeterminate _ Eastern Dakota 

_ Ojibwe _ Western Dakota 



EuroAmerican 



_ indeterminate 
French 



_ British 
Initial US 



other: 



other: 



Post-Contact Context: (if unable to discern specific context, ^ here _) 

_ Indian Communities & Reservations (1837-1934) _ St. Croix Triangle Lumbering (1830s- 1900s) 

_ Early Agriculture & River Settlement ( 1 840- 1870) _ Railroads & Agricultural Development (1870-1 940) 

S_ Northern MN Lumbering (1870-1930s) _ Iron Ore Industry (1880s-1945) 

_ Tourism & Recreation ( 1 870- 1 945) _ Urban Centers (1870-1 940) 



radiocarbon S_ historic accounts _ Andreas atlas (1874) 
_ plat maps (list years): 



Dating Methods (V all that apply): 
_ artifact style/cross dating 
_ Sanborn maps (list years): _ 
_ other(s) (specify): 



Specify context dates (if radiometric, cite lab no. and uncalib. date; note ifAMS): 1892 - 1935 
MATERIALS PRESENT 



Material Classes (V aU that apply): 
Ceram ics L ith ics 



Aboriginal 
EuroAmerican 



projectile points 
_ other flaked stone tools 
_ debitage 
_ ground/pecked stone 



Biological Remains 
animal 
_ human 

_ unidentified bone 
floral 



Other Materials 
glass 
_ metal 
_ FCR 
S other: wood 



Additional information (e.g., temper, charcoal type, raw material, etc.): 



Rev 03.3i.97 MINNESOTA ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE FORM page 3 

SITE #: 21 - AKO 115 Site Name: Mississippi Landing Railroad Spur and Bridge Remains Field #: 

Major Exotic Materials (i.e., "exotic" relative to local area; ^ all that apply): 

_ catlinite _ native copper _ Hixton orthoquartzite 

_ Knife River Flint _ obsidian _ other: 

Diagnostic Type/Information (e.g., Brainerd ceramics, machine- cut nails ; describe decoration, function, manufacturer, etc.): 
Ceramic 
Lithic 
Glass 
Metal 
Other pilings sticking out of water and river bank; sonar images 

Additional information: 

ENVIRONMENTAL DATA 

Major Drainage System 

_ Cedar River _ Des Moines River _ Lake Superior _ Minnesota River 

S_ Mississippi River (N of MN River) _ Red River _ Rainy River 

_ Mississippi River (S of MN River) _ Missouri River _ St. Croix River 

Watershed Index Map no. (MnDNR, Division of Waters, 1990): 9 

Distance to Existing Water Source (per USGS topographic map, in feet or miles): 

Ancient/Former Water Feature (name, type and distance to such feature) : Mississippi River, 



Topographic Setting (V all that 
Upland 
_ general upland 


apply): 


Riverine 
alluvial fan 


Lacustrine 
inlet/outlet 


_ bluff edge 

_ hilltop 

_ glacial beach ridge 




_ terrace 

_ stream-stream junction 
bluff-base 


_ peninsula 
_ island 
isthmus 


wetland 




cave/rockshelter 


shoreline 


other: 




S other: riverbank 


_ other: 



HISTORIC SITES ONLY: 

Historic setting: S_ rural _ urban _ other: 

Type(s): _ industrial S_ commercial _ domestic _ government _ other: 

Historic transportation route (e.g., road, waterway, rail); identify type, direction & distance: Mississippi River running in a 
general north-south direction; this spur met up with the Great Northern Railroad 

OWNERSHIP INFORMATION 

Ownership Type (V all that apply): 

_ federal ^_ state _ local _ tribal _ private _ unknown 

Land Owner (name and address): State of Minnesota (Mississippi River bottom and river bank) 

Significant historic owner(s) and period(s) of ownership, if known: Ammi Wright, Charles Davis, 1892 ~ 1908, possibly longer, 

of the Swan River Logging Co.; MHCWR, 1908-1915; Hill City Railway 1915-1935 - a subsidiary of the Great Northern 

Railroad 

Year and Source of Ownership Information (e.g., plat map, recorder's office, etc.): Hibbing Sentinel, May 21, 1898; Trains 

