Lake of the Woods
Lake of the Woods (French: lac des Bois) 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 be reached from the rest of Minnesota only by crossing the lake or by traveling through Canada. The Northwest Angle is the northernmost part of the contiguous United States. Its "northwesternmost point" served as a problematic landmark in treaties defining the international border. Lake of the Woods is fed by the Rainy River, Shoal Lake, Kakagi Lake and other smaller rivers. The lake drains into the Winnipeg River and then into Lake Winnipeg. Ultimately, its outflow goes north through the Nelson River to Hudson Bay. Lake of the Woods is over 70 miles (110 km) long and wide, and contains more than 14,552 islands and 65,000 miles (105,000 km) of shoreline. Lake of the Woods is also the sixth largest freshwater lake located (at least partially) in the United States, after the five Great Lakes, and the 36th largest lake in the world by area. The lake's islands provide nesting habitats for the piping plover and large numbers of American white pelicans and as recently as the early 20th century also provided calving habitat to boreal woodland caribou. There are also several hundred nesting pairs of bald eagles in this area. Lake of the Woods, a translation of the original French name lac des Bois, was so named from its wooded setting. However, it may have been a mistranslation of the Ojibwe name. "The earliest name we find the lake known by is that given by Verendrye in his journey in 1731. He says it was called Lake Minitic (Cree: ministik; Ojibwe: minitig) or Des Bois. (1) The former of these names, Minitic, seems to be Ojibwe, and to mean "Islands in a River", probably referring to the many islands found in the northern half of the lake. The other name (2) Lac des Bois, or Lake of the Woods, seems to have been a mistranslation of the Indian [sic] name (Ojibwe) by which the Lake was known." One of the names currently used in Ojibwe for this lake is Babiikwaawangaa-zaagaʼigan meaning "Lake with Uneven Sand" referring to the lake's sand dunes.
Thief River Falls
Thief River Falls, sometimes referred to as Thief River or abbreviated as TRF, is a city in Pennington County in the northwest portion of the U.S. state of Minnesota. The population was 8,573 at the 2010 census. Thief River Falls is the county seat for Pennington County.
Minnesota ( (listen)) is a state in the upper Midwestern United States. It is the 12th largest U.S. state in area and the 22nd most populous, with over 5.7 million residents. More than half of Minnesotans live in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area, known as the "Twin Cities", which is the main political, economic, and cultural hub. The Twin Cities are among the 20 largest metropolises in the U.S. Other Minnesota metropolitan areas include Duluth, Mankato, Moorhead, Rochester and St. Cloud. Minnesota's geography is highly diverse, consisting of western prairies, now given over to intensive agriculture; deciduous forests in the southeast, now partially cleared, farmed, and settled; and the less populated North Woods, used for mining, forestry, and recreation. Roughly a third of the state is forested, and it is known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" for having over 14,000 bodies of fresh water that are at least ten acres. Minnesota has been inhabited by various indigenous peoples since the Woodland period of the 11th century BCE. Between roughly 200 and 500 CE, two areas of the indigenous Hopewell tradition emerged: the Laural Complex in the north, and Tremplau Hopewell in the Mississippi River Valley. The subsequent Upper Mississippian culture, consisting of the Oneota people and other Siouan speakers, lasted through the arrival of Europeans in the 17th century. French explorers and missionaries were the earliest Europeans to enter the region, encountering the Dakota, Ojibwe, and various Anishinaabe tribes. Much of what is now Minnesota formed part of the vast French holding of Louisiana, which the United States purchased in 1803. After several territorial reorganizations, the Minnesota Territory was admitted to the Union as the 32nd state in 1858. Minnesota's official motto, L'Étoile du Nord, is the only state motto in French; meaning "The Star of the North", it was adopted shortly after statehood and reflects the state's French origins and its position as the northernmost state in the contiguous U.S. As part of the American frontier, Minnesota attracted settlers and homesteaders from across the country, with its growth initially centered on timber, agriculture, and railroads. Into the early 20th century, European immigrants arrived in significant numbers, particularly from Scandinavia, Germany, and Central Europe; many were linked to the failed revolutions of 1848, and partly influenced the state's emergence as a major center of labor and social activism. Minnesota's rapid industrialization and urbanization precipitated major social, economic, and political changes during the American Progressive Era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries; the state was at the forefront of labor rights, women's suffrage, and political reform. Minnesotan politics, culture, and identity are reflective of this history and remain highly progressive by national standards. Since the late 20th century, Minnesota's economy has diversified significantly, shifting from traditional industries such as agriculture and resource extraction to services, finance, and healthcare. The state remains a center of Scandinavian, German, and Czech culture, but in recent decades has become increasingly multicultural amid greater domestic migration and immigration from Latin America, Asia, the Horn of Africa, and the Middle East. Minnesota's standard of living index is among the highest in the nation, and the state is among the best-educated in the nation. It is ranked among the best states in metrics such as employment, median income, safety, and governance.
Rainy Lake (French: lac à la Pluie; Ojibwe: gojiji-zaaga'igan) is a freshwater lake with a surface area of 360 square miles (932 km2) that straddles the border between the United States and Canada. The Rainy River issues from the west side of the lake and is harnessed to make hydroelectricity for US and Canadian locations. International Falls, Minnesota and the much smaller city of Ranier, Minnesota are situated opposite Fort Frances, Ontario, on either side of the Rainy River. Rainy Lake and Rainy River establish part of the boundary between the US state of Minnesota and the Canadian province of Ontario.Voyageurs National Park is located on the southeastern corner of the lake, where it connects with Kabetogama and Namakan Lakes at Kettle Falls. Rainy Lake is part of an extremely large system of lakes forming the Hudson Bay drainage basin that stretches from west of Lake Superior north to the Arctic Ocean. The Rainy Lake watershed includes the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA), portions of the Superior National Forest on the US side of the border, and the Quetico Provincial Park on the Canadian side of the border.For exploration and fur trade history, see Winnipeg River and additional references below.