Central Vermont Railway
The Central Vermont Railway was a railroad that operated in the U. S. states of Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, as well as the Canadian province of Quebec. It connected Montreal, with New London, using a route along the shores of Lake Champlain, through the Green Mountains and along the Connecticut River valley, as well as Montreal to Boston, through a connection with the Boston and Maine Railroad at White River Junction, Vermont; the Vermont Central Railroad was chartered October 31, 1843, to build a line across the center of Vermont, running from Burlington on Lake Champlain east to Montpelier, southeast and south to Windsor on the Connecticut River. Initial plans had the main line running through Montpelier. However, due to the difficulty of building through the Williamstown Gulf, a narrow valley south of Barre, to land interests of Charles Paine in Northfield, Vermont, a course to the west was selected, leaving the state capital to be served by a short branch line. Construction began on December 15, 1845, the first section, from White River Junction west to Bethel, opened on June 26, 1848.
Subsequent sections opened to Roxbury on September 17, 1848, Northfield on October 10, 1848, Montpelier on June 20, 1849, Middlesex on August 30, 1849, Waterbury on September 29, 1849, the full distance to Burlington on December 31, 1849. The part along the Connecticut River from Hartford south to Windsor opened on February 13, 1849; the Vermont and Canada Railroad was chartered October 31, 1845, as a continuation of the Vermont Central north and west to Rouses Point, New York, splitting at Essex Junction and running north via St. Albans and Swanton. A branch ran north to the border with Canada. On August 24, 1849, the Vermont Central leased the Vermont and Canada, it was completed in 1851. However, the Vermont Central defaulted on rental payments, the Vermont and Canada returned to its original owners on June 28, 1852; the lease was reinstated. The Montreal and Vermont Junction Railway was chartered in 1860 and opened in the 1860s, extending the Vermont and Canada's branch from the international border north to St. Johns, Quebec, on the Grand Trunk Railway's Montreal and Champlain Railroad.
From opening it was operated as an extension of the Canada. The Sullivan County Railroad continued south from Windsor to Bellows Falls, where it met the Cheshire Railroad towards Boston. At first it was operated by the Central Vermont, but the Boston and Maine Railroad gained control of it, giving trackage rights to the Central Vermont; the Vermont Valley Railroad, running south from Bellows Falls to the New London Northern Railroad in Brattleboro, was owned by the Rutland Railroad and by the B&M. In 1867 the Vermont Central leased the Stanstead and Chambly Railroad, running east from St. Johns to Waterloo, Quebec; the Waterloo and Magog Railway was built as an extension from Waterloo south to Magog. The Vermont Central leased the Ogdensburg and Lake Champlain Railroad on March 1, 1870, extending its line from Rouses Point west to Ogdensburg, New York. On January 1, 1871, the Vermont Central leased the Rutland Railroad system, giving it routes from Burlington to Bellows Falls and Chatham, New York.
The New London Northern Railroad was leased on December 1, 1871. On November 2, 1872, the name was changed to the Central Vermont Railroad. Though chartered as an independent entity in 1867, control of the Missisquoi Railroad was gained shortly thereafter, it was formally leased in July 1873, providing a branch from St. Albans northeast to Richford, Vermont, it was operated until November 15, 1877, when the Connecticut and Passumpsic Rivers Railroad took it over. The company was reorganized in December 1886 as the Missisquoi Valley Railway, was once again leased to the Central Vermont; the Montpelier and White River Railroad opened in 1876 and was leased to the Central Vermont, running from the end of the Montpelier Branch south to and beyond Barre. The Consolidated Railway was formed on June 30, 1884, to consolidate the Central Vermont and Vermont and Canada and to settle litigation between the two companies. A new Central Vermont Railroad was formed on July 1, 1884 to take over from the Consolidated Railway.
