Mary Gibbs stared down lumbermen in 1903 Itasca clash

6December 2020

Mary Gibbs stared down lumbermen in 1903 Itasca clash

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In the spring of 1903, 24-year-old Mary Hannah Gibbs faced off with an armed lumberman near the Mississippi River headwaters at Itasca State Park in what became one of Minnesota’s first clashes between conservationists and industry. Lumberjacks had felled countless giant red and white pines that winter, sledding them to Lake Itasca for a massive spring log drive to sawmills stretching 480 miles downriver to Minneapolis. The higher the water level, the higher the profits for loggers floating their product to market, and they wanted the dam kept shut. In the meantime, Gibbs had become the first woman to run…. See article below.

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