St. Croix River Association

Variant names

Hide Profile

The St. Croix River Improvement Association was founded in 1911. The name was later changed to the St. Croix River Association.

From the description of Association records, 1917-1988. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 313808613

The St. Croix River Improvement Association (later the St. Croix River Association) was a volunteer group that operated sporadically from 1911 to 1989. Its members were mainly residents of communities along the Minnesota side of the St. Croix River, who were concerned about restoring and preserving the river. Over the years, the Association's major areas of concern included maintaining a navigable flow of water, barring construction that could have a negative impact on the river, ending pollution of the river, and gaining federal protection for it.

The St. Croix River Improvement Association (SCRIA) was organized on September 27, 1911, at a meeting called by George H. Hazzard, the first commissioner of Interstate State Park, with the initial goals of improving the river's navigation and connecting it to Lake Superior via a canal. During the early years of the organization, Hazzard, who was chosen as its first president, oversaw its mostly futile efforts to stock the river with fish, to clear hazards created by the lumbering industry, and to restore a navigable flow of water.

Although the SCRIA apparently became inactive at the end of Hazzard's tenure in 1919, the issues it had tried to address remained concerns for the communities along the river and the group was reactivated in 1928 at the instigation of Samuel G. Strickland, a member of the original SCRIA. The organization renewed its battle with Northern States Power (NSP) to maintain the flow of water over the dam at St. Croix Falls, worked to end commercial fishing on the river, advocated the removal of debris from highway construction along the river, and made plans for reforestation and prevention of soil erosion and pollution.

From 1935 to 1941, the SCRIA focused on deepening the river channel, fighting a plan to create public parks on islands and along the shoreline, and dealing with the growing number of rough fish. World War II seems to have slowed the organization's work, for it appears not to have met between September 1941 and October 1945. Enthusiasm for the group was rekindled under the influence of Mary Jane Leonard and, on October 31, 1947, it was reorganized as the St. Croix River Association. During the late 1940s and through the 1950s, the group concentrated on pollution, the Osceola bridge proposal, water safety, and conservation.

During the 1960s, the SCRA actively opposed the construction of an NSP power plant at Oak Park Heights and supported the inclusion of the St. Croix in the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Its work helped ease pollution concerns in the 1970s and the SCRA continued its conservation efforts into the late 1980s.

In 1986, James Taylor Dunn, former president and secretary of the SCRA, published a short history of the organization, Saving the River: The Story of the St. Croix River Association, 1911-1986, to celebrate its 75th anniversary.

Historical information on the St. Croix River Association was taken from Saving the River and the association's records.

From the guide to the St. Croix River Association records., 1917-1988., (Minnesota Historical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf St. Croix River Association. Association records, 1917-1988. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Soil Conservation Society of America. Minnesota Chapter. Organization records, 1955-1973. Minnesota Historical Society Library
creatorOf St. Croix River Association records., 1917-1988. Minnesota Historical Society
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Allen S. King Generating Plant (Northern States Power Company (Minnesota)). corporateBody
associatedWith Burns, Robert W. person
associatedWith Cass, J. Edward. person
associatedWith Dunn, James Taylor. person
associatedWith Dunn, John W. G. 1869-1941. person
associatedWith Fraser, Donald MacKay, 1924- person
associatedWith Humphrey, Hubert H. 1911-1978. person
associatedWith Izaak Walton League of America. Chapter 46 (Prescott, Wis.). corporateBody
associatedWith Karth, Joseph E. (Joseph Edward), 1922-2005 person
associatedWith Leonard, Mary Jane. person
associatedWith Lower St. Croix Management Commission. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota. Department of Conservation. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota. Dept. of Conservation. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota-Wisconsin Boundary Area Commission. corporateBody
associatedWith Mondale, Walter F., 1928- person
associatedWith Muller, George A. person
associatedWith Nelson, Gaylord Anton, 1916- person
associatedWith Northern States Power Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Northern States Power Company (Minnesota) corporateBody
associatedWith Rolvaag, Karl Fritjof, 1913- person
associatedWith Severance, Cordenio Arnold, 1862-1925. person
associatedWith Soil Conservation Society of America. Minnesota Chapter. corporateBody
associatedWith St. Croix River Improvement Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Surber, Thaddeus, 1871-1949. person
associatedWith Thexton, Wallace A. person
associatedWith Ueland, Sigurd, 1893- person
associatedWith United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Bureau of Fisheries. corporateBody
associatedWith White, Helen M. 1916- person
associatedWith Wilson, Chester S. 1886-1983. person
associatedWith Wilson, Chester Sawyer, 1886- person
associatedWith Wisconsin. Department of Conservation. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
St. Croix River.
United States
Saint Croix River (Wis. and Minn.)
Saint Croix River
Conservation of natural resources
Conservation of natural resources
Conservation of natural resources
Fishery law and legislation
Fish stocking
Natural gas pipelines
Wild and scenic rivers
Wild and scenic rivers
Wild and scenic rivers

Corporate Body

Active 1917

Active 1988



Ark ID: w62570hj

SNAC ID: 54315159