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Red Lake Falls, Minnesota facts for kids

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Red Lake Falls
Main Avenue in downtown Red Lake Falls in 2007
Main Avenue in downtown Red Lake Falls in 2007
Eagles and Rebels
Location of Red Lake Fallswithin Red Lake County and state of Minnesota
Location of Red Lake Falls
within Red Lake County and state of Minnesota
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Red Lake
 • Total 2.10 sq mi (5.44 km2)
 • Land 2.10 sq mi (5.44 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
1,037 ft (316 m)
 • Total 1,427
 • Estimate 
 • Density 675.24/sq mi (260.71/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 218
FIPS code 27-53476
GNIS feature ID 0649866

Red Lake Falls is a city in Red Lