Northome, Minnesota

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Northome is a city located in the southwestern corner of Koochiching County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 230 at the 2000 census. The county seat is International Falls, about 70 miles (110 km) away.

U.S. Route 71 and State Highways 1 and 46 meet in Northome. There are approximately 6 paved roads between Northome and the North Pole, two of which are in Minnesota (in addition to Highway 71, on the north side of town).

Important sources of employment in the area include resorts, health care/assisted living facilities, and the Northome School. The local newspaper is the Northome Record, produced since 1905.

A grass-strip airfield is also in the area.

Northome is known as the "Heart of Big Bear Country". There is a hunting season on black bears, and hunters in the Northome-Mizpah area have occasionally bagged bears weighing over 500 pounds that can stretch 8 feet (2.4 m) high.

The town is on the shores of Bartlett Lake, to the south is Island Lake, popular for fishing and swimming. Other smaller lakes are in the area as well, together supporting a variety of fish including walleye and northern pike.

Fall brings the deer hunters and in the winter snowmobiling is a growing activity, supporting a small industry with a network of trails leading to nearby communities, including across the Big Bog State Recreation Area to Waskish Township. Winters also support ice-fishing, as the occasional -40° (F or C) temperatures create ice that can support small snowplows to clear roads on the lakes. Many Christmas wreaths are made here from local balsam and spruce trees.

Contents

Fair

The Northome Fairgrounds hold the annual Koochiching County Fair, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in August 2006.

Fair events include:

  • Demolition derby
  • ATV race
  • "Scenic Sinkhole Scramble" runs of 2 miles (3.2 km) and 10 km
  • Animal and produce judging and a related Bear Fest parade in the city of Northome.

History

Northome was founded in 1903 and enjoyed a boom time early in the 20th century as a logging town.

In the 1930s the big pines were mostly logged out and farming gained importance. Many farmers relocated here from the dust bowl conditions in the Dakotas at that time.

The Burlington Northern Railroad had a depot in Northome until the late 1970s, although passenger service discontinued long before that. Today the railroad bed is part of a large network of snowmobile trails.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.9 square miles (4.9 km²), of which, 1.5 square miles (3.9 km²) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km²) of it (19.58%) is water.

Northome is located at 47°52′19″N 94°16′48″W / 47.87194°N 94.28°W / 47.87194; -94.28 (47.871986, -94.280248). There are named townships around Northome (Bridgie, Englewood, Wildwood, etc.) but in Koochiching County all townships are unincorporated. Therefore, for Census and other government purposes, the city of Northome also lends its name to the surrounding Unorganized Territory of Northome (approximately 300 square miles (800 km2) of SW Koochiching County, excluding Northome and Mizpah, with 500 people in the 2000 census). It could be that the name "Northome" is derived from the Norwegian place name "Norheim" which is found in 4 places in Norway. The name literally means north home.

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