The first skyway system in the United States was built in Minneapolis in 1962, allowing for indoor pedestrian travel between buildings in the downtown area.
Itasca County, located in northern Minnesota, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by indigenous peoples, including the Ojibwe and Dakota Sioux tribes, who relied on the bountiful natural resources of the region for their livelihoods.

In the late 19th century, European settlers arrived in Itasca County, drawn by the discovery of iron ore deposits. The mining industry quickly boomed, attracting thousands of people to the area in search of wealth. As a result, towns such as Grand Rapids and Coleraine were established as mining communities, with railroads built to transport the extracted ore.

During the early 20th century, Itasca County faced challenges and changes with the decline of the mining industry. However, the establishment of the Chippewa National Forest in 1908 provided a new avenue for economic growth through logging and tourism. The forest's abundant resources and scenic beauty attracted visitors and provided jobs for local residents.

In the subsequent decades, Itasca County continued to adapt and develop. The opening of the Itasca State Park in 1891, featuring the headwaters of the Mississippi River, attracted tourists and brought further attention to the county. Today, Itasca County is a vibrant community that celebrates its history while embracing new opportunities in industries such as healthcare, education, and manufacturing.

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

  • 1840s-1850s: The area that would become Itasca County is explored by European fur traders and trappers.
  • 1855: Treaty of Washington is signed, leading to the establishment of the Leech Lake and Lake Winnebigoshish Indian Reservations within present-day Itasca County.
  • 1871: Logging operations begin in the county, exploiting the region's abundant pine forests.
  • 1879: The community of Grand Rapids is founded, becoming the county seat of Itasca County.
  • 1891: The village of Deer River is incorporated.
  • 1901: The first iron ore mine in the county, the Jessie Mine, begins production near the community of Pengilly.
  • 1903: The city of Cohasset is incorporated.
  • 1923: Itasca State Park is established, showcasing the headwaters of the Mississippi River.
  • 1930s-1940s: The Great Depression and World War II have a significant impact on the logging and mining industries in Itasca County.
  • 1960s: The opening of the Blandin Paper Company's paper mill in Grand Rapids brings a new era of economic growth to the county.
  • 1980s: The mining industry experiences a decline, leading to layoffs and economic challenges for Itasca County.
  • 2008: The Great Recession hits Itasca County, causing an increase in unemployment rates.
  • Present: Itasca County continues to be known for its natural beauty, outdoor recreation opportunities, and diverse economy.