Carlton County Historical Society

Carlton County Historical Society History served daily! (except Sunday and Monday)
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We are still looking for volunteers for the Carlton County Fair for the Machinery Building and the Log Cabin to greet vi...
07/25/2019
Carlton County Fair 2019

We are still looking for volunteers for the Carlton County Fair for the Machinery Building and the Log Cabin to greet visitors, sell items, talk about Carlton County History, and for historical demonstrations.

Come share your love of history with us at the Fair! Follow the link to go to our sign-up page or call the museum at 218-879-1938 or Darlene at 218-590-6965 and we can help you get scheduled.
https://signup.com/go/bCBAjtb

SignUp.com makes it easy to coordinate school events & classroom activities, fundraisers, snack schedules, potlucks & more!

07/18/2019

We will also be having a table with antiques, including dish sets and teacups, at the Carlton County Historical Society Fundraiser Sale.

Please come join us at the Northeastern Saloon in Cloquet this Friday and Saturday, July 19-20, 9:00 am to 3 pm.

The 2019 Carlton County Fair is quickly approaching and we need your help!  We need volunteers to be at the Machinery Bu...
07/17/2019
Carlton County Fair 2019

The 2019 Carlton County Fair is quickly approaching and we need your help! We need volunteers to be at the Machinery Building and the Log Cabin to greet visitors, sell items and talk about Carlton County History.

At the Log Cabin we are also looking for anyone that would be interested in demonstrating a skill relevant to the time period. Examples are weaving, sewing, wood carving, playing a musical instrument etc.

Come share your love of history with us at the Fair! Follow the link to go to our sign-up page or call the museum at 218-879-1938 or Darlene at 218-590-6965 and we can help you get scheduled.

https://signup.com/go/bCBAjtb

SignUp.com makes it easy to coordinate school events & classroom activities, fundraisers, snack schedules, potlucks & more!

07/17/2019

The Carlton County Historical Society Fundraiser Sale at the Northeastern Saloon in Cloquet will have a table with agates. The agates will be sold and silent-auctioned off.

Please come join us at the sale this Friday and Saturday, July 19-20, 9:00 am to 3 pm.

As you celebrate 4th of July today, please remember to thank those who volunteered their time to help organize the celeb...
07/04/2019

As you celebrate 4th of July today, please remember to thank those who volunteered their time to help organize the celebrations.

July 3, 1951. Pine Knot Newspaper.
4th of July committee for the Cloquet celebrations.

EAGLE TOWNSHIP was named for Eagle Lake that resides within it. The township opened up in 1870 when the railroad line fr...
06/26/2019

EAGLE TOWNSHIP was named for Eagle Lake that resides within it. The township opened up in 1870 when the railroad line from St. Paul to Duluth was completed. Before this, logging operations were in the area as the Kettle River was used to float logs down to be received in Stillwater, MN. This township was also home to the dam farthest north that controlled water levels for this purpose.

The first settlers in the township were employees of the logging operations and homesteaded along the Kettle River. Beginning in 1890, more settlers were being drawn in to homestead, especially after the economic hardships of the Panic of 1893. The township was officially organized in 1902.

The first school was built in 1896 on what is now East Four Corners Road and Highway 73. This school, the first Eagle School, was opened until a new one was built one mile south of the old school in 1932. This school was open until 1964 when it began to consolidate with Cromwell. A second school opened in section 33 in Eagle Township in 1919 called Parvianen. It was closed around 1932 to consolidate with the Eagle Lake School.

Photo: School bus for Eagle Lake School, circa 1930. Children's names unknown.

On this 75th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion of WWII, we remember a Cloquet man who died from injuries sustained du...
06/06/2019

On this 75th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion of WWII, we remember a Cloquet man who died from injuries sustained during the battle.

Rodger F. Johnson, 1923-1944.

Carlton County Historical Society's cover photo
05/23/2019

Carlton County Historical Society's cover photo

Carlton County Historical Society's cover photo
05/23/2019

Carlton County Historical Society's cover photo

Schedule for Memorial Day events posted by the Pine Journal. Please honor our men and woman for their sacrifices.
05/23/2019
Memorial Day event schedule

Schedule for Memorial Day events posted by the Pine Journal. Please honor our men and woman for their sacrifices.

Tester Niemi Post 562 honor guard (Brookston)

CROMWELL began as Island Lake Station in 1872 when the railroad first went through the area. A section house and another...
05/11/2019

CROMWELL began as Island Lake Station in 1872 when the railroad first went through the area. A section house and another house was built to house two families. It also served as a hotel and employed a regular cook. In 1876, the area was settled by Thomas Finn who was employed by the Northern Pacific Railroad. In 1883, the name was changed to Cromwell to agree with the post office designation assigned by the Northern Pacific Railroad Company.

