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The Minnesota River (Dakota: Mnísota Wakpá) is a tributary of the Mississippi River, approximately 332 miles (534 km) long, in the U.S. state of Minnesota. It drains a watershed of nearly 17,000 square miles (44,000 km2), 14,751 square miles (38,200 km2) in Minnesota and about 2,000 sq mi (5,200 km2) in South Dakota and Iowa. It rises in southwestern Minnesota, in Big Stone Lake on the Minnesota–South Dakota border just south of the Laurentian Divide at the Traverse Gap portage. It flows southeast to Mankato, then turns northeast. It joins the Mississippi at Mendota south of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, near the historic Fort Snelling. The valley is one of several distinct regions of Minnesota. The name Minnesota comes from the Dakota language phrase, "Mnisota Makoce" which is translated to "land where the waters reflect the sky", as a reference to the many lakes in Minnesota rather than the cloudiness of the actual river. For over a century prior to the organization of the Minnesota Territory in 1849, the name St. Pierre (St. Peter) had been generally applied to the river by French and English explorers and writers. Minnesota River is shown on the 1757 edition of Mitchell Map as "Ouadebameniſsouté [Watpá Mnísota] or R. St. Peter". On June 19, 1852, acting upon a request from the Minnesota territorial legislature, the United States Congress decreed the aboriginal name for the river, Minnesota, to be the river’s official name and ordered all agencies of the federal government to use that name when referencing it.The valley that the Minnesota River flows in is up to five miles (8 km) wide and 250 feet (80 m) deep. It was carved into the landscape by the massive glacial River Warren between 11,700 and 9,400 years ago at the end of the last ice age in North America. Pierre-Charles Le Sueur was the first European known to have traveled along the river. The Minnesota Territory, and later the state, were named for the river.
Wahpeton ( WAH-pit-ən) is a city in Richland County, in southeast North Dakota along the Bois de Sioux River at its confluence with the Otter Tail River, which forms the Red River of the North. Wahpeton is the county seat of Richland County. The population was 7,766 at the 2010 census. Wahpeton was founded in 1869 and is the principal city of the Wahpeton Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Richland County, North Dakota and Wilkin County, Minnesota. Wahpeton's twin city is Breckenridge, Minnesota, on the other side of the river. The Bois de Sioux River and the Otter Tail River join at Wahpeton and Breckenridge to form the Red River of the North. The North Dakota State College of Science is in Wahpeton. The local newspaper is the Wahpeton Daily News.
Watertown is a city in and the county seat of Codington County, South Dakota, United States. Watertown is home to the Redlin Art Center which houses many of the original art works produced by Terry Redlin, one of America's most popular wildlife artists. Watertown is located between Pelican Lake and Lake Kampeska, from which Redlin derived inspiration for his artwork. The population was 21,482 at the 2010 census, making Watertown the fifth largest city in South Dakota. It is also the principal city of the Watertown Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Codington and Hamlin counties. Watertown also is home to the Bramble Park Zoo. Watertown's residential real estate is considered the most expensive in South Dakota for cities of its size; the median price for a home in Watertown is approximately $200,000.
Lake Agassiz was a large glacial lake in central North America. Fed by glacial meltwater at the end of the last glacial period, its area was larger than all of the modern Great Lakes combined, although its mean depth was not as great as that of many major lakes today. First postulated in 1823 by William H. Keating, it was named by Warren Upham in 1879 after Louis Agassiz, when Upham recognized that the lake was formed by glacial action.