ITASCA LAKE, farthest source of the Mississippi, in northern Minnesota. It is lo cated about 47° 13' 10" N. and 95° 12' W. at an altitude of 1,457 feet above sea-level. It was first definitely proved to be the source of the Mississippi by H. R. Schoolcraft (q.v.) in 1832 as a result of a journey of exploration under taken under the auspices of the United States government. At the same time it received its name by a fanciful combination of the two Latin words ver-itas-ca-put. Claims have been made at times, especially by W. Glazier, that another lake beyond Itasca Lake, known as Elk or Glazier Lake, is the ultimate source of the Mississippi. These have not been substan tiated, however, and Itasca Lake is still con sidered officially the source of the father of rivers. I he ground has a substratum of sand and gravel, mingled with large boulders; the surface is spongy and swampy. This basin has been made a national park of about seven by five miles, containing 19,701.69 acres (30.'8 square miles). In the centre, fed by io permanent and with a flood plain so small that it has actually risen in dry seasons (though it receded some feet during the 19th century), lies Itasca, a giant among the small ponds around it, •but having an area of only 1,130 acres, or 0,tt square miles. It is composed of a centre running east and west abv,ut a mile, v.benre tend south an east and a west arm about miles long each, and another northward about a mile, the width varying from one-sixth to three-fourths of a mile. It
has a shore line of 23,000 yards (over 13 miles). Depth, 4 to 50 and 60 feet; average, 20 to 35. The Mississippi flows from its north arm; a strong brook called by Nicollet the aInfant Mississippi') flows into the west arm. The basin of Itasca Lake has been made into a state park. (See Mtssissrm RIVER). Consult Brower, J. V., 'Itasca State Park> (Saint Paul 1904) ; Brower, J. V., 'The Mississippi River and its Source' (in Minnesota Historical Soci ety Collections, Vol. VII, Saint Paul 1894) • Baker, J. H., 'The Sources of the Mississippi' (in ibid., Vol. VI, p. 1, Saint Paul 1894); Baker, L. H., 'Origin of the Name of Itasca Lake' (in Magazine of Western History, Vol. IV, p. 336, Cleveland 1886) ; Chambers, J., 'The Mississippi River' (New York 1910) ; Clarke, H., 'The Source of the Mississippi' (New York 1886) ; Glazier, W., 'Down ;the Great Rivexo (Philadelphia 1888) ; id., "Headwaters of the Mississippi' (Chicago 1897); School craft, H. R., 'Narrative of an Expedition through the Upper Mississippi to Itasca Lake, etc.' (New York 1834) ; id., 'Summary Narra tive of an Exploratory Expedition to the Sources of the Mississippi River in 1820, etc.' (Philadelphia 1855) ; Winchell, N. H., 'The Source of the Mississippi' (in Minnesota His torical Society Collections, Vol. VIII, p. 226, Saint Paul 1898).