Cromwell was to honor James L. Cromwell of Duluth. According to one source, he was associated with the West Duluth Land Company and Rueben Carlton Lumber Company at that time. In the 1885 census, a "Jas Cromwell" was found in Twin Lakes Township at the age of 25 with his wife Clara. In 1895, a 35 year old James Cromwell was found in Duluth at 418 2nd Ave W with a wife Clara and son, Leslie J., with "Bookkeeper" listed as an occupation. He was still in Duluth in 1900 with "U.S. Inspector" as his occupation. In 1905 and 1910, he was a real estate agent.

James L. Cromwell was born in Canada of Scottish ancestry in April of 1860. He immigrated to the United States in 1870. Cromwell was named as part of the Canal Bridge Commission in 1900 as the Common Council president. The council was created to build the Aerial Lift Bridge in Duluth. In 1902, he was one of the men featured in "Men of Minnesota" which was published by the Minnesota Historical Society. The photograph is from this book. Cromwell passed away October 13, 1914.

Sources: Heaser, Mike. "Cromwell Island Lake Gets Named Cromwell." Voyageur Press, September 11, 2007.
Dierckins, Tony. "Crossing the Canal: An Illustrated History of Duluth's Aerial Bridge." Duluth: Zenith City Press, 2008.
"Men of Minnesota." St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Company, 1902.

Here is a Fox 21 news article written about the Carlton County Historical Society obtaining ownership for the Shaw Memor...
04/30/2019
Carlton County Historical Society Gets New Home - Fox21Online

Here is a Fox 21 news article written about the Carlton County Historical Society obtaining ownership for the Shaw Memorial Library Building, the current and future home for our museum.

CLOQUET, Minn.- The Carlton County Historical Society now officially has a new home. The lease for the 99-year-old Shaw Memorial Library Building on Cloquet Avenue was officially transferred to the Historical Society on Wednesday. What was once a place where Cloquet residents would browse books is n...

CORONA is a Latin word that means "crown." This town/township was named by the Northern Pacific Railroad with a petition...
04/18/2019

CORONA is a Latin word that means "crown." This town/township was named by the Northern Pacific Railroad with a petition from its settlers. Corona is near to the highest point between Lake Superior and the Mississippi River, so it was possibly named "crown" because of this.

Corona was a railroad stop six miles east of Cromwell. This small town had a school, depot and a store. The store was ran by the depot agent, Norman Houck, who used to finance logging in the area. In 1916-1917, a shipload of dynamite arrived at the depot. While it was being stored, a stove caught fire and the whole building went up in a big boom, leaving a black hole in the ground. The town burned completely during the 1918 fires.

The Corona area is known for its massive peat bogs of which industries have tried to harvest since the 1920s. It also had a bountiful blueberry harvest where hundreds of people would visit in the summer for. In the 1930s, the Finnish community in the Corona area organized the Workers Hall Association which promoted education, welfare, social, and athletic activities. The Workers Hall provided a center for the township until the organization was disbanded.

Photo: Peat Digger- Corona Township.

Sources: Upham, Warren. "Minnesota Geographic Names". pg 74.
Olesiak, Mrs. Ray. "Corona." Carlton County Centennial 1857-1957. pg 29.

Long before CLOQUET was settled, it's future was given shape by the river that runs through it. Early French traders cal...
04/11/2019

Long before CLOQUET was settled, it's future was given shape by the river that runs through it. Early French traders called it "La Riviere du Fond du Lac Superieur" or "The river at the end of Lake Superior." Today, it is called St. Louis River and was used as a highway for travelers wishing to explore west of Lake Superior. After enduring a nine mile Grand Portage upstream around the Dalles of St. Louis (Jay Cooke Park today), explorers would come to a shorter, 3 mile portage around Knife Falls, near to present day Cloquet at Fortress Island in the river. The first village to be established in this region was named after these falls.

The first mention of the name Cloquet came from Joseph N. Nicollet's map in 1843 which named the Cloquet River, a tributary into the St. Louis River, and the Cloquet Rapids which are several miles north of Cloquet. The origin of the name Cloquet has been suggested as a corruption of the common name of Cloutier which is supported by a story from a Methodist Missionary in 1850.

Other suggestions have also been made. A French explorer named the river in honor two prominent brother physicians in France, Hippolyte Cloquet and Jules Germain Cloquet. Daniel Cameron also wrote about his visit in 1873 and stated, "There was a trading post about twelve miles further up the river that they called Cloquette after the Bishop Cloquette, who had done missionary work about the Indians a generation before."

