By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (July 2, 2020) – In Issue 18 of Steve Kovacs: Fun with Maps feature, we travel with the French fur traders to discover the Mississippi River

Steve Kovacs, Antique Map Collector, Loveland Resident (Provided) 

Mississippi Headwaters first Seen by the French!

Today’s Minnesota was first settled mostly by the Dakota, a subculture of the Sioux Native Americans.  French fur traders explored the area and reportedly were the first foreigners to sight the headwaters of the Mississippi River on this day in 1679. 

It is now part of Itasca State Park, dominated by what else, a lake (and bird size mosquitoes in the summer).   Minnesota subsequently was settled mostly by the French and became part Louisiana.  Louisiana in turn was purchased by the US in 1803 and grew in population in the 19th and 20th centuries thanks to Scandinavian and Central European immigrants.  

Here is a map of Minnesota and the Dakota Territory by Johnson from 1864, 6 years after Minnesota became the 32nd State.     

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

Click here to visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.

Map of Minnesota & Dakota Territories – 1864 (Credit Steve Kovacs)