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Minnesota

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MINNESOTA (Dakota, "sky-tinted is bounded on the east by the Mississippi River, the Saint Croix River and a line running north from the western bend of this stream for 40 miles until it strikes the extreme western end of Lake Superior, and by the curving north west shore of the lake. These boundaries sep arate Minnesota from the State of Wisconsin. On the north the State is separated from the province of Ontario in Canada by the Pigeon and Rainy rivers, by a line passing northward and westward through Lake of the Woods, then southward to the 49th parallel which, for 100 miles until it is intercepted by the Red River of the North, forms the boundary between Min nesota and the province of Manitoba. The Red River from its source in Lake Traverse and a line running southward from the Big Stone Lake, separated from Lake Traverse by a mile of land, to the northern boundary of Iowa, di vides Minnesota from North and South Da kota on the west. The line between Minne sota and Iowa, on the south, is 275 miles long. Within these boundaries the State has an area of 87,196 square miles, of which 6,338 is of water. It is 408 miles long from north to south, and from 357 miles, the distance from the Red River to Pigeon Point, on Lake Su perior, to 180 miles, the distance from Big Stone Lake to Saint Croix Falls, or an average of something over 200 miles wide.

The most important fact about the surface of Minnesota is that its north-central part forms the divide from which water flows northward to Hudson's Bay, east" ward by way of the Saint Lawrence River to the Atlantic and southward through the Mis sissippi to the Gulf of Mexico. This divide is the old Laurentian highland which slopes steeply to Lake Superior, gently to the south and west. Two-thirds of the State is a rolling plain, well drained and easily cultivated. The average elevation is 1,275 feet, this figure in volving calculations of such low altitudes as 616 feet in the southeastern part of the State and the heights of the Mesabe Range and the Sawteeth Mountains in the northern part, the greatest of which attains 2,200 feet. The val ley of the Red River is 800 feet above sea-level and the Twin Cities have the same altitude.

Rivers and The early explorers found in Minnesota wonderful canoe high ways. From Lake Superior they could ascend the Saint Louis River, then cross over to the Mississippi, by which, with short portages, they could easily reach the Red; or they could de scend the Mississippi, carry around the Falls of Saint Anthony, enter the Minnesota, ascend to Big Stone Lake, carry to Lake Traverse and enter the Red from that direction. Again they could enter the Saint Croix at its confluence with the Mississippi and ascend to the Wis consin divide, on the northern slope of which they found numerous streams leading to Lake Superior. With the exception of a short por tage the way from Lake Superior to the Red River was open along the northern boundary and it was easy to get from the Minnesota River into the Des Moines River, and thus travel through what is now the State of Iowa. Each of the larger rivers is fed by numerous goodly tributaries — the Mississippi by the Crow Wing, Rum, Minnesota, Saint Croix, Cannon, Zumbro and Root; the Minnesota by the Blue Earth, Cottonwood, Redwood, Chippewa, Pomme de terre and Lac Qui Parle; the Red by the Red Lake and Wild Rice; the Rainy by the Vermillion, Big Fork and Little Fork; the Saint Croix by the Little and the Snake. All of these are wholly within the State. The Mississippi and Minnesota, with their branches, drain 48,700 square miles of territory; the Red, 15,100; and the Rainy, 10,300. The Missouri drains about 1,700 square miles.

There are over a thousand lakes in the State, with a total area of 3,000 square miles. They range in size from a few acres to the great expanses of Red Lake, 400 square miles; Leech Lake, 200, and Mille Lacs, 200, and in clude such resorts as Minnetonka and White Bear, near the Twin Cities, Vermillion, 90 miles north of Duluth, the Otter Tail and the Chisago lakes. Within the limits of Saint Paul and Minneapolis there are 13 lakes of notable size and excellent beaches. No portion of the State, except the extreme southeastern and the lower Red River Valley, lacks the advantages for recreation afforded by a good lake.

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