Lake Winnibigoshish Reservoir Dam, Deer River, Itasca County, MN
Significance: The Lake Winnibigoshish Reservoir Dam is one of six Mississippi River Headwaters Reservoir dam sites that are historically significant for their association with navigation, commerce, tourism, the Ojibway Indians, and U.S. Indian policy in Minnesota in the late 19th century. By providing a consistent flow of water throughout the navigation season, the Winnibigoshish Dam enhanced navigation and aided in the commercial development of the Upper Mississippi River. The dam site was also one of the earliest non-Indian settlements in the region and by the late 19th century was attracting some of the first tourists to the area. The dam had a devastating impact on the Ojibway Indians who lived along the lake's shores. The project precipitated a century-long conflict between the tribe and the U.S. government over the damages resulting from the inundation of tribal lands and property.
Survey number: HAER MN-65