collections up close Blog

Collecting pieces of Minnesota's past for the future


The Minnesota Historical Society preserves and makes available a wide range of materials chronicling Minnesota's history and culture. The goals of the Collections Department are to collect and preserve; provide access and interpretation; and engage in education and outreach. This blog is a tool to share these stories and let people know what is happening in the department.

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By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | April 20, 2021

On this day in 1891 Itasca State Park was established, making it the first state park in Minnesota. Its 32,000 acres preserve more than 300 lakes as well as the headwaters of the Mississippi River.
Today's Item of the Day is the Itasca State Park headwaters sign used from 1975 - 1988. It marked the origin of the Mississippi River at the outlet of Lake Itasca. It has been replaced by a new one that looks the same.