There is another possible earlier suggestion. In an 1820 expedition by Henry R. Schoolcraft, he referred the river as the "Glukie Rapide". The possible origins of the word "Glukie" was that it was a corruption of the name of the of the French Canadian fur trader, Pierre Cotte when pronounced by the Anglo-Scottish traders of Northwest and American Fur Companies. In a later expedition, Schoolcraft would later call the river just "Rapid River."

The name does not appear outside of Minnesota as a geographic name. Cloquet is also the name of an island in the Mississippi River in Dayton Township of Hennepin County.

Cloquet began as Knife Falls around sawmills that came to take advantage of growing logging industry. In 1879, the St. Paul and Duluth Railroad came through the town and the first sawmill was established. Settlement clustered around the mills and they became known as "Nelson Town", "Shaw town", and "Johnson Town," In 1884, Knife falls was established as a village and the name was changed to Cloquet. On November 8, 1904 Cloquet was incorporated as a city.

Sources: "Minnesota Geographic Names" by Warren Upham; "Crossroads in Time" by Francis Carroll and "A Hometown Album" by Larry Luukkonen & Marlene Wisuri.

NOTICE:Roofing ContractorsRequest for BidsOur roof is in need of replacement!Contractors, please stop by to take a look ...
04/10/2019

NOTICE:
Roofing Contractors
Request for Bids

Our roof is in need of replacement!
Contractors, please stop by to take a look at our roof this week
and send us your bid by April 15.
We will choose a roofing contractor soon!

Clear Creek Township was created in 1917. It was named for the creek that ran through the middle of the township. One no...
03/14/2019

Clear Creek Township was created in 1917. It was named for the creek that ran through the middle of the township. One notable farm that resided in Clear Creek was the Jean Duluth Farm.

The Jean Duluth Farm was started by an attorney, John G. Williams, with a farm in Duluth. In 1916, land was bought in Carlton County and was cleared for a second farm. The farm was located just above the Pine County border along Net Lake or County Line Road. George P. Grout was the farm manager and William Crosby was his assistant. The farm had a huge barn with a hayloft 128 X 40 ft. There was also a creamery, cookhouse, horse barn, and chicken house.

The farm was started with 40 Guernsey heifers and few bulls that were purchased from the Guernsey Islands off of France. On July 4, 1918, the public was invited to the farm and a barn dance was held with an orchestra in the hayloft. This became an annual affair. The following years proved to be profitable with a cow selling for $8,000 and a calf selling for $14,000.

In 1937, John Williams died and the farm was sold to Ervin Beise. When farming began to decline, the Jean Duluth Farm was eventually closed.

The city of Carlton began as a railroad junction called Northern Pacific Junction or N.P. Junction in 1870. Before then,...
03/07/2019

The city of Carlton began as a railroad junction called Northern Pacific Junction or N.P. Junction in 1870. Before then, there were two settlements, one called Komoko near present day Komoko Road and the site of the junction point between the transcontinental line and a the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad. There was a general store and a few other buildings at the Komoko site. Another settlement was a few shacks on the rocks north of the Carlton Feed Mill.

The Komoko site's terrain proved to be unsuitable, and the main site was moved to the present day Carlton. In 1881, Northern Pacific was incorporated as a village. The county seat was moved there in 1889, to the chagrin of Thomson, the previous county seat, and Cloquet, who also wanted to be the county seat. In 1891, the village was officially renamed Carlton after Reuben Carlton of whom the county was also named after.

Reuben Carlton was born in New York State in 1812. 35 years later, he and his wife Susan came to Fond du Lac on the St. Louis River and just outside the borders of Carlton County. He was appointed to be a farmer and blacksmith for the Chippewa and became a trustee when Fond du Lac was incorporated as a townsite in 1857, the same year Carlton became a county in the territory of Minnesota. He was also a witness to a treaty with the Chippewa in 1857 and helped to organize a mining company to explore mineral rights around the North Shore that same year.

A year later, Minnesota became as state and Reuben Carlton was elected as the first state senator for the 26th district, which included Carlton, St. Louis, Lake, Itasca, and Buchanan counties (Buchanen County was once a part of northern Pine County and was dissolved in 1861). Reuben died in 1863 and was buried at the Nemadji cemetery in Superior.

Sources: Samuelson, Oscar. "Concerning Carlton County." Carlton County Vidette, 1927.
Haubner, Maurice. "Pillars of Society." 11-15.
"Stealth let Carlton rule its own county." Duluth News Tribune, Dec. 12, 1976.
Martin, Rachael. "The Carltons of Fond du Lac." Senior Reporter. April 2011.

