International Falls, Minnesota

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International Falls is a city in and the county seat of Koochiching County, Minnesota, United States.[3] The population was about 12,000 in 2010 according to the entrance sign which is a change from the 2000's census of 6703. International Falls is located on the Rainy River directly across from Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada. The two cities are connected by the Fort Frances-International Falls International Bridge. Tolls are only charged for north (Canadian) bound vehicles, but it is a round-trip toll. Voyageurs National Park lies 11 miles east of International Falls. There is a major U.S. Customs Port of Entry on the International Falls side of the toll bridge, and a Canadian Customs entry point on the north side of the bridge.



Although the International Falls area was well known to explorers, missionaries, and voyagers as early as the 17th century, it was not until April 1895 the community was platted by a teacher and preacher L. A. Ogaard for the Koochiching Company and named the community Koochiching. The word "Koochiching" comes from either Ojibwe word Gojijiing or Cree Kocicīhk, both meaning "at the place of inlets," referring to the neighboring Rainy Lake and River. The European inhabitants gave the names Rainy Lake and Rainy River to the nearby bodies of water because of the mist-like rain present at the falls where the lake flowed into the river.

On August 10, 1901, the village was incorporated and two years later its name was changed to International Falls in recognition of the river's role as a border between the United States and Canada. It was incorporated as a city in 1909.

Realizing the potential for water power and mills in the area, industrialist E.W. Backus, president of the Minnesota and Ontario Paper Company in the early 20th century, built a dam on the Rainy River to power the company's mills. Purchased by Boise Cascade Corporation in 1965, and sold to an investment group in 2003, the company remains the largest business and employer in the area. According to Forbes magazine, it is the coldest city in the continental United States.

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