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326 Laurel St.  |  Brainerd, MN 56401
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Crow Wing County History and Facts
Historic Courthouse
Historic Courthouse, Brainerd MN
County Seat: Brainerd, MN
Year Organized: 1870

Population Trends                    
1980   41,633                        Square Miles: 999
1990   44,249                        County Commissioners: 5       
2000   55,099                        Senate District: 10
2007   61,390                        House District: 10A, 10B
2010   62,500                        Congressional District: 8

Crow Wing County was established on May 23, 1857 and organized March 3, 1870. The county is named for the Crow Wing River. Early French explorers noted that where the Crow Wing River joins the Mississippi River was an island in the shape of a crow's wing, thus the French term riviere a 1 Aile de Corbeau, River of the Wing of the Raven. The area was a center for Indian trading for all the upper country. Some of the original doorknobs located within the Historic Courthouse have a design that includes a raven. Read on…

Crow Wing County Seal
Crow Wing County Seal
Historical Symbolism of Seal
The sun, visible on the western horizon, signifies summer in the northern hemisphere. The horizon's visibility signifies the flat plains covering much of Minnesota. The Indian on horseback is riding due south and represents the great Indian heritage of Minnesota. The Indian's horse and spear and the Pioneer's ax, rifle, and plow represent tools that were used for hunting and labor. The stump symbolizes the importance of the lumber industry in Minnesota's history. The Mississippi River and St. Anthony Falls are depicted to note the importance of these resources in transportation and industry. The cultivated ground and the plow symbolize the importance of agriculture in Minnesota. Beyond the falls three pine trees represent the state tree and the three great pine regions of Minnesota; the St. Croix, Mississippi, and Lake Superior. Read on…

Sarah Thorp Heald (1881-1954)
Sarah Thorp Heald Photo
Sarah Thorp Heald
Sarah Elizabeth (Thorp) Heald was the daughter of Freeman Thorp. Following in her father’s footsteps, her paintings often portrayed our early pioneer days and the American Indians of this area. She was a gifted artist, receiving her training at the Corcoran Art School of Washington, D.C.
Read on...

Four of her paintings are on display in the Crow Wing County Historic Courthouse and include:

• The Indian Trading Post (1931)
• Attack of the Sioux on Ojibwe at Battle Point, Bay Lake (1936)
• Indians Roping Off the Tracks (1936)
• Jean (Joseph) N. Nicollet Visiting Trading Post at Mouth of Crow Wing River in 1836 (1936)