In 1889 the Burlington and Lamoille Railroad was reorganized as the Burlington and Lamoille Valley Railroad and leased by the Central Vermont. This provided a branch from Essex Junction to the Lamoille Valley Railroad at Cambridge Junction in Cambridge, a quickly-abandoned redundant line from Essex Junction west to Burlington; this second connection crossed the Winooski River near Essex Junction and connected to the Rutland Railroad at the south end of Burlington near the present-day terminus of I-189. The Montreal and Province Line Railway was formed in 1896 as a reorganization of the Montreal and Boston Railroad. Planned as a branch of the Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad to Montreal, operated by the Connecticut and Passumpsic Rivers Railroad, it was taken over by the Central Vermont upon reorganization; the main line ran from the Grand Trunk Railway's Montreal and Champlain Railroad at Saint-Lambert, across the St. Lawrence River from Montreal, southeast to Farnham on the Stanstead and Chambly Railroad, with an extension continuing southeast to Frelighsburg.
A branch went east from Mariesville to St. Cesarie. In 1896 the Central Vermont entered receivership, the Rutland Railroad was separated; the Grand Trunk Railway bought the bankrupt company on March 20. The Ogdensburg and Lake Champlain Railroad lease ended in 1898, that company was leas
J. Gregory Smith
John Gregory Smith was a Vermont businessman and politician. He is most notable for serving as Governor of Vermont from 1863 to 1865, the last of Vermont's Civil War chief executives. Smith was born in 1818 in St. Albans, son of John Smith and Maria Smith, his father was a pioneer railroad builder in Vermont, a leading lawyer and political figure. He served one term in the US Congress, beginning in 1839. J. Gregory Smith graduated from the University of Vermont in 1838, where he was a founding member of the Lambda Iota Society, attended Yale Law School. In 1842, he received his master of arts degree from the University of Vermont. In 1877 the university awarded him the honorary degree of LL. D. In 1842, Smith married Ann Eliza Brainerd, daughter of U. S. Senator Lawrence Brainerd, she became prominent in her own right as the author of other books. After the death of her father, J. Gregory Smith named Brainerd, Minnesota in honor of his wife's family, he is considered the founder as he selected this site as president of the Northern Pacific Railroad for a crossing of the upper Mississippi River, thus stimulating the town's growth.
Smith's brother Worthington became a politician, serving in Congress from 1867 to 1871. His son Edward served as governor from 1898 to 1900. In addition, F. Stewart Stranahan was married to Ann Eliza Smith's sister, Stranahan became prominent in the Smith family businesses before serving as Lieutenant Governor from 1892 to 1894. Smith became associated with his father in his law railroad management. After his father's death in 1858, he succeeded to the position of trustee under the lease of the Vermont and Canada Railroad, he entered politics, for many years the career in each line was involved with the other. He was one of the originators of the Northern Pacific Railway enterprise and was the president of the corporation from 1866 to 1872. Under his lead five hundred and fifty-five miles of the road were built; the family holdings included the St. Albans Foundry, the National Car Company, the Vermont Iron and Car Company. Smith was elected to the Vermont Senate in 1858, reelected in 1859, he served in the Vermont House of Representatives from 1860 to 1863, in 1862 and 1863 he served as Speaker.
In 1863 he was elected governor, succeeding Frederick Holbrook, he was re-elected in 1864. His efforts in office were centered on the American Civil War, including obtaining medical care for Vermont soldiers at the front, securing the right of soldiers in the field to vote by absentee ballot, his home was a target of the Confederate St. Albans Raid, he was not at home, but his wife was, her appearance at the front door carrying an unloaded pistol was enough to cause the raiders to decide to bypass the Smith home while fleeing to Canada. Following his governorship Smith returned to his business interests, including serving as president of the Northern Pacific Railroad from 1866 to 1872, he was chairman of the state delegation to the Republican National Conventions in 1872, 1880, 1884. After his retirement as governor he held no public office, he was mentioned as a candidate for the United States Senate in 1886 and 1891, but in both cases he withdrew his name. Smith died in St. Albans on November 6, 1891, was interred at Greenwood Cemetery.
