Oh man! Larry found a huge bunch of maps on the U.S. National Archives website. I adore maps, ya know? The specific map he directed me to was (no surprise) Morrison County, and it's gorgeous.
Here's the map of Little Falls from that set, with sponsoring business cards around the edges. It's a glimpse of business in the county seat before WWII. (Just think, dad would have been 27 that year, mom was 25 and working in the cities. They hadn't met yet. All my grandparents were alive in 1940, and Buckman was a boom town, on it's way UP. Pierz was still fighting over schools, and the second rectory dynamiting was 12 years in the future. Prohibition was only a memory by 1940, and Math Hesch was busy writing the Buckman News for the Little Falls and Pierz papers. Wow).
Here's the map used by the census takers in 1940, tho no homes are marked, just roads and physical features. Still, those features seem different from what we knew when we were kids. Just look at all the school houses scattered every few miles...and how much land was swampy. Check the Mississippi below Little Falls to see a mill that was still working on water power, in 1940. Look where the railroads ran, and what river/stream drained which lake. Can you find the Weiling or the Green Schoolhouse, or Vater, or Center Valley? They were all going concerns then.
THIS is the map I want to draw your attention to, tho. The two halves don't align like above. It's ok, cuz I'm trying to highlight where Buckman's power came from, and that evidently, other towns didn't have it yet. The little T's with a curved line between 'em indicated High Lines...probably a NEW term then, huh?
There was a family story that mom's dad, Anton Janson, experimented early with electricity to power jobs around the farm (like silo filling, etc). I was skeptical, thinking WHY would MP&L run lines THERE (see the little red circle?), rather than other areas first? But look! They did, and the story has WAY more veracity now.
Thanks again, Larry ☺x3