Today in 1858, Minnesota became the 32nd state in the Union.
There’s a lot to explore in Minnesota’s 86,943 square miles, though some parts of the state take a little extra work to get to.
Especially a part that requires drivers to essentially make a border crossing anytime they want to go anywhere.
This area is known as the Northwest Angle.
And, geographically speaking, this is a little corner of the world.
In 1783, as part of the Treaty of Paris, negotiators were trying to draw a line between Lake of the Woods at an angle on the lake’s northwest.
North of the line would be British Canada, and south of the line would be part of the newly-recognized United States.
But the map they used to draw the line wasn’t quite right.
The Northwest Angle didn’t cut through the lake, it cut into some land.
So there was a small stretch of land that was connected to Canada but part of the US.
There are some permanent residents in the Angle, but not many of the same amenities in other parts of the US.
So when they need to go grocery shopping, for example, they have to drive through parts of Canada.
That means they have to get in touch with Canadian border staff to let them know what they’re doing.
And when they head back home, they have to check in with US border officials.
CBS Sunday Morning once talked with a family living in the Northwest Angle.
Their kids wanted to host a sleepover with friends, which would have required their friends to all get passports!
Still, some people really enjoy living in the Angle.
It’s also a big spot for fishing, and for anybody who wants to say they’ve really visited every corner of the country.
In Williams, Minnesota, just south of the same lake that’s near the Northwest Angle, there’s a very unusual forest.
A forester shaped a stand of trees into the shape of the state of Minnesota!
And this was before GPS, just using a map and a compass!
Minnesota’s Northwest Angle, an American geographic oddity (CBS News)
Somebody Made A Forest Shaped Exactly Like Minnesota And It Is Absolutely Incredible (Only In Minnesota)
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