Ullery, Jacob G. Men of Vermont: An Illustrated Biographical History, Brattleboro, VT: Transcript Publishing Company, 1894, Part I, p. 96. Inventory of the Smith Family Papers, Special Collections, University of Vermont Library Inventory of the J. Gregory Smith Papers, Leahy Library, Vermont Historical Society National Governors Association The Political Graveyard J. Gregory Smith at Find a Grave
The Ojibwe, Chippewa, or Saulteaux are an Anishinaabe people of Canada and the United States. They are one of the most numerous indigenous peoples north of the Rio Grande. In Canada, they are the second-largest First Nations population, surpassed only by the Cree. In the United States, they have the fifth-largest population among Native American peoples, surpassed in number only by the Navajo, Cherokee and Sioux; the Ojibwe people traditionally speak the Ojibwe language, a branch of the Algonquian language family. They are part of the Council of Three Fires and the Anishinaabeg, which include the Algonquin, Oji-Cree and the Potawatomi. Through the Saulteaux branch, they were a part of the Iron Confederacy, joining the Cree and Metis; the majority of the Ojibwe people live in Canada. There are 77,940 mainline Ojibwe, they live from western Quebec to eastern British Columbia. As of 2010, Ojibwe in the US census population is 170,742; the Ojibwe are known for their birch bark canoes, birch bark scrolls and trade in copper, as well as their cultivation of wild rice and Maple syrup.
Their Midewiwin Society is well respected as the keeper of detailed and complex scrolls of events, oral history, maps, stories and mathematics. The Ojibwe people underwent colonization by Settler-Canadians, they signed treaties with settler leaders, many European settlers soon inhabited the Ojibwe ancestral lands. The exonym for this Anishinaabe group is Ojibwe; this name is anglicized as "Ojibwa" or "Ojibway". The name "Chippewa" is an alternative anglicization. Although many variations exist in literature, "Chippewa" is more common in the United States, "Ojibway" predominates in Canada, but both terms are used in each country. In many Ojibwe communities throughout Canada and the U. S. since the late 20th century, more members have been using the generalized name Anishinaabe. The exact meaning of the name Ojibwe is not known; some 19th century sources say this name described a method of ritual torture that the Ojibwe applied to enemies. Ozhibii'iwe, meaning "those who keep records ", referring to their form of pictorial writing, pictographs used in Midewiwin sacred rites.
Because many Ojibwe were located around the outlet of Lake Superior, which the French colonists called Sault Ste. Marie for its rapids, the early Canadian settlers referred to the Ojibwe as Saulteurs. Ojibwe who subsequently moved to the prairie provinces of Canada have retained the name Saulteaux; this is disputed. Ojibwe who were located along the Mississagi River and made their way to southern Ontario are known as the Mississaugas; the Ojibwe language is known as Anishinaabemowin or Ojibwemowin, is still spoken, although the number of fluent speakers has declined sharply. Today, most of the language's fluent speakers are elders. Since the early 21st century, there is a growing movement to revitalize the language, restore its strength as a central part of Ojibwe culture; the language belongs to the Algonquian linguistic group, is descended from Proto-Algonquian. Its sister languages include Blackfoot, Cree, Menominee and Shawnee among the northern Plains tribes. Anishinaabemowin is referred to as a "Central Algonquian" language.
Ojibwemowin is the fourth-most spoken Native language in North America after Navajo and Inuktitut. Many decades of fur trading with the French established the language as one of the key trade languages of the Great Lakes and the northern Great Plains; the popularity of the epic poem The Song of Hiawatha, written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1855, publicized the Ojibwe culture. The epic contains many toponyms. According to Ojibwe oral history and from recordings in birch bark scrolls, the Ojibwe originated from the mouth of the St. Lawrence River on the Atlantic coast of what is now Quebec, they traded across the continent for thousands of years as they migrated, knew of the canoe routes to move north, west to east, south in the Americas. The identification of the Ojibwe as a culture or people may have occurred in response to contact with Europeans; the Europeans tried to identify those they encountered. According to Ojibwe oral history, seven great miigis beings appeared to them in the Waabanakiing to teach them the mide way of life.
