This is an account by Henry Rowe Schoolcraft (1793-1864) of his discovery of the Mississippi River's source, Lake Itasca, in 1832. Rainfall that occurs here eventually, over a period of three months, winds its way down the river to the Gulf of Mexico on a lazy but impressive 2,320 mile (3,730 kilometer) journey. During their visits, Murzyn and his brother would race back and forth across the rocks that span the stream that flows out of the lake. That could have been the end of the story, but in 1881, Willard Glazier, a self-promoting traveler, claimed Glazier Lake as the river’s source. Founded in 1985 by Captain Thomas K. Coborn and Mickey Coborn, Lake Itasca Tours has made over 8,000 Naturalist Narrated boat tours to the Headwaters of the Great Mississippi River. Itasca State Park, Lake Itasca: Hours, Address, Itasca State Park Reviews: 5/5. The lake was officially identified as the river’s primary source by Henry Schoolcraft in 1832 and before that, the nearby Cass Lake was widely believed to have been the source. “It wasn’t just an exercise in geography. It was explorer and ethnologist Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, however, who proposed Lake Itasca as the true source of the Mississippi in 1832. Visitors also enjoy wading across the shallow 18-inch deep water, crossing from the east side to the west side, where a rock dam indicates the end of Lake Itasca and the beginning of this mighty river. Schoolcraft reinforced his claim by renaming the lake Itasca, meaning “true source.” The name combines the Latin words “veritas” (truth) and “caput” (head). Why hasn't Minnesota ever produced a U.S. president? Itasca definition, a lake in N Minnesota: one of the sources of the Mississippi River. Listen and subscribe to our podcast: Via Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher. Schoolcraft was an Indian agent for the region, and he assembled an expeditionary party of thirty, including Ozawindib (an Ojibway guide and interpreter), an army officer, a surgeon, a geologist, and interpreter, and a missionary. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Tourism. Curious Minnesota is a community-driven project that puts readers' inquiries at the center of our reporting. History of Lake Itasca Tours. State Parks. Along the lakeshore in town stand the iconic statues of legendary lumberjack Paul Bunyan and his sidekick, Babe, the Blue Ox. In other words, while Lake Itasca is the Mississippi’s cultural source, Duffield makes a case that the Minnesota River and the tiny town of Veblen, S.D., is the river’s geologic source. How did Minnesota's indigenous people survive the extreme winters? These resources are located within Itasca State Park, which encompasses Lake Itasca, the official source of the Mississippi River, and a scenic area of northern Minnesota that has remained relatively unchanged from its natural state. Here’s why: If you follow the Minnesota River up to Big Stone Lake, that takes you to … Emma Dill is a University of Minnesota student on assignment for the Star Tribune. Debates continued until a survey revealed that the entire Itasca basin was the source of the Mississippi River, but the waters were not united as a … The two even had matching Lake Itasca T-shirts. Like Schoolcraft, he concluded the outlet at Lake Itasca was the only one with a surface flow and volume … Lake Itasca, MN Directions {{::location.tagLine.value.text}} Sponsored Topics. Rome2rio makes travelling from Chicago to Lake Itasca easy. What percentage of Minnesotans spend their entire lives here? The name “Itasca” is a combination of the Latin words “veritas” (truth) and “caput” (head). Wendell Duffield, a geologist and native Minnesotan, argues that the Minnesota River should be considered an alternative source. The primary source and start of the Mississippi River are Lake Itasca. “There’s two parts to the answer,” said Connie Cox, the lead interpretive naturalist at Itasca State Park. As the source of the Mississippi river, Lake Itasca's drainage basin is considered a subwatershed of the entire Mississippi River basin. Recently while sifting through family photographs, Murzyn, now a Star Tribune reader in Fridley, began to wonder: Is Lake Itasca the true headwaters of the Mississippi River or can we trace it to another source? Murzyn remembers learning early on that this small stream fed the mighty Mississippi River that rushed near his elementary school in northeast Minneapolis. Most of the area has a heavy growth of timber that includes virgin red pine, which is also Minnesota's state tree. It flows northwards from the lake. Geography. Lake Itasca is located in the southeastern region of the Clearwater County in north-central Minnesota. Lake Itasca Lake Itasca Photograph: Rocks partly dam a small river on a lake. It was identified in 1832 as the source of the Mississippi River. So, the source of the Mississippi River is Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota but what if Lake Winnipeg was the source of the Mississippi River and Lake Itasca and Lake Winnipeg were connected as a result? Giacomo Beltrami claimed to have discovered the headwaters in 1823. Individuals like surveyor Jacob Brower became captivated by the region and the wildlife that inhabited it. The lake, of glacial origin, covers an area of 1.7 square miles (4.4 square km) and has a maximum depth of 40 feet (12 metres). Bemidji is the first city on the Mississippi. “What he had concluded is Lake Itasca is that bottommost reservoir … and that all of these other lakes and rivers do contribute water, but the ultimate source is Lake Itasca… Traveler rating. See more. If it’s lower, the Americans walk away with it.”. Why is Uptown south of downtown in Minneapolis? Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Lake Itasca, Itasca State Park, northwestern Minnesota. Lake Itasca has become culturally recognized as the Mississippi’s source by tourists, mapmakers. Were Minneapolis' skyways first created to combat the cold – or something else? 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