Canosia Township
Aerial Views

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   In 1939 and 1940, the Federal Government was documenting the land with aerial photographs taken from a biplane. These pictures, of surprising clarity, reveal Canosia as a land still sparsely settled.

  Throughout the north and east, the roadbeds of several old logging railroads are still visible. More prominent than anything else are the extensive network of drainage ditches, dug before 1918, to reclaim land for agriculture. Some roads in this area are different, or longer, and a few abandoned roads appear as scars through the foliage. Most of the takes have clearly defined shorelines. Pike Lake is heavily dotted with cabins and long docks and the nearby golf course, recreation area, town and school facilities are plainly visible. The original Swan Lake Road is a winding trail near the south shore of Pike Lake. Caribou Lake has two small satellite lakes. not always shown on current maps, and also has extensive shoreline development, especially near Kehtel’s Resort. Wild Rice Lake is quite different: the shoreline is not distinct, the water appears cloudy, or full of vegetation, and there is no shoreline development.

  The west half of Four Corners is extensively cleared around the County Tool House, Anderson's Hotel and the cemetery, but the eastern part of this intersection is still wooded. In 1940, with a population of 432, the township was still mainly rural with one large commercial dairy and many small farms squarely etched against the forest. In unpopulated areas, large cleared sections may indicate local logging, of necessity, because the Depression had not yet run its full course.

  Recent satellite photographs reveal far more detailed information. but these early aerial views are somewhat like turning back the clock and looking down on the “old days.”                        

Kathryn Adams and the Canosia Historical Society