The St. Paul District's greatest historic treasure is now available, for the first time ever, to a global audience. The district owns a large bound collection of photos produced by renowned photographer and cartographer, Henry Peter Bosse (1844-1903), an engineer and draughtsman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during the reshaping of the Mississippi River for modern transportation.
Taken between 1883 and 1892, his images include long-vanished vistas of bluffs and coulees, rapidly growing cities, workboats pulling snags out of the new channels, rock quarries, dredging operations and construction of wing dams and bridges. These images depicting the history of the Mississippi River comprise a rich essay on the evolution of one of the world's greatest rivers -- The Mississippi -- and have distinguished Bosse as one of the foremost landscape photographers of the late 19th century.
In an effort to secure a digital archive of the collection and to make the Bosse photographs more widely available to the public, the St. Paul District loaned the original Bosse album to the Minnesota Historical Society, which safely captured digital images of the entire collection. Copies of these images are now available for public viewing and downloading through Minnesota Reflections, a collection maintained by the Minnesota Digital Library of more than 40,000 historic images, documents and maps from more than 100 historical societies, libraries, archives, and museums in Minnesota.
To view the photographs, see:
Minnesota Reflections U.S. Army Corps of Engineers St. Paul District Collection