Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Otter Tail County 1857

1 comment:

Former PR resident said...

Not much better and in some ways even more inaccurate than the 1853 version. The area around Otter Tail County had not been systematically surveyed yet and information was sketchy at best.

Look at the 1870 version though. There you can see that the townships had been laid out (except for the northern tier of OT County). The ox cart trail (not shown on the 1857 map) is on the 1870 map and Detroit Lake is right where I said it was in my earlier comment. It appears that Detroit Lake was once Lake Humboldt.

But even the 1870 map is grossly inaccurate. The resolution is not good enough to see the label on one of the lakes which may be Lida or Lizzie. But Pelican Lake is, well, way off in terms of size and shape.

By the 1886 map, things look much as we know them today.

From other sources, it seems that around 1870-1874 more detailed survey information becomes incorporated into the maps of the Otter Tail County region. That was about the time that the county seat moved to Fergus Falls as well as when the area around PR begins to be actively settled. PR was platted in 1872, I believe. Other townships were probably surveyed at about the same time. Only then do the maps really look like reality.

Interesting stuff.