Minnesota History: Building A Legacy

"Reaume's Leaf River Post" Survey Project: Remote Sensing and Archaeological Investigation

  • Project Overview
  • Project Details
Archaeological survey using ground-penetrating radar.
Archaeological survey using ground-penetrating radar.

Project Overview

Recipient: Wadena County Historical Society

A geophysical survey was conducted in the spring of 2013 at Reaume's Leaf River Fort, an 18th century fur trade fort in Wadena County, Minnesota. The investigation used non-invasive geophysical methods to map subsurface archaeological features at the site. In addition, a topographic map of the site was created using Lidar elevation data. The effectiveness of the subsurface mapping methods was somewhat impaired by high soil moisture but useful results were obtained and the survey was successful. 

The University of Minnesota team then undertook a two-week excavation with a small crew. As for the excavations, they did confirm the presence of multiple buildings as opposed to one long barrack-like building.

An exhibit and documentation about the survey opened during Minnesota Archaeology Week at the Wadena County Historical Society.

The ultimate goal of this project is to incorporate the data within a regional outlook on the fur trade in the remote areas of the Western Great Lakes. The Wadena County Historical Society is now able to showcase the information gleaned from the Reaume Leaf River site as well as the Little Round Hill site and maintain the artifacts and documentation of this survey in exhibits open to the public. This past fall, WCHS created an interpretive exhibit, "Five Years of Archaeology in Wadena County", documenting these excavations in photographs and narratives.

In the past five years, several archaeological excavations have been understaken in Wadena County building on the work done more than 40 years ago by archaeologist Doug Birk. In this most recent survey, newly found artifacts and ground penetrating radar are helping researchers provide a picture of daily life in the fur trade. Gathering all this information together is now part of the broader and more long-term project of updating the nomination file for the National Register and demonstrating the property's continued significance and eligibility for Wadena County and the State of Minnesota.

Project Details

To conduct an archaeological survey of the Reaume Leaf River Post Site site using ground-penetrating radar.

Fund Availability:

01/01/2013 - 01/01/2014

Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota for 2011 Chapter 6, Article 4, Subdivision 5, Statewide Historic and Cultural Grants.

Appropriation Language
Statewide Historic and Cultural Grants. $5,250,000 the first year and $5,250,000 the second year are for history programs and projects operated or conducted by or through local, county, regional, or other historical or cultural organizations; or for activities to preserve significant historic and cultural resources.

Funding Amount: $6,990

Direct Expenses: $6,990

Project Manager

John Crandall
Wadena County Historical Society
603 N Jefferson
Wadena, MN 56482

Members of Recipient's Governing Body: John Crandall, Bob Zosel, Bette Peterson, Carmen Pederson, Elaine Schmitz, Elroy Evans, James Dragseth, Linda Smith, Mary Seipkes, Ralph Miller, Sharon Tate, Helen Apel, Larry Denny

Subject: Historic Preservation

Administering Agency

Minnesota Historical Society

Board Members:

Minnesota Historical Society Governing Board:

William R. Stoeri, President
Missy S. Thompson, Vice President
Ruth Huss, Vice President
D. Stephen Elliott, Secretary
Dean M. Nelson, Treasurer

Suzanne Blue
Brenda J. Child
Robert Bruininks
Judith S. Corson
D. Stephen Elliott
Phyllis Rawls Goff
William D. Green
David R. Hakensen
Ruth S. Huss
Martha Kaemmer
Dennis L. Lamkin
David M. Larson
Charles Mahar
Dean M. Nelson
Elizabeth M. Nordlie
Dennis Nguyen
Peter R. Reis
Hussein Samatar
Simon Stevens
Susan Kenny Stevens
William R. Stoeri
Karen Wilson Thissen
Missy Staples Thompson
Eleanor Winston

Mark Dayton, Governor
Yvonne Prattner Solon Lieutenant Governor
Mark Ritchie, Secretary of State
Lori Swanson, Attorney General
Rebecca Otto, State Auditor

Advisory Group Members:

Historic Resources Advisory Committee

Mark Peterson, Winona (Chair)
- Executive Director, Winona County Historical Society
- Governor's appointee to Minnesota Sesquicentennial and Minnesota Humanities Commissions
- Qualified in history, historic preservation and history museum administration

Leanne Brown, Eden Prairie
- Director of Development, Carver County Library/Library Foundation
- Formerly, Executive Director, Carver County Historical Society
- Qualified in history, project management and museum studies

Jack Byers, Minneapolis
- Manager, Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development Department (CPED)
- Manages CPED's Preservation and Design Section
- Qualified in historic preservation, architecture, urban geography and planning

Tamara Edevold, Bagley
- Executive Director, Clearwater County Historical Society
- Active in Minnesota's Historic Northwest, regional historical organization
- Qualified in history, archaeology, anthropology and history museum administration

Ram Gada, Eden Prairie
- Engineer
- Active in the documentation of Minnesota's East Indian community
- State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB), former member
- Qualified in engineering, energy consulting and grants administration

William Latady, Tower
- Bois Forte Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer
- Curator, Bois Forte Heritage Museum
- Qualified in archaeology, anthropology, historic preservation and history museum administration

Benjamin Vander Kooi, Luverne
- Attorney practicing as Vander Kooi Law Offices, P.A., in Luverne, MN
- Active in Vote Yes! Campaign
- Past chair, MN State Arts Board
- Advisor, National Trust for Historic Preservation
- Qualified in historic preservation, nonprofit and grants administration

Brenda Child, Minneapolis
- Chair, Department of American Indian Studies, University of Minnesota
- Enrolled member, Red Lake Nation
- Qualified in history, American Studies and American Indian Studies

Nicole Foss, Bemidji
- Executive Director, Beltrami County Historical Society, Bemidji, MN
- Qualified in anthropology, historical archaeology, library and museum fields

Kris Kiesling, Roseville
- Director of Archives and Special Collections at University of MN Libraries
- State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) member
- Qualified in library and archives, digital services and history

Jan Louwagie, Marshall
- Coordinator, Southwest Minnesota Regional Research Center, Southwest Minnesota State University
- Founding member of Society for the Study of Local and Regional History
- Former member of State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB)
- Qualified in history and archival administration

Ann Meline, Saint Cloud
- Deputy Director, Stearns History Museum, St. Cloud
- Formerly Assistant Director/Public Programs managing Exhibits, Collections and Education Departments
- Former grant reviewer for Institute of Museum and Library Services
- Qualified in history, nonprofit and museum administration

Peter Reis, White Bear Lake
- President, White Bear Lake Area Historical Society
- Chair, Minnesota Historical Society's Grants Review Committee
- Qualified in history and nonprofit and grants administration

William Stoeri, Minneapolis
- Ex-officio member (president of the MHS Board)

Missy Staples Thompson, Saint Paul
- Ex-officio member (treasurer of the MHS Board)

Conflict of Interest Disclosed: None

Quick Facts

Project Type: Grants

Recipient: Wadena County Historical Society

Funding Amount: $6,990

Source: Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund

Status: In Progress

Appropriation Years: 2013

Recipient Type: Non-Profit Business/Entity

Activity Type: Grants/Contracts

Counties Impacted: Wadena

MN Senate District: 9

MN House District: 9A

This site is updated regularly with descriptions and data related to Legacy projects funded through the Minnesota Historical Society by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF).
Further information about the use and impact of all Legacy Funds can be found on the Minnesota Legislative Coordinating Commission's Minnesota's Legacy site.