Crow Wing County, Minnesota

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Crow Wing County is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of 2000, the population was 55,099. In 2006 the population was estimated to be 61,009. Its county seat is Brainerd[1].

Contents

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,157 square miles (2,996.6 km2), of which 997 square miles (2,582.2 km2) is land and 160 square miles (414.4 km2) (13.83%) is water.

History

Crow Wing county was established on May 23, 1857 and organized March 3, 1879. It is named for the Crow Wing River which gets its name from an island in the river that is shaped like the wing of a crow.

Twenty years or more before the county was outlined and named, a trading post was established on the east side of the Mississippi River opposite the mouth of the Crow Wing River. In 1837 there was again a station of the fur traders facing the northern mouth of the Crow Wing River. A few years later it became the center of Indian trading and had the general supply store for the area. By 1866 the village contained about 600 whites and Chippewas.

The part of Crow Wing County west of the Mississippi was annexed from Cass County by an act of the Legislature on February 18, 1887, doubling its former area.

Brainerd township was founded in 1870 when the Northern Pacific survey determined that the crossing of the Mississippi should be there. It became a city on November 19, 1881. The name was chosen in honor of the wife of J. Gregory Smith, the first president of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company. Mrs. Brainerd Smith was the author of novels, books of travel and other works.

The Northern Pacific Railroad ran its first train to Brainerd, a special train, on march 11, 1871 and its regular passenger service began the next September. The first passenger train from the Twin Cities, by way of Sauk Rapids, came November 1, 1877. Crow Wing, the former trading post, was soon superseded by Brainerd.









Topography

Crow Wing County has two state forests, the Crow Wing State Forest and the Emily State Forest. It also has the Cuyuna Lakes State Trail which lies in the Upper Mississippi River Basin. The topography of the region is gently rolling to flat, with waters and wetlands generously interspersed with the woodlands that cover the landscape. It is home to an abundance of wildlife. Visitors may have the opportunity to see white-tailed deer, cottontail rabbit, snowshoe hare, raccoon, red fox, gray fox, coyote, mink, muskrat, squirrels, and beaver. Occasionally, American Black Bears may be observed. Bald Eagles and Osprey frequent the area, and many species of waterfowl also take advantage of the abundant aquatic habitat found in the marshes and lakes of the county.

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