Koochiching County, Minnesota

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Koochiching County is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of 2000, the population was 14,355. Its county seat is International Falls[2]. A portion of the Bois Forte Indian Reservation is in the county. A small part of Voyageurs National Park extends into its northeast corner.



Historymakers of Koochiching County were of many occupations. They were explorers, traders, homesteaders, and lumberjacks. They also were teachers, preachers, merchants, engineers, and builders of industry. Settlers came at the beginning of the 1900s and suffered through isolation, illness, harsh weather, and poverty. They built schools, churches, and good roads. Koochiching County is the second largest county next to St. Louis County. It is also one of the youngest counties in the state having been created in 1906 after it was separated from Itasca County. The name "Koochiching" comes from either the Ojibwe word Gojijiing or Cree Kocicīhk (recorded in some documents as "Ouchichiq"), both meaning "at the place of inlets," referring to the neighboring Rainy Lake and River. Reverand J.A. Gilfillan recorded their meaning, "according to some, Neighbor lake, according to others a lake somewhere," possibly referring to Lake Couchiching located in southern Ontario. Early European (French) inhabitants gave the names Lac à la Pluie (Rainy Lake) and Rivière à la Pluie (Rainy River) to the nearby bodies of water because of the mist-like rain present at the falls of Rainy River and then to the settlement that became known as International Falls. About 10,000 years ago almost 90% of Koochiching County was covered by Lake Agassiz. When it receded it left low areas of decayed vegetation (muskeg); as a result, three-quarters of northern Koochiching are underlain with 2 to 50 feet of peat.[3][4]

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