Minnesota Place Names: A Geographical Encyclopedia

Front Cover
Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2001 - Reference - 718 pages
The names of places, the names that people give to the land, the rivers, the towns, and the cities, contain miniature history lessons, stories wrapped up in a few words. Naming a place is a way of connecting to it and making it more familar. An important aspect of identity, place names honor the past, telling who came before us, and they speak to the future, telling of our hopes and ambitions. And sometimes, they're simply products of our whimsy.

From Big Bird Lake to Cucumber Island, Big Stone to Wanamingo, Puposky Township to the Zumbro River, thousands of discoveries await the reader of Minnesota Place Names: A Geographical Encyclopedia. Newly revised, expanded, and updated, this classic book tells the stories behind more than 20,000 names of the towns and cities, townships and counties, lakes and rivers of the North Star state.

This comprehensive volume is a browser's delight and a rich reference for historians, linguists, geographers, folklorists, genealogists, and those interested in the origin of place names. It includes tales for such curious place names as Embarrass and Sleepy Eye, Bemidji and Climax, the Rum River and Man Trap Lake. Did you know that the Rat Root River was named for the roots that fed muskrats that populated its banks, or that Winona is the Dakota word for "first-born daughter"?

Published originally in 1920 as the culmination of Warren Upham's lifetime of collecting Minnesota minutiae, this book is a remarkable achievement and classic of Minnesota history. For this revised edition, the staff of the Minnesota Historical Society combed recent literature and databases to update entries and add new names.

In this handsome new edition, Minnesota Place Names captures much of the lost lore of familiar places and of towns that have disappeared--and of the people who made the state what it is today.

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Pg 519 refers to Dick Junction at an unidentified location. Dick Junction is 47 53 17 N and 92 02 22 W. It was once the junction of a logging railroad that served timber harvesting in that part of what is now the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and the DM&IR spur that ran to Hoist Bay of Burntside Lake. The tracks were removed when logging in the area ceased and now serves as a gravel road to homes on Wolf and Burntside lakes west of Ely, MN. 

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Relevance to Atkinson Township Project (Scale 1-5):
Reference Pages to Atkinson:
77, 80, 82, 367, 653
Reference Type:
History, Land, Lakes


Aitkin County
Becker County
Benton County
Brown County
Carver County
Chippewa County
Clay County
Itasca County
Lake of the Woods County
Lyon County
Martin County
Mille Lacs County
Mower County
Nobles County
Otter Tail County
Pennington County

Kanabec County
Kittson County
Lac qui Parle County
Pipestone County

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