August 19, 2006

Lost Forty

Lost Forty: A Lost Forest
The year is 1882. Josiah A. King and a three-man survey crew travel 40 miles from the nearest white settlement the "Grand Rapids of the Mississippi." For a month, canvas tents are their homes and flour, pork, beans, and dried apples are their rations. Josiah and his crew are finishing the last of three contracted townships in one of the first land surveys of MN's northwoods.
November winds swirl snow around the hearty men as they survey the six square mile area between Moose and Coddington Lakes. Perhaps it was the chilling weather, or all the desolate swamps that caused the crew to plot Coddington Lake about a half mile further northwest than it actually lies.

Josiah's error is our fortune. Since the towering pines (of the Lost Forty) were mapped as being under water, they were spared the woodsmen's axe.
The trees of the Lost Forty are considered old growth, or virgin pine. This area has never been logged.

Like our National Monuments in Washington, D.C., the old growth pines of the Lost Forty bear witness to our heritage. These white and red pines are 300-400 years old, originating when the pilgrims came to America. The trees remain as remnants of the natural resources that drew people to new frontiers, shaping America's character.

Old growth trees made up about a third of Minnesota's forests before lumber barons put their sights on them in the late 1880's. Today, less than two percent of Minnesota's forested land are considered old growth. Fewer than 2,000 acres of old growth pine remain. The Lost Forty stands as a proud monument of it's legacy.


We took a little exploring trip with cousins, aunts, Granny, & Grampa last weekend.
Hiked the Lost Forty Loop, found Little American Falls north of Effie, and let the kids splash around in a beautiful lake my own siblings, cousins & I camped at during our childhood years. We had a nice picnic lunch and a great time! Johnathan loved the big trees of the Lost Forty - he was full of enthusiasm. All the kids had a blast.

3 comments:

  1. THAT WAS SUCH A NICE, EASY DAY. LOOKING AT THINGS FROM JOHNATHAN'S POINT OF VIEW WAS SO FUN!

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  2. Wow - that is very cool. Thanks for the text and the good picture. I can imagine all those kids running around in awe... must have been a lot of fun.

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