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Historian to share details of Itasca Park's first white settlers

White settlers began moving into the Itasca State Park area in the early 1880s. Peter and Mary Turnbull were the first settlers. They built their cabin east of the current Peace Pipe Vista. On June 5, 1884, Mary gave birth to Charley F. Turnbull, the first known white child to be born at Itasca.

Historian and storyteller Keith Butler presents "Itasca Park's Little Known Secrets" at the next Headwaters Center for Lifelong Learning. This will conclude the spring series.

Butler will speak Tuesday, April 4 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Armory Square, Park Rapids.

He'll fill in some details about the lives of Mary and Peter Turnbull, the first white settlers in 1883 in the area now known as Itasca State Park. Butler, an octogenarian and lifelong resident of the Itasca Park area, has presented Itasca Park tales to many learning groups and also at the Minnesota State Fair. He notes that the Turnbull's son, Charley, born in 1884, became an influential person in the Park Rapids area and was instrumental in the decision to declare Park Rapids as Hubbard County seat, instead of Hubbard.

The program is open to the public, free of charge and handicap accessible.

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