Magazine Online Forum: Mississippi River Crossings, 2005 



Rev.: 03.31.97 



SITE#: 21-AK0115 



MINNESOTA ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE FORM 

Site Name: Mississippi Landing Railroad Spur and Bridge Remains Field #: 



page 4 



INVESTIGATOR/REPORTER INFORMATION 

S_ reconnaissance ^_ evaluation S_ data recovery ^_ other: photography 

Methods/techniques employed (% aU that apply): 
_ informant report _ small diameter soil coring (.1" diameter) 

_ surface survey _ geomorphological survey (specify): 

_ shovel testing _ geophysical survey (specify): 

_ excavation units 1 00% other(s): side- imaging sonar 

Informant Name and Address: none 

Artifact Repository (name and accession nos.): none 

Report Citation: Mississippi River Aitkin County Survey, Maritime Heritage Minnesota, 2010. 

Major Bibliographic Reference(s) to Site: 

Trunt, Leo, "Jacobson and the Story of Mississippi Landing 1890-1930" in Prosper, Can You Tell Me More?, Gateway 
Press, 

Inc., Baltimore, 1993. 

Trunt, Leo, "The Village of Rabey" in Beyond the Circle, Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, 1998. 

Principal Investigator (name and affiliation): Ann Merriman and Christopher Olson, Maritime Heritage Minnesota 

ADDITIONAL NOTES (use space below or attach extra sheets, as needed) 





Pilings at the north bank of the river at the 

Qit^'Q \A/^Qt^rn mnQt ^nrl arp nart nf th^ Pilin 9 s atthe east bankof the river-the northern-most pilings are supports for th 
sues vvesiCMi-iiiusi gnu die pcai i ui uic Mississippi, Hill City, & Western Railway Swing Bridge, and the southern pilings 
Swan River Logging Company's Railroad are supports for the Swan River Logging Company's river crossing; the exact 



_TT. J. I ^ 




nature of the crossing is uncertain. 



Left: Two rows of support pilings for the 

Mississippi, Hill City & Western Railway 

Swing Bridge in the river channel. More 

oilinas. not visible, are underwater. 



MAPS (attach USGS topographic quad and sketch map with site location outlined) 

Form Completed by (name and date): Ann Merriman and Christopher Olson 1 1/23/2010 



ML. ■ - , J. a J "_j. "■ 1 j'r * 1 L 




*?05 






ROW i:ufc5Sr^"i.-i*H 
kvd iijf>vcr ■■|im ¥ b^rtk"+ 



: ^ 



■■km .ouiai 



3#trM*f? hkftrtr ■■'wllw J^n?mid nad '*■ -j *-, 

JACQKSflN, mink. 



*V 




The red boxes show the areas where MHM recorded pilings on the side imaging sonar and 
with photographs. Two maps (1897, 1915) of the area in Trunt's book, Prosper, Can You 

Tell Me More?, shows that the river channel has migrated south in this area, as it has down 

river near the Mississippi Landing Logging Pier site; another map from 1 91 7 in the Great 

Northern Railroad Records at MNHS confirms this. Terrestrial survey will probably reveal 

pilings in a line marked by the dotted lines that belong either to the railroad spur or to the 

logging pier that was constructed in this area as well. This site form only covers the red 

areas but mav be auamented if more nilinas are found after future investiaations in the black 



References 

Hart, Irving H. 1952. Steamboating on Mississippi Headwaters. Minnesota History, 
XXXIII (Spring): 7-19. 

Sanford, Mrs. Robert N. 1948. Letter from Palisade, MN, to Prof. I. H. Hart, McGregor, 
MN, 24 October. Typed copy. Irving Hart Letters Received, 1928, 1948. 
Manuscript Collection, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul. 

Schroeder, Mrs. John. 1948. Letter from Aitkin, MN, to Prof. I. H. Hart, McGregor, MN, 3 
September. Typed copy. Irving Hart Letters Received, 1928, 1948. Manuscript 
Collection, Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul. 

Trunt, Leo. 1993. Prosper, Can You Tell Me More?, Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore.