Faribault, Minnesota

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Faribault (pronounced /ˈfɛərboʊ/ FAIR-boh) is a city in Rice County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 20,818 at the 2000 census, and currently has a population of 22,009. It is the county seat of Rice County. Faribault is approximately 50 miles (80 km) south of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Interstate 35 and Minnesota State Highways 3, 21, and 60 are four of the main routes in the community.

Faribault is situated at the confluence of the Cannon and Straight Rivers in southern Minnesota.

Contents

History

Faribault is regarded as one of the most historic communities in Minnesota, with settlement and commercial activity predating Minnesota’s establishment as a U.S. Territory. Prior to 1745, the area was primarily occupied by the Wahpekute band of Dakotah. Shortly thereafter, the tribe was driven south after several clashes with the Ojibwe over territory.

The city's namesake, Alexander Faribault, was the son of a French-Canadian fur trader and a woman of the Dakotah tribe. He is credited with fueling most of the early settlement activity in the area beginning in 1826, when he established a fur trading post on the banks of the Cannon River. By 1834, the trading post had grown in popularity and was relocated to the Straight River, one mile (1.6 km) upstream of its junction with the Cannon River, the site of modern-day Faribault. The young Alexander Faribault used his knowledge of Dakotah language and culture to improve relations with the displaced Wahpekute and even helped the tribe to resettle in the area. This relationship was instrumental in ensuring the success of the trading post and allowing safe travel to the area for settlers.

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