Minnesota is home to the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area, Lake Superior. It covers over 31,000 square miles and contains 10% of the world's fresh surface water.
Crow Wing County, located in central Minnesota, has a rich history that dates back to the prehistoric era. Native American tribes, including the Ojibwe and Dakota Sioux, inhabited the region for centuries before European settlers arrived. In the late 18th century, French fur traders ventured into the area, establishing trade relationships with the Native Americans and introducing European goods and practices.

The County was officially established in 1857, forming part of the newly created Minnesota Territory. Early settlements were centered around the Mississippi River, which provided transportation and trade opportunities. The town of Crow Wing, which later became the county seat, quickly emerged as a prominent trading hub and served as the headquarters for the Northern Pacific Railroad.

During the mid-19th century, the region experienced a rapid influx of settlers attracted to its timber and mining resources. Logging became a major industry, with vast forest tracts harvested to meet the increasing demand for lumber. Numerous sawmills were established along the rivers, resulting in significant economic growth and population expansion.

In the 20th century, the economy diversified, moving away from its heavy reliance on logging. Agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing became important sectors, contributing to the county's development. Today, Crow Wing County boasts a thriving tourism industry, attracting visitors with its natural beauty, lakes, and recreational activities. The county's history is celebrated through various museums and historical sites, and it continues to evolve and grow while preserving its cultural heritage.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Crow Wing County, Minnesota.

  • 1837 - Crow Wing County is established as a county in the Minnesota Territory.
  • 1857 - The first permanent settlement is established in what is now Brainerd.
  • 1871 - The City of Brainerd is incorporated.
  • 1881 - The Northern Pacific Railway completes its line through Crow Wing County, leading to increased transportation and economic growth.
  • 1894 - The County Courthouse is completed in Brainerd.
  • 1933 - The Civilian Conservation Corps establishes camps in the county to provide employment during the Great Depression.
  • 1941 - Camp Ripley, a military training facility, is established in northern Crow Wing County.
  • 1974 - The Mille Lacs Indian Reservation is established in the southeastern part of the county.
  • 1991 - The Brainerd Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 2009 - The county celebrates its 150th anniversary since establishment.