Birch-bark canoes replace dugout
canoes, increasing the mobility of the boundary waters' inhabitants.
Some 400 pictographs are painted by
Ojibwe artists on granite cliffs and outcroppings across the Canadian Shield,
usually located on lake shores a few feet above the high-water line.
During "the Voyageurs era," fur
traders canoe the lakes and portage routes of the boundary waters region
transporting furs for French and British fur companies.
Felt hats made from beaver fur go
out of style in Europe and are replaced by silk hats, ending a fashion that
lasted 300 years. By this time, the beaver population in the boundary waters
region is decimated. It doesn't fully recover for 150 years.
The first part of the Gunflint Trail
is laid out from Grand Marais to the eastern end of Rove Lake, where a trading
post is established and operated in the 1870s and 1880s by Henry Mayhew. The trail takes
its name from Gunflint Lake, a body of water known to the French fur traders
as Lac des Pierres à Fusil, because they used the flint-like rock found
along its shore in their flintlock rifles.
Around this time
what is now called the Springdale Road is constructed from Tofte, where
settlers arrived in 1893, to a settlement named Springdale, a couple of miles
inland from Lake Superior. The first mile of the Springdale Road becomes the
first segment of the Sawbill Trail when construction of the trail begins in
June 30, 500,000
acres of public domain in Lake and Cook Counties in northeastern Minnesota, much
of which is now part of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, are set
aside from logging, mining, and homesteading by Minnesota's Forestry
Commissioner Christopher Andrews.
Major fires are
suppressed in the boundary waters area during "the fire-suppression period."
July 10, 1930, the
Shipstead-Newton-Nolan Act, the first statute in which Congress expressly
orders land be protected as "wilderness," is signed into law by President
Herbert Hoover at the urging of a group of conservationists led by Ernest
Conservation Corps (CCC) enlists thousands of unemployed men to plant trees,
rebuild and improve portages, build canoe rests, install landing docks, post
direction signs, build four lookout towers, fight forest fires, and do other
conservation projects in the boundary waters area. The docks, signs, and rests are later removed to comply with the 1964
Wilderness Act, but still evident today are the raised walkways, the rocks
placed to reinforce trails, the canoe landings (now mostly submerged), and
other signs of trail improvements.
Jack pine, black
and white spruce, balsam fir, northern white cedar, aspen, and paper birch are
logged during "the pulpwood logging era," the second major
logging era to affect the boundary waters area.
Nearly 20 resorts
serviced by pontoon-equipped planes are operating on Basswood, Crooked, Knife,
La Croix, Saganaga, and Seagull lakes. Some offer amenities such as bars, slot
machines, and motorboats, with Ely now serving as the largest inland seaplane
base in North America.
Executive Order 10092 is signed by President Truman creating an "airspace
reservation" that bans private flights below the altitude of 4,000 feet above
sea level, in part as a result of the work of activists Sigurd Olson, Charles
Kelly, Frank Hubachek, William "Bill" Magie, and others.
Aluminum canoes and
boats are now widely available, making travel easier and resulting in dramatic
increases in the number of canoeists accessing remote lakes.
September 3, the
Wilderness Act, U.S. Public Law 88-577, is signed by President Lyndon Baines
Johnson, establishing the U.S. wilderness preservation system and prohibiting
the use of motorboats and snowmobiles within wilderness areas except for areas
where use is well established within the Boundary Waters, defining wilderness
as an area "where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man .
. . an area of undeveloped . . . land retaining its primeval character and
influence without permanent improvements." This date is considered by many to
be the birth of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
June 6, conservationist Ernest "Ober"
Oberholtzer dies at age 93.
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act, U.S. Public Law 95-495, is signed
by President Jimmy Carter. The act adds 50,000 acres to the Boundary Waters,
which now encompasses 1,098,057 acres, and extends greater wilderness
protection to the area.
All logging in the
wilderness ceases under the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness Act, U.S.
Public Law 95-495, ending some 85 years of logging in the Boundary Waters.
January 13, conservationist Sigurd
Olson dies at age 82 after suffering a heart attack while snowshoeing with his
wife Elizabeth near his home in Ely.
Ambrose dies at age 86, 84, or 83 (birth date uncertain), probably of a heart
attack. He was the second to the last permanent resident of the
December, Dorothy Molter dies of natural causes at age 79 while living alone in her cabin on
Knife Lake. Dorothy was the last permanent resident of the Boundary Waters.
Because of her homemade brew, she was known to many as the "Root Beer Lady."
a severe windstorm described as a "storm of a century" blows down and damages
trees in a 30-mile swath across the Boundary Waters, severely affecting
approximately 367,000 acres or 32% of the Boundary Waters, 477,000 acres in
northeastern Minnesota, and 108,000 acres in Canada.
July 14, a lightning strike starts a fire
near Cavity Lake and expands north to Sea Gull Lake near the end of the
Gunflint Trail. Fueled by dry winds and timber blown down in the 1999
storm, the Cavity Lake fire
burns about 50 square miles (about 39 square miles excluding lake surfaces),
an area that makes it the largest fire in the Boundary Waters since 1894.
May 5, following a prolonged drought, a fire
starts near Ham Lake off the
and is fueled by strong winds. Before it is
extinguished, it becomes
Minnesota's largest and
costliest forest fire since the 1918 Cloquet fire.
By May 11, the fire has grown to 55,000 acres,
or nearly 86 square miles, destroying 138 structures worth $3.7 million,
including the Seagull Outpost Lodge,
Superior North Canoe Outfitters, 44
structures in the 51-year-old Wilderness Canoe Base on Sea Gull Lake, and 62
cabins and homes. On May 22, after consuming
nearly 119 square miles in
Minnesota and Canada, the fire is