Photograph of a small congregation of lumberjacks assembled inside a bunkhouse to hear sky pilot Frank Higgins preach c.1910.

Lumberjack assembly

Photograph of a small congregation of lumberjacks assembled inside a bunkhouse to hear sky pilot Frank Higgins preach c.1910.

Photograph of men waving to Frank Higgins, the lumberjack sky pilot, outside a lumber camp c.1910.

Frank Higgins

Photograph of men waving to Frank Higgins, the lumberjack sky pilot, outside a lumber camp c.1910.

Poster promoting a lecture by Francis "Frank" E. Higgins, the lumberjack sky pilot, c.1909.

Frank E. Higgins poster

Poster promoting a lecture by Francis "Frank" E. Higgins, the lumberjack sky pilot, c.1909.

Black-and-white paper poster advertising a lecture appearance by Frank E. Higgings, c.1909.

Frank Higgins poster

Black-and-white paper poster advertising a lecture appearance by Frank E. Higgings, c.1909.

Lumberjack Sky Pilots

Working as a lumberjack in northern Minnesota was a difficult job with poor living conditions. Many loggers blew off steam by drinking, gambling, or visiting brothels. "Sky pilots," or visiting ministers, tried to save the men's souls and put them on the road to holiness rather than vice.

Painting of Father Louis Hennepin at the Falls of St. Anthony, 1680

Hennepin at the Falls of St. Anthony, 1680

Painting of Father Louis Hennepin at the Falls of St. Anthony in 1680. Painted c. 1903 by J. N. Marchand.

The statue of Father Louis Hennepin at Sixteenth Street and Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis.

Father Hennepin statue, Sixteenth Street and Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis

The statue of Father Louis Hennepin at Sixteenth Street and Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis.

Painting of Father Hennepin at the Falls of St. Anthony by Douglas Volk, c. 1905.

Father Hennepin at the Falls of St. Anthony

Painting of Father Louis Hennepin at St. Anthony Falls by Douglas Volk, c. 1905.

Hennepin, Louis (c.1640–c.1701)

Father Louis Hennepin, a Recollect friar, is best known as an early explorer of Minnesota. He gained fame in the seventeenth century with the publication of his dramatic stories of the exploration of the Mississippi River. Father Hennepin spent only a few months in Minnesota, but his influence is undeniable. While his widely read travel accounts were more fiction than fact, they allowed Hennepin to leave a lasting mark on the state.

Portrait of Joseph Hancock, 1904

Joseph Hancock

Portrait of Joseph Hancock, 1904.

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