FUN WITH MAPS DAILY FEATURE: ISSUE 2024-029

By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (February 15, 2024) – Today’s edition of Fun with Maps celebrates linking the lakes region to ocean region – great to pacific, that is.  

THE ROUTE OF THE GREAT BIG BAKED POTATO

On February 15, 1874, the groundbreaking ceremony for the Northern Pacific Railway took place near Duluth, Minnesota.  The railway would link the Great Lakes area from Minnesota to the Pacific Coast, running along a northern route. There were 2 western endpoints – Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon.

All in all, the line stretched over 6800 miles and carried farm products, cattle, timber and minerals.  It was critical in selling land in the northern areas, transporting consumer goods, and providing transportation for people.

Offices in Germany and Scandinavia touted cheap land suitable for farming and succeeded in attracting an influx of immigrants to the area.

The railroad became noted for the large baked potatoes that were served as part of the dining service, even employing Hollywood celebrities to promote the menu item.

In 1970, the line merged with other railroad systems to form the Burlington Northern Railroad.

This map of Minnesota and Dakota Territory is by Johnson from 1863. It shows the planned route of the Northern Pacific Railroad…

Minnesota -Circa 1863 also showing some Dakota territory (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Fun with Maps here on Loveland Beacon.