Milford Mine Memorial Park, about two miles north of Crosby, MN, has officially opened. The park honors the 41 miners who lost their lives in Minnesota’s worst mining disaster. Widseth Smith Nolting worked closely with Crow Wing County Natural Resource Manager Bryan Pike to make the park a reality.
With only 15 minutes of work left on February 5, 1924, a shaft collapsed allowing water and mud to rush in and quickly fill the 200-foot-deep mine. Only seven miners managed to escape to the surface. The park is an homage to the Milford Mine workers and the families they left behind.
Access posed one of the major challenges to developing the park. Several bodies of water and wetlands surround the disaster site. WSN designed a 450-foot boardwalk to allow visitors to cross Milford Lake and reach the area where the shaft house was located. The boardwalk and crushed granite trail system are ADA compliant and provide access for all users. Picnic shelters, canoe launches, and multiple informative kiosks round out the park amenities. WSN provided architectural, civil engineering, structural engineering, and land surveying services.
The park provides a peaceful setting for reflection and recreation. The informative displays located throughout the park help visitors uncover the rich history of the Cuyuna Range, Milford Mine, and the memory of those who perished.