One of the seven great miigis beings was too spiritually powerful and killed the people in the Waabanakiing when they were in its presence. The six great miigis beings remained to teach; the six great miigis beings established doodem for people in the east, symbolized by animal, fish or bird species. The five original Anishinaabe doodem were the Wawaazisii, Aan'aawenh and Moozoonsii these six miigis beings returned into the ocean as well. If the seventh miigis being had stayed
A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or civil parish. The term is used in Canada, Romania and the United States. County towns have a similar function in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, in Jamaica. In most of the United States, counties are the political subdivisions of a state; the city, town, or populated place that houses county government is known as the seat of its respective county. The county legislature, county courthouse, sheriff's department headquarters, hall of records and correctional facility are located in the county seat though some functions may be located or conducted in other parts of the county if it is geographically large. A county seat is but not always, an incorporated municipality; the exceptions include the county seats of counties that have no incorporated municipalities within their borders, such as Arlington County, Virginia. Ellicott City, the county seat of Howard County, is the largest unincorporated county seat in the United States, followed by Towson, the county seat of Baltimore County, Maryland.
Some county seats may not be incorporated in their own right, but are located within incorporated municipalities. For example, Cape May Court House, New Jersey, though unincorporated, is a section of Middle Township, an incorporated municipality. In some of the colonial states, county seats include or included "Court House" as part of their name. In the Canadian provinces of Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, the term "shire town" is used in place of county seat. County seats in Taiwan are the administrative centers of the counties. There are 13 county seats in Taiwan, which are in the forms of county-administered city, urban township or rural township. Most counties have only one county seat. However, some counties in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont have two or more county seats located on opposite sides of the county. An example is Harrison County, which lists both Biloxi and Gulfport as county seats; the practice of multiple county seat towns dates from the days.
There have been few efforts to eliminate the two-seat arrangement, since a county seat is a source of pride for the towns involved. There are 36 counties with multiple county seats in 11 states: Coffee County, Alabama St. Clair County, Alabama Arkansas County, Arkansas Carroll County, Arkansas Clay County, Arkansas Craighead County, Arkansas Franklin County, Arkansas Logan County, Arkansas Mississippi County, Arkansas Prairie County, Arkansas Sebastian County, Arkansas Yell County, Arkansas Columbia County, Georgia Lee County, Iowa Campbell County, Kentucky Kenton County, Kentucky Essex County, Massachusetts Middlesex County, Massachusetts Plymouth County, Massachusetts Bolivar County, Mississippi Carroll County, Mississippi Chickasaw County, Mississippi Harrison County, Mississippi Hinds County, Mississippi Jasper County, Mississippi Jones County, Mississippi Panola County, Mississippi Tallahatchie County, Mississippi Yalobusha County, Mississippi Jackson County, Missouri Hillsborough County, New Hampshire Seneca County, New York Bennington County, Vermont In New England, the town, not the county, is the primary division of local government.
Counties in this region have served as dividing lines for the states' judicial systems. Connecticut and Rhode Island have no county level of thus no county seats. In Vermont and Maine the county seats are designated shire towns. County government consists only of a Superior Court and Sheriff, both located in the respective shire town. Bennington County has two shire towns. In Massachusetts, most government functions which would otherwise be performed by county governments in other states are performed by town or city governments; as such, Massachusetts has dissolved many of its county governments, the state government now operates the registries of deeds and sheriff's offices in those counties. In Virginia, a county seat may be an independent city surrounded by, but not part of, the county of which it is the administrative center. Two counties in South Dakota have their county seat and government services centered in a neighboring county, their county-level services are provided by Fall River Tripp County, respectively.
In Louisiana, divided into parishes rather than counties, county seats are referred to as parish seats. Alaska is divided into boroughs rather than counties; the Unorganized Borough, which covers 49 % of Alaska's area, has equivalent. The state with the most counties is Texas, with 254, the state with the fewest counties is Delaware, with 3. County seat war Administrative center County town, administrative centres in Ireland and the UK Chef-lieu, administrative centres in Algeria, Luxembourg, France and Tunisia Municipality, equivalent to county in many c
The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. Its source is Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota and it flows south for 2,320 miles to the Mississippi River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 32 U. S. two Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian mountains. The main stem is within the United States; the Mississippi ranks as the fifteenth-largest river by discharge in the world. The river either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana. Native Americans have lived along its tributaries for thousands of years. Most were hunter-gatherers, but some, such as the Mound Builders, formed prolific agricultural societies; the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century changed the native way of life as first explorers settlers, ventured into the basin in increasing numbers.
