US Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District

St. Paul District Historical Vignettes

Blackhawk Park site of battle
10/15/2015
A lone marker recognizing sacred ground stands at Blackhawk Park, located near DeSoto, Wis. Every year Native American groups visit the park and the surrounding area to pay respect and remember a...
Bosse navigation charts in the new century
9/25/2012
As commercial navigation becomes more dependent upon electronic technology, the use of paper navigation charts like the hand written ones completed by Henry Bosse in the early 1900s and used on the...
Dredge Goetz
10/28/2015
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, uses the Dredge William L. Goetz to help maintain 850 miles of the Upper Mississippi River, 335 miles of the Illinois River and other inland...
Dredge W.A. Thompson and early dredging
10/27/2015
In 1930 the 9-foot draft channel was legislated by Congress to increase commerce on the river. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began construction of the series of 29 locks and dams between St. Louis...
Engineering the Falls: The Corps of Engineers' Role at St. Anthony Falls
10/27/2015
People have always been drawn to the power and beauty of St. Anthony Falls. For Native Americans, the falls possessed religious significance and harbored powerful spirits. For the early European and...
Expansion of the regulatory mission
11/3/2015
The Department of the Army Regulatory Program is one of the oldest organizations within the federal government. Initially, its purpose was to protect and maintain the navigable capacity of the...
Flood of ’97 overwhelms Wahpeton/Breckenridge
2/28/2017
(originally published in the October-November 2007 Crosscurrents)Engineering division’s Matt Bray and Tim Grundhoffer fought two swiftly rising rivers, blizzard conditions and extreme temperatures...
Floods of 1997
10/28/2015
The St. Paul District faced one of its biggest challenges ever when, in the timeframe of around six weeks in 1997, it simultaneously fought floods in three river basins – the Red, the Minnesota and...
Gouverneur Kimble Warren
11/3/2015
Maj. Gouverneur Kimble Warren was the first district engineer of the St. Paul District. After the Civil War, he came to St. Paul in 1866 and began work surveying the Mississippi, Chippewa, St. Croix...
Gull Lake Native American Burial Mounds
10/28/2015
The Gull Lake Mounds were excavated in 1969 by the University of Minnesota. This excavation was one of the last large-scale mound excavations conducted in Minnesota. The human remains and many of the...
Henry Bosse
10/15/2015
One of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers St. Paul District’s claim to fame is renowned photographer Henry Bosse. Bosse was born in Prussia Nov. 13, 1844. He immigrated to the United States in 1865; and...
Hiram M. Chittenden
10/15/2015
Captain Hiram M. Chittenden’s photograph appears on the wall outside the executive office of St. Paul District. Chittenden served as temporary district engineer for four months in 1901, during which...
History of recreation in the St. Paul District
11/3/2015
The St. Paul District constructed and placed approximately 15 dams into operation starting with Lake Winnie, Leech Lake and Pokegama Lake dams on the Headwaters of the Mississippi River in 1884 and...
History of the Headwaters Recreation Areas
10/28/2015
The Mississippi River Headwaters dams, located in north central Minnesota, were constructed and placed in operation between 1884 and 1912. Maj. General Warren, the first St. Paul District commander,...
Meeker Dam: Controversy plagued one of the first locks on the Mississippi River
11/3/2015
Listed as one of the “controversies” in Raymond Merritt’s book “Creativity, Conflict & Controversy: A History of the St. Paul District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” the Meeker Dam project continues...
Memories linger of disaster at East Grand Forks/Grand Forks
2/28/2017
(first published in Crosscurrents Oct.-Nov. 2007 edition)The district, the locals, the volunteers –they all put up a tremendous fight, but ultimately the Red River of the North rose too high, too...
Origin of the Navigation System
10/15/2015
Along with their best suits, the delegation packed the hopes and dreams of the entire Northwest – from the farmers in the hinterland to the captains of commerce in St. Paul, Minnesota, and from the...
Red River Flood of 2009
10/28/2015
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, declared a victory late April 2009 after facing massive flooding in the Red River of the North river valley for more than a month-and-a-half. By...
St. Paul District Engineers
10/27/2015
The district is turning 150 years old in 2016. I have to admit I have never thought much about what it would be like to lead such a dynamic group of individuals. Granted, in the beginning, there were...
St. Paul District regulatory boundaries
11/3/2015
In 1976, the St. Paul District regulatory staff consisted of four people (clerk included) that focused on evaluating projects under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. The scrutiny was...
The Boatyard: History of the Fountain City Service Base
10/15/2015
For 100 years, the Fountain City, Wisconsin, Boatyard has played an essential role in supporting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ efforts to improve navigation on the Upper Mississippi River. These...
The Old Post Office Building and the Digitization of the St. Paul District
10/27/2015
I started working for the St Paul District in March of 1980. At that time the district office was in the main Post Office on Kellogg Boulevard between Sibley and Jackson streets. The building was...

