The Canadian town of Rainy River
is situated on the Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...
border, along the Rainy River
The Rainy River is a river, approximately long, which forms part of the U.S.-Canada border separating northern Minnesota and Northwestern Ontario....
opposite Baudette, Minnesota
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 1,104 people, 490 households, and 271 families residing in the city. The population density was 334.1 people per square mile . There were 540 housing units at an average density of 163.4 per square mile...
, USA, and southeast of the Lake of the Woods
Lake of the Woods is a lake occupying parts of the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba and the U.S. state of Minnesota. It separates a small land area of Minnesota from the rest of the United States. The Northwest Angle and the town of Angle Township can only be reached from the rest of...
. It is at the western terminus of Ontario Highway 11.
Rainy River and Baudette are connected by the Baudette-Rainy River International Bridge
The Baudette – Rainy River International Bridge is an international bridge connecting Rainy River, Ontario, Canada with Baudette, Minnesota, USA across the Rainy River....
Incorporated as the town of Rainy River in 1904, the actual community was first formed around 1895 by a group of lumbermen whose mill was purchased by the Beaver Mills Lumber Company in 1898. The small village took the name Beaver Mills until it was incorporated as a town, at which point it took its new name from the river on whose shores they had settled.
The town grew rapidly because of the thriving lumber industry, and bolstered by the Ontario and Rainy River Railway built through the town in 1901. However, in 1910, a forest fire originating in northern Minnesota swept north and destroyed most of the town. The mill industry relocated as a result, contributing to a drop in population from more than 4500 people to its current 1000. However, due to the railroad, (absorbed by the Canadian Northern Railway
The Canadian Northern Railway is a historic Canadian transcontinental railway. At its demise in 1923, when it was merged into the Canadian National Railway , the CNoR owned a main line between Quebec City and Vancouver via Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Edmonton.-Manitoba beginnings:CNoR had its start in...
in 1915) since taken over by Canadian National Railway
The Canadian National Railway Company is a Canadian Class I railway headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. CN's slogan is "North America's Railroad"....
s, the growing hunting/fishing tourism industry, the town remained firmly established.
- Population in 2006: 909
- Population in 2001: 981
- Population in 1996: 1008
- Population in 1991: 968
Famous people to be born in Rainy River:
- Bronko Nagurski
Bronislau "Bronko" Nagurski was a Canadian-born American football player. He was also a successful professional wrestler, recognized as a multiple-time world heavyweight champion.-Youth and collegiate career:...
, Hall of fame NFL player
- James Arthur Mathieu
James Arthur Mathieu was an Ontario lumber merchant, philanthropist and political figure. He represented Rainy River in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as a Conservative-Liberal and then Conservative member from 1911 to 1923 and 1926 to 1929.Mathieu came to Rainy River from Minnesota around...
, businessman and politician