The river served first as a barrier, forming borders for New Spain, New France, the early United States, as a vital transportation artery and communications link. In the 19th century, during the height of the ideology of manifest destiny, the Mississippi and several western tributaries, most notably the Missouri, formed pathways for the western expansion of the United States. Formed from thick layers of the river's silt deposits, the Mississippi embayment is one of the most fertile regions of the United States. During the American Civil War, the Mississippi's capture by Union forces marked a turning point towards victory, due to the river's strategic importance to the Confederate war effort; because of substantial growth of cities and the larger ships and barges that replaced steamboats, the first decades of the 20th century saw the construction of massive engineering works such as levees and dams built in combination. A major focus of this work has been to prevent the lower Mississippi from shifting into the channel of the Atchafalaya River and bypassing New Orleans.
Since the 20th century, the Mississippi River has experienced major pollution and environmental problems – most notably elevated nutrient and chemical levels from agricultural runoff, the primary contributor to the Gulf of Mexico dead zone. The word Mississippi itself comes from Misi zipi, the French rendering of the Anishinaabe name for the river, Misi-ziibi. In the 18th century, the river was the primary western boundary of the young United States, since the country's expansion westward, the Mississippi River has been considered a convenient if approximate dividing line between the Eastern and Midwestern United States, the Western United States; this is exemplified by the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the phrase "Trans-Mississippi" as used in the name of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition, it is common to qualify a regionally superlative landmark in relation to it, such as "the highest peak east of the Mississippi" or "the oldest city west of the Mississippi". The FCC uses it as the dividing line for broadcast call-signs, which begin with W to the east and K to the west, mixing together in media markets along the river.
The Mississippi River can be divided into three sections: the Upper Mississippi, the river from its headwaters to the confluence with the Missouri River. The Upper Mississippi runs from its headwaters to its confluence with the Missouri River at St. Louis, Missouri, it is divided into two sections: The headwaters, 493 miles from the source to Saint Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The source of the Upper Mississippi branch is traditionally accepted as Lake Itasca, 1,475 feet above sea level in Itasca State Park in Clearwater County, Minnesota; the name "Itasca" was chosen to designate the "true head" of the Mississippi River as a combination of the last four letters of the Latin word for truth and the first two letters of the Latin word for head. However, the lake is in turn fed by a number of smaller streams. From its origin at Lake Itasca to St. Louis, the waterway's flow is moderated by 43 dams. Fourteen of these dams are located above Minneapolis in the headwaters region and serve multiple purposes, including power generation and recreation.
The remaining 29 dams, beginning in downtown Minneapolis, all contain locks and were constructed to improve commercial navigation of the upper river. Taken as a whole, these 43 dams shape the geography and influence the ecology of the upper river. Beginning just below Saint Paul and continuing throughout the upper and lower river, the Mississippi is further controlled by thousands of wing dikes that moderate the river's flow in order to maintain an open navigation channel and prevent the river from eroding its banks; the head of navigation on the Mississippi is the Coon Rapids Dam in Minnesota. Before it was built in 1913, steamboats could go upstream as far as Saint Cloud, depending on river conditions; the uppermost lock and dam on the Upper Mississippi River is the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock an
American black bear
The American black bear is a medium-sized bear native to North America. It is the continent's smallest and most distributed bear species. American black bears are omnivores, with their diets varying depending on season and location, they live in forested areas, but do leave forests in search of food. Sometimes they become attracted to human communities because of the immediate availability of food; the American black bear is the world's most common bear species. It is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as a least-concern species, due to its widespread distribution and a large population estimated to be twice that of all other bear species combined. Along with the brown bear, it is one of only two of the eight modern bear species not considered by the IUCN to be globally threatened with extinction. American black bears mark trees using their teeth and claws as a form of communication with other bears, a behavior common to many species of bears. Despite living in North America, American black bears are not related to brown bears and polar bears.
