Monday, August 26, 2013

Fergus Falls, Minnesota: Continental Divide Marker

Here's an example of the power of positive thinking.

This nice little tourist attraction opened in 2000 in Fergus Falls, down from the commercial center of town just off the Interstate at exit 61. Look for it near the restaurant.

It's a tribute to the fact that the Continental Divide goes through this part of the world. Now, the Divide usually is associated with Glacier National Park and other such areas in the Rockies. However, another Continental Divide separates water that flows into the Mississippi watershed with the one that goes into Hudson's Bay.

This little area was set up as something of a history lesson. Until 1818, all such property on the north side of the divide was owned by Great Britain, but at that point it moved over to the United States.

How to mark such a spot? Get a really big surveyor's transit, and add a plumb bob. Then add a shed with more information, and a Native display.

The idea, according to a newspaper article, was to give a boost to tourism in Fergus Falls. Not sure it ever accomplished that goal, but I did learn a bit about the area by stopping. That's worth something. The plumb bob has disappeared, but it's worth a quick stop.

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