Celebrating 150 years

two people sift dirt
Vice President Al Gore fills a sandbag at Breckenridge, Minn., April 11, 1997. --St. Paul District File Photo
Matt Bray and Tim Grundhoffer, engineering; Pete Corkin, Rock Island District; U.S. Rep. Earl Pomeroy; Col. Mike Wonsik, St. Paul District commander; and Maj. Gen. Russell Fuhrman, Mississippi Valley Division, at Breckenridge, Minn., during the floods of 1997. --USACE St. Paul District File Photo
Aerial photo of the flooded downtowns of Grand Forks, North Dakota, and East Grand Forks, Minnesota, on April 20, 1997. --USACE St. Paul District File Photo
President Bill Clinton hosts a press conference in Grand Forks, North Dakota, April 21, 1997, after the city is inundated. --USACE St. Paul District file photo
Floodwaters inundate 4th Street N., downtown Grand Forks, N.D., April 25, 1987. The photo is looking towards Demers Avenue. The second, third and fourth buildings on the left hand side were torn down after the flood.  --USACE St. Paul District file photo
Aerial photo of downtown Grand Forks, North Dakota/East Grand Forks, Minnesota, taken April 20, 1997, after the cities were inundated. --USACE St. Paul District file photo
The St. Paul District kicked off its 2016 sesquicentennial celebration with an anniversary ball at the Lost Spur Golf Course in Eagan, Minnesota, Feb. 13. Hosted in the style of the military dining out, 208 people attended the event. Festivities included a social hour, formal program then dance. --USACE photo by Wendy Medlin
BRAINERD, Minn.—Rick Magee, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, sign program manager, discusses what life was like in the Headwaters region before the Corps built reservoirs. The Corps celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Gull Lake Dam, near Brainerd, Minn., Aug. 4, 2012.
The Dredge William A. Thompson leaves the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers service base in Fountain City, Wis., for the last time June 12. The Thompson’s new home will be with the Community Development Alternatives, Inc., in Prairie du Chien, Wis.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Dredge William A. Thompson approaches Lock and Dam 5A, as it makes its way down the Upper Mississippi River for the last time June 12. After more than 80 years of service with the Corps, the Thompson will retire in Prairie du Chien, Wis.
Meeker Lock and Dam under construction Sept. 27, 1905.
St. Paul District Dredge William A. Thompson is launched at Dravo's shipyard in Pittsburgh, Penn.
St. Paul District Dredge William A. Thompson is launched at Dravo Corporation's shipyard in Pittsburgh, Penn.
Statue of General Gouverneur K. Warren at Gettysburg National Battlefield.
Statue of General Gouverneur K. Warren at Gettysburg National Battlefield.
Captain Hiram M. Chittenden’s served as temporary District Engineer for four months in 1901 during which time he gets credit for the conversion of Leech Lake Dam from a timber to a concrete structure and the design of Twin Cities Lock and Dam #2. Chittenden was assigned to St. Paul District for much of his career, more than those four brief months of command.
Henry Bosse was born in Prussia November 13th, 1844. He immigrated to the United States in 1865 and by 1870 was working in a book and stationary shop in Chicago.  He began working for the Corps of Engineers in Chicago in 1874 and was soon transferred to the Corps’ River and Harbor Improvement Office in St. Paul.  In 1878 he transferred to the Corps’ Rock Island District.
Lock and Dam 8, circa 1944.
Lock and Dam 8, Genoa, Wisconsin, circa 1944.
Lock and Dam 8, Genoa, Wisconsin
Lock and Dam 8, Genoa, Wisconsin, circa 1944
Lock and Dam 8, Genoa, Wisconsin, circa 1944.
Lock and Dam 8, Genoa, Wisconsin, circa 1944.
Lock and Dam 8, Genoa, Wisconsin, circa 1944.
Lock and Dam 8, Genoa, Wisconsin, circa 1941.
Lock and Dam 8, Genoa, Wisconsin, circa 1941.
Lock and Dam 8, Genoa, Wisconsin, circa 1941.
Lock and Dam 8, Genoa, Wisconsin
An 8-foot bronze statue of Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren, the district’s first commander, stands atop Little Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg. Members of Warren’s Fifth New York Volunteers placed the statue at the site in 1888.
MCGREGOR, Minn. -- Members of the St. Croix Ojibwe Tribe launch their hand-made birchbark canoes at Big Sandy Lake, near McGregor, Minn., July 31. About 200 people gathered to remember the more than 400 Anishinaabe people that died during the winter of 1850-1851. (Photo by Patrick Moes)
Construction of Lock and Dam 7 on the Upper Mississippi River in La Crescent, Minn., Nov. 21, 1935. Construction trestle completed.
Construction of Lock and Dam 7 on the Upper Mississippi River in La Crescent, Minn., Oct. 18, 19335. Plant layout and storage yards.
Construction of Lock and Dam 7 on the Upper Mississippi River in La Crescent, Minn., Oct. 23, 1935. Driving wood piling in spillway section.
Construction of Lock and Dam 7 on the Upper Mississippi River in La Crescent, Minn., Sept. 18, 1935. Top surface of land wall upstream from control station.
Construction of Lock and Dam 7 on the Upper Mississippi River in La Crescent, Minn., April 3, 1934. General view southeast of coffer dam.
Construction of Lock and Dam 7 on the Upper Mississippi River in La Crescent, Minn., Jan. 31, 1934. View downstream.
Upper Mississippi River, Construction of Lock and Dam 7, view of site looking upstream. Photo taken Dec. 17, 1933.
Former Dredge Thompson at its new home on the Prairie du Chien, Wis., waterfront.