American and Asian black bears are considered sister taxa and are more related to each other than to the other modern species of bears. According to recent studies, the sun bear is a recent split from this lineage. A small primitive bear called Ursus abstrusus is the oldest known North American fossil member of the genus Ursus, dated to 4.95 mya. This suggests that U. abstrusus may be the direct ancestor of the American black bear, which evolved in North America. Although Wolverton and Lyman still consider U. vitabilis an "apparent precursor to modern black bears", it has been placed within U. americanus. The ancestors of American black bears and Asian black bears diverged from sun bears 4.58 mya. The American black bear split from the Asian black bear 4.08 mya. The earliest American black bear fossils, which were located in Port Kennedy, Pennsylvania resemble the Asian species, though specimens grew to sizes comparable to grizzly bears. From the Holocene to the present, American black bears seem to have shrunk in size, but this has been disputed because of problems with dating these fossil specimens.
The American black bear lived during the same period as the giant and lesser short-faced bears and the Florida spectacled bear. These tremarctine bears evolved from bears -- 8 ma; the giant and lesser short-faced bears are thought to have been carnivorous and the Florida spectacled bear more herbivorous, while the American black bears remained arboreal omnivores, like their Asian ancestors. The American black bear's generalist behavior allowed it to exploit a wider variety of foods and has been given as a reason why, of these three genera, it alone survived climate and vegetative changes through the last Ice Age while the other, more specialized North American predators became extinct. However, both Arctodus and Tremarctos had survived several previous ice ages. After these prehistoric ursids became extinct during the last glacial period 10,000 years ago, American black bears were the only bear present in much of North America until the migration of brown bears to the rest of the continent.
American black bears are reproductively compatible with several other bear species and have produced hybrid offspring. According to Jack Hanna's Monkeys on the Interstate, a bear captured in Sanford, was thought to have been the offspring of an escaped female Asian black bear and a male American black bear. In 1859, an American black bear and a Eurasian brown bear were bred together in the London Zoological Gardens, but the three cubs that were born died before they reached maturity. In The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, Charles Darwin noted: In the nine-year Report it is stated that the bears had been seen in the zoological gardens to couple but to 1848 most had conceived. In the reports published since this date three species have produced young... An American black bear shot in autumn 1986 in Michigan was thought by some to be an American black bear/grizzly bear hybrid, due to its unusually large size and its proportionately larger braincase and skull. DNA testing was unable to determine whether it was a grizzly bear.
Listed alphabetically. American black bears occupied the majority of North America's forested regions. Today, they are limited to sparsely settled, forested areas. American black bears inhabit much of their original Canadian range, though they occur in the southern farmlands of Alberta and Manitoba; the total Canadian black bear population is between 396,000 and 476,000, based on surveys taken in the mid-1990s in seven Canadian provinces, though this estimate excludes American black bear populations in New Brunswick, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan. All provinces indicated stable populations of American black bears over the last decade; the current range of American black bears in the United States is constant throughout most of the northeast and within the Appalachian Mountains continuously from Maine to northern Georgia, the northern Midwest, the Rocky Mountain region, the West Coast and Alaska. However, it becomes fragmented or absent in other regions. Despite this, American black bears in those areas seem to have expanded their range during the last decade, such as with recent sightings in Ohio an
Brainerd is a city in Crow Wing County, United States. Its population was 13,592 as of the 2010 census, it is the county seat of Crow Wing County, is one of the largest cities in Central Minnesota. Brainerd straddles the Mississippi River several miles upstream from its confluence with the Crow Wing River, having been founded as a site for a railroad crossing above said confluence. Brainerd is the principal city of the Brainerd Micropolitan Area, a micropolitan area covering Cass and Crow Wing counties and with a combined population of 91,067 as of the 2010 census; the Brainerd area serves as a major tourist destination for Minnesota. Brainerd is the home to one of five medevac helicopter flight stations in the state for "AirCare," operated by North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, a Level 1 Trauma Center; this station covers the central part of Minnesota. The city is known for the Brainerd International Raceway, which hosts races throughout the year and has a national drag racing meet annually in August.