Blackhoof was the name of a river, lake, and township in the Blackhoof Valley. From 1866-1870, there was a stagecoach st...
02/26/2019

Blackhoof was the name of a river, lake, and township in the Blackhoof Valley. From 1866-1870, there was a stagecoach stop along the Military Road operated by Mr. Jackson and his daughter called Blackhoof. The logging operators Sauntry & Cain logged in the area until 1899, but remained at Sandy Lake for a time. Blackhoof became a township in 1905. The town then had a railroad stop, post office, and a school.

According to the book "Minnesota Geographic Names" written by Warren Upham, the name Blackhoof was as English translation of a Ojibwe word. The reason for this name is unclear, but research by Cynthia Johnson uncovered several possibilities.

1. Named after a settler in the area (settler unknown).
2. Named for the abundance of black deer in the area (what species of deer?)
3. After the Caribou and Moose Populations. Both Caribou and Moose were totem clans of the Ojibwe. The Bear clan subdivided into "foot, head, ribs." Maybe, the Moose and Caribou did too?
4. The Black Foot Indian tribe, a fellow Algonquin language member along with the Ojibwe, who once lived in the Great Lakes Region before the coming of the French.
5. Blackfeet Sioux whose range, along with the rest of the Sioux, extended up into this region before the coming of the white man and other tribes pushed them further west.
6. Chief Black Hoof, a Shawnee tribal chief and great military leader who lived in the Ohio River Valley during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Shawnee were also Algonquin language members and the Ojibwe lived closer to them before they pushed out west to Wisconsin and Minnesota. The two tribes actually fought together before in Ohio against the British and later Americans.

Do you have any ideas or knowledge of how Blackhoof received its name? We may never know for sure.

Beseman Township, north of Wright, was named after the Beseman or Besemann family. Legend goes that there were two Besem...
02/14/2019

Beseman Township, north of Wright, was named after the Beseman or Besemann family. Legend goes that there were two Besemans serving on the town board and that a bridge was needed in their township. The state would not approve funding unless the township had a name so they named it after the two board members. The original homesteader, Ernest Beseman, was born 1858 in Germany and had married his first wife, Laura, in 1878 in Chaska, MN.

In Chaska, Beseman owned a saloon and held the positions of constable and mayor at different times. He also served on the fire department and played in the band. Beseman would also take hunting trips up to Wright with friends and learned to love the land. Laura passed away in 1898 after bearing him 8 children, 5 living, throughout their marriage.

Beseman married about a year later to a intelligent school teacher named Emilie (Amelia, Emilia, Emelia). He had known her before in Germany and wrote to convince her to come to America. They had one son who didn't survive past infancy. In 1901, Beseman retired and bought timberland near Wright to homestead with his family. Beseman continued to be involved in his community until his death in 1927.

Barnum was formed in 1870 when the railroad was constructed through the area. Bill Oliver was the first permanent settle...
02/11/2019

Barnum was formed in 1870 when the railroad was constructed through the area. Bill Oliver was the first permanent settler when he moved in the area to be a foreman for Jerome Cooley's logging operations. Cooley's operations cleared land in the area, dammed the Moose Horn River, and built a boarding house for 25 men to be employed at his sawmill.

After 1879, about 8 German families moved into the area from Michigan to homestead along the Military road. At that time, "Cooley" was suggested as the name for the newly enlarged village, but word came from St. Paul that the village had already been named after George Barnum.

George G. Barnum was a surveyor and purchasing agent for the St. Paul & Duluth Railway Co and was on the first passenger train to Duluth, arriving on August 1, 1870. Before that, he had traveled to Superior on a stage coach and directed a reluctant work crew for the railroad who had been recruited back East. On the journey from Lake Superior to Fond du Lac neighborhood, some crew members had shot at some Native Americans ricing on Spirit Lake before Barnum stopped them.

He also served as a soldier during the Civil War as a private in the New York State Volunteer Infantry. In later years, Barnum was involved in the grain business and had an office in Board of Trade Building in Duluth. He also appears on the Hall of Fame there. Barnum retained his interest in the city of Barnum and gave the village a public library. He also gave a gift of a $5 gold piece to every graduating high school student in Barnum until his death in 1936.

Address

406 Cloquet Ave
Cloquet, MN
55720

Opening Hours

Tuesday 09:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 16:00
Thursday 09:00 - 16:00
Friday 09:00 - 16:00
Saturday 09:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(218) 879-1938

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