Mississippi Headwaters Board Oral History Project

Project description: Per the finding aide, the Mississippi Headwaters Board was created to coordinate the identification and protection of the natural, cultural, historical, scientific, and recreational values of the first 400 miles of the Mississippi River. Its work centered on eight counties in north central Minnesota through which this portion of the river flows. The 14 people interviewed discuss their own river-related activities, as well as their observations on changes in recreational, commercial, and residential use of the river and its shoreline. Many of the interviews include comments on water quality, floods, droughts, dam construction, fishing, wildlife, and conservation.

Regulatory significance: Collection deals with many issues of local environmental regulation, including water quality ordinances, and trade-offs with business interests—particularly agriculture and development.

RepositoryMinnesota Historical Society

Interview dates: 1999-2001. Interviews conducted with people associated with the Mississippi River during the period 1910-1960.

Digital access: Transcripts are available online, as well as photos of many of the interviewees.

Physical access: The tapes are held by Mississippi Headwaters Board, Walker, Minnesota.


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