LETTERS DRAFTED

Find here letters or proposed letters drafted to the Dispatch, the City, to the business owners and more.

TO THE CITY OF BRAINERD, 4/23/2008:

Dear Sirs,

In the last few weeks a number of us in the community have formed a group to launch a historic walk in Brainerd, in the context of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Minnesota. This seemed like a good way of bringing together the community and showing Brainerdís support of the celebration. The walk is planned to be the first of a number and to highlight the history of Brainerd and to attract people to the city. The official celebration is May 11th to 18th and our plan is to launch the first walk that week.

The walk will highlight the diverse history of the area, promote more understanding of the role of history in the community and encourage physical exercise. Different sections of the community are represented in the volunteer effort, including the Crow Wing Museum, the Central Lakes College, the Chamber of Commerce and a number of businesses have already given their support to the historic walk. The initial walk will be in downtown Brainerd, where there are already around ten different plaques that were set up in the early 1970ís. Additional walks are planned for other sections of the city, and will link up with trail systems, including the Paul Bunyan trail.

We have spoken with the Mayor concerning the historic walk, and he has indicated that he is willing to issue a proclamation for the historic walk. This seems like a good opportunity for the City of Brainerd to participate in the state wide celebration, and also to set the scene for continuing walks in the area, that will link up with other activities, including other trail systems and the Main Street program.

We would appreciate the opportunity of addressing the City Council on this matter on the May 5th meeting, to outline the program, objectives and advantages.

Sincerely yours,

Andrew Hook

Economist

TO THE DISPATCH, 4/23/2008:

Brainerd Historic Walks

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Minnesota and of the contribution of Brainerd in the history of the state, a community group is launching an historic walk, the sesquicentennial, of Brainerd on the week of May 11th. The walk is planned as the first of a number of walks to highlight the diverse history of the area, to promote more understanding of the role of history in the community and encourage physical exercise. Different sections of the community are represented in the volunteer effort, including the Crow Wing Museum, the Central Lakes College, the Chamber of Commerce and a number of businesses have already given their support to the historic walk. The initial walk will be in downtown Brainerd, where there are already around ten different plaques that were set up in the early 1970ís. Additional walks are planned for other sections of the city, and will link up with trail systems, including the Paul Bunyan trail.

The group is preparing a brochure and map for the initial walk, planned for the week of May 11th. The walk is planned to be around forty minutes, depending on how long is spent at each site. Each site will have information on the building and history, and we will be collecting photographs of the early days of the different sites.

The plan is for the walks to be on-going throughout the year, with particular weeks specified for guided tours and additional activities related to the history of the area. We are looking for volunteers for guiding the tours for the week of May 11th and for supporting the walks on an on-going basis. Any persons or businesses interested in participating are invited to contact us.

-Andrew Hook, 4/23/2008

TO THE DOWNTOWN BUSINESS OWNERS:

Dear Downtown Area Business Owner, 4/25/2008

RE: Brainerd History Walks

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Minnesota and of the contribution of Brainerd in the history of the state, a community group is launching an historic walk, named "The Sesquicentennial", of Brainerd on the week of May 11th. The walk is planned as the first of a number of walks to highlight the diverse history of the area, to promote more understanding of the role of history in the community and encourage physical exercise. Different sections of the community are represented in the volunteer effort, including the Crow Wing County Historical Society & Museum, the Central Lakes College, the Chamber of Commerce and a number of businesses have already given their support to the historic walk. The initial walk will be in downtown Brainerd, where there are already several different plaques on stone monuments that were set up in 1971 for Brainerd's Centennial. Additional walks are planned for other sections of the city, and will link up with trail systems, including the Paul Bunyan Trail.

The group is preparing a brochure and map for the initial walk, planned for the week of May 11th. The walk is planned to be around forty minutes, depending on how long is spent at each site. Each site will have information on the building and its history, and we will be collecting photographs of the early days of the different sites. Also each will be marked with a bright window icon indicating that business' participation, and inviting the walker inside, a key to this project's success. You are encouraged to do your own research on your site at the museum or library, or the many websites available on the subject. We can also assist you on this research.

The plan is for the walks to be on-going throughout the year, with particular weeks specified for guided tours and additional activities related to the history of the area. We are looking for volunteers for guiding the tours for the week of May 11th and for supporting the walks on an on-going basis. Any persons or businesses interested in participating are invited to contact us.

Online research sources:

http://lakesarea.brainerddispatch.com/groups/brainerdamateurhistorians (local group)

http://brainerddispatch.com/history (Dispatch site)

http://www.crowwinghistory.org (Historical Society site)

http://lakesarea.brainerddispatch.com/groups/brainerdhistorywalk (ALL current info. on this project)

The above website links will be clickable on the Brainerd History Walk site, so you can zip right to them. Find them on the Business Owners link.

For more information contact Carl Faust at fertfaust@msn.com or 218-820-2424

[The above letter is also found under the Business Owners link to the left to be used as a printable hand-out given to any business owner you might talk to. Help us spread the word!!!]

Who We Are, for the second fold-out of the brochure, 4/30/2008:

Brainerd Historic Walk

The Brainerd History Group, formed to celebrate Brainerdís participation in the 150th anniversary of State of Minnesota, is establishing a series of historic walks in the Brainerd Lakes area. The site, at the founding of the city, in 1871, was a crossroads on the frontier, to the Pacific and the Northwest. In the early days, the western reaches of the Northern Pacific Railroad were managed from the streets of Brainerd, and the hotels, stores and trading post served not only the railways, but also the lumbermen headed north for the winter season. As logging moved on, mining grew, along the Cuyuna range. Even in the early 20th century, the call of the lakes and forests was heard and people started to appear on lakeshores. But, with the highway systems after World War II, the Brainerd Lakes area became much more accessible, drawing people not only from Minnesota, but from other states.

Much of the history of the earlier period remains, the railroad, many buildings and sites, and the Brainerd Historic Walk is planned to be the first step to rediscovering the rich and varied history and stories of what was first known as the Crossing. Some monuments, the Iron Exchange, the two Opera Houses, the many city hotels, have been swept away, but many others remain, as do records of the frontier times. The Brainerd History Group, BHG, in conjunction with other community groups, is dedicated to celebrating this history and making it come alive in the 21st century.

Supporters: City of Brainerd, Crow Wing County Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Association, Brainerd Library, Crow Wing County Historical Museum, Community Action, Central Lakes College.

-Andrew Hook