Log House Landing of Otisville
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This cache is located at the Log House Landing in the Copas neighborhood of the city of Scandia. This is a great place to launch your kayak and fish. The indigenous people and their traders used the St. Croix as a highway. When white settlers began to arrive, they, too, came by the river on steamboats. Many came through the Marine Mills settlement, but others arrived at a place called Log house Landing about three miles north of Marine.
The Osceola and St Croix Valley Railway, which is part of the Minnesota Transportation Museum, goes through Copas. Minnesota State Highway 95 serves as a main route in the community.
COPAS, a village of the Soo Line, adjoins the former site of Vasa. It has a unique name, not known elsewhere. A post office with the same name was located in section 30 of New Scandia Township, 1906-27, and was transferred to Scandia; first known as Otisville, the site was changed later in honor of John Copaswhen the Soo Line depot was built. Copas was born in Italy in 1825, came to the United States in 1852 and to Marine Township in 1854, served in the Fourth Minnesota Regiment during the Civil War, had a log cabin store with John Columbus in Vasa in 1854, and died in 1911.
A passable road was built from Stillwater to Marine by 1841, and a Territorial Military Road from Point Douglas to the St. Louis River was completed through the township in 1853. This, coupled with the coming of the railroad to Stillwater in 1870, gave the immigrants other routes into Washington County. By 1886 depots had been built at Copas and Maple Island Farm, making it easier for immigrants to travel to their new land.
The first community on the river, in what was then Vasa Township, organized in 1858, was also called Vasa, name for the Swedish king, Gustavas Vasa. Benjamin Otis came to settle the area in 1849, keeping a hotel called the Vasa House, a half-way stop on the road from Stillwater to Taylors Falls. Vasa townsite was platted from the riverbank back 400 feet on the plateau in 1856, and a sawmill, store, post office, and saloon were soon built. The settlement fell prey to the depression of 1857, and in 1860 the post office was discontinued.
The area became known as Copas for an early Italian settler, John Copas, who built the log store there in 1854, but languished until the railroad came through in 1886. It got new life as buildings were constructed along the Soo Line tracks. In its heyday, Copas processed about 100,000 bushels of potatoes annually. Eventually trucking supplanted rail, and the railroad phased out passenger service. In 1963 the Copas depot was moved away. The last building was razed that same year, and Copas disappeared.
The community that grew up at the original Loghouse Landing was given the name of Otisville in 1859. It survived for a while as a destination for steamboat excursions. Now it, too, has completely disappeared.
The hamlet of Scandia, never incorporated as a village, grew up around the original Swedish settlement. The settlement got a post office in 1878, but lost it for a time when the railroad went to Copas instead. However, the village prospered and over the years acquired several stores selling groceries, dry goods, hardware, farm machinery, and other necessities to local farmers. The first creamery was built in the village in 1894, a telephone exchange in 1914, and by the 1920s the community could boast a dentist, doctor, barber, and milliner as well as a bank and an auto dealership.
This area is a rare ecosystem. The cache has been place purposfully 5-10 feet near the road so you do not have to tromp over all the vegetation... enjoy the skunk cabbages!
Hfhnyyl ol zl srrg
Uvqqra haqre ebbg
- The RiverThis is a view from Copas...
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum