A historical guide to interesting landmarks
Park Rapids ? US Post Office at the corner of Park Avenue (Highway 71) and 3rd Street was occupied in 1939. In 1940 well-known Minnesota sculptor Alonzo Hauser carved oak figures for the post office as part of the Section of Fine Arts, administer...
- US Post Office at the corner of Park Avenue (Highway 71) and 3rd Street was occupied in 1939. In 1940 well-known Minnesota sculptor Alonzo Hauser carved oak figures for the post office as part of the Section of Fine Arts, administered by the US Treasury. Section Art is often confused as art from the Works Progress Administration of the same era. These large figures depict a lumberjack, an Indian and a scene of lakes, deer and pines and are located in the lobby. Atop the brick building are a cupola and unique weathervane. The old granite steps were removed in 2006.
- The Park Rapids National Guard Armory, constructed in 1922, formerly the home of Company C, 2nd Battalion 136th Infantry, is also located on Highway 71 south. The Guard unit here was recognized in May 1947 with 16 enlisted men assigned.
- Original Hubbard County Courthouse, 3rd and Court, was built in 1900. A fine example of Victorian design, it is on the National Register of Historic Buildings. It is the home of the Hubbard County Historical Society and North Country Museum of Arts.
- Original watertower, 2nd and Front, was completed in 1930. During construction of the concrete watertower, a worker fell to his death and several others were injured.
- Fire Bell, displayed in front of the fire hall on Highway 71 south, was presented to the fire department by James B. Cutler in 1895. The Park Rapids Volunteer Fire Department celebrated its centennial in 1991.
- Fish Hook Mill Pond and Dam at Rice Park (and the state fish hatchery) still bear evidence of what was once the site of the town's first sawmill and flour mill. They were built by Franklin C. Rice who came here in 1881 and founded the village of Park Rapids. In 1908 the voters gave Rice the franchise for the town's electricity.
- Fish Hook River Crossing on Highway 34 east was a concrete structure built in 1933. It was replaced in 1987, but the design allowed the city to keep the old-fashioned lampposts that helped make the old bridge unique. Pedestrian traffic sometimes includes geese and ducks.
- The Carnegie Library, located at 101 2nd Street West in downtown Park Rapids, is one of 65 public libraries built in Minnesota with funds from Andrew Carnegie and the Carnegie Corporation. It was constructed between 1908 and 1910 and served as the city's public library until 1994. The former library has been remodeled but now sits vacant.
- Main Avenue parking, a street wide enough to accommodate center and side parking, is a curiosity and a memorable feature of the town. It is said since Park Rapids originally was a logging community, the street was laid out so wide to allow teamsters to turn their horses around. It also has been said the street was made wide so piles of lumber could be stacked in the center to dry. Both stories may be right.
- Map-ematical error, says resident Jerry Fuller. He had long held the notion, which was passed on to him by his father, that Fish Hook and Potato Lake are misnamed. More specifically, the story he heard as a youngster was that Fish Hook was to be called Potato and vice versa but somehow in the course of map labeling the two names got switched. Actually, there has to be more of a story than that to these two names since there is nothing in the shape of either lake to suggest a fish hook or a potato. More probably the names came from finding objects on the shore or mispronunciation of an Indian name for the lakes.
- Muskie Park, located just north of Highway 34 in Nevis, is the home of the Tiger Muskie erected in the early 1950s. Trees were planted in the park in honor of Nevis' World War I dead and now the park has a veterans memorial with a lighted flagpole, flowerbed, honorarium benches and a walkway. A pavilion was dedicated in the park in 1993 with an enclosed stand for food sales and shelter for picnic tables.