The area, now Brainerd was traditionally territory inhabited by the Ojibwe. Brainerd was first seen by European settlers on Christmas Day in 1805, when Zebulon Pike stopped there while searching for the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Crow Wing Village, a fur and logging community near Fort Ripley, brought settlers to the area in the mid-19th century. In those early years the relationship between the settlers and the Native Americans was complicated; the most famous example of this tenuous relationship was the so-called "Blueberry War" of 1872. Two Ojibwe were hanged for murdering a missing girl; when a group of Native Americans approached the town, troops from nearby Fort Ripley were called to prevent a potential reprisal. As it turned out, the Ojibwe only wanted to sell blueberries and the settlers avoided a bloody misunderstanding. Guilt of the two Native Americans was never proven. Brainerd was the idea of Northern Pacific railroad president John Gregory Smith, who in 1870 named the township after his wife, Anne Eliza Brainerd Smith, father-in-law, Lawrence Brainerd.
The company built a bridge over the Mississippi seven miles north of Crow Wing Village and used the Brainerd station as a machine and car shop, prompting many to move north and abandon Crow Wing. Brainerd was organized as a city on March 6, 1873. On January 11, 1876, the state legislature revoked Brainerd's charter for six years, as a reaction to the election of local handyman Thomas Lanihan as mayor instead of Judge C. B. Sleeper. Brainerd functioned as a township in the interim. In 1881, the railroad, with it the town, expanded. Lumber and paper, as well as agriculture in general, were important early industries, but for many decades Brainerd remained a railroad town: in the 1920s 90 percent of Brainerd residents were dependent on the railroad. Participation in the nationwide railroad strike on July 1, 1922, left the majority of Brainerd residents unemployed and embittered many of those involved. On October 27, 1933, the First National Bank of Brainerd became famous when it was held up by Baby Face Nelson and his gang.
Over the years, increased efficiency and the better positioning of the more centralized Livingston, shops led to a decline in the importance of a railroad station that once employed over 1000 and serviced locomotives for the whole Northern Pacific line. The BNSF Railway continues to employ 70 people in Brainerd at a maintenance-of-way equipment shop responsible for performing repairs and preventive maintenance to track and equipment; the Northwest Paper Company built Brainerd's first paper mill in 1903 and with the steady increase in tourism since the early 20th century the paper and service industries have become Brainerd's primary employers. The town's coating mill was sold by Potlatch to Missota Paper in 2003 and by Missota Paper to Wausau Paper in 2004, it is now used as a small industrial center called Brainerd Industrial Center. Due to the many lakes in the area, Brainerd had become a popular summertime destination for those owning cabins in the area better known as The Brainerd Lakes.
Brainerd itself is now developed into commercial and residential areas and has seen an uptick in development in the recent years. Brainerd is located just north of the geographical center of Minnesota in a hilly terminal moraine area created by the Superior Lobe of the Labradorian ice sheet; the town occupies land on both sides of the Mississippi River, though the older parts of Brainerd are all to the east. Though the city itself has few lakes, there are over 460 lakes within 25 miles of Brainerd, located to the north. For this reason, Crow Wing County and parts of the adjoining counties are collectively referred to as the Brainerd Lakes Area. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.64 square miles, of which 11.91 square miles is land and 0.73 square miles is water. Brainerd has been assigned ZIP code 56401 by the USPS; the following routes are located in the Brainerd area. Minnesota State Highway 18 Minnesota State Highway 25 Minnesota State Highway 210 Minnesota State Highway 371 Brainerd has a humid continental climate with vast seasonal differences.
Summers are warm and hot, whereas winters are severely cold. The Burlington Northern United States Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site is located on the boundary between the cities of Brainerd and Baxter; the site served as a Burlington Northern Railroad tie treatment plant, between the years of 1907 and 1985. During that time, wastewater generated from the wood-treating process was sent to two shallow, unlined pon