WATCH: Nearly 100-Year-Old Minnesota Tourism Film Shows Popular Outdoor Attractions In Their Early Years
This is so cool!
A very old tourism film highlighting outdoor activities around the Land of 10,000 Lakes surfaced recently on a local Reddit community, showing off some really neat visuals of popular Northern Minnesota attractions like state parks as they existed nearly 100 years ago.
The film, which was produced in the 1930s, was made by the Department of Interior's Division of Motion Pictures to show off the expansive outdoor recreation possibilities across Minnesota.
The video explained that the development of some of the park spaces in Minnesota came as the result of public enthusiasm to enjoy spaces like state parks across the region.
They noted in the video that they estimated nearly a quarter of a million people paid visits to eight of the main state parks in Minnesota during the summer seasons of the era of the video.
That's a pretty impressive number in an era where Minnesota's population was much smaller, and getting to some of these destinations was much harder than it is today. Roads were much less developed and most early cars weren't the most well-equipped offroad vehciles.
The footage offers a cool glimpse back at popular Northern Minnesota destinations that still see a lot of visitors decades later. What's cool is just how similar these places are now compared to what they looked like back then.
Let's take a little tour!
Here is a look at one of the falls at Gooseberry Falls State Park. The film mentions programs like the Civilian Conservation Corps, of which there are a number of reminders in the modern park.
The statue of the worker along the paved trail at the worker memorial and some CCC camp ruins stand as reminders of how this program had a major influence on our park spaces.
Itasca State Park
This is one of the parking areas at Itasca State Park. The film shows footage of a few places around the park, including the boat rides - which still are available today. The parking lot is pretty full!
Jay Cooke State Park
Yep, that's right! It's the swinging bridge at Jay Cooke State Park. The bridge was originally built by the CCC in 1934. Since the original construction, it has been repaired a number of times after high water caused damage in the 1940s, 1950s, and during the flood of 2012.
Gooseberry Falls State Park - Lake Superior Shoreline
Another spot highlighted in the film is a picnic space along the Lake Superior shoreline at Gooseberry Falls State Park. There is still a lot of stonework from the original development of this area in the 1930s, including pillars that hold a chain barrier along the riverside cliff.
While the primary attraciton of the park is the series of waterfalls, this is a beautiful and relaxing place to enjoy at the park too!
Here's the entire video, which runs about 8 minutes in length. It's a neat little watch that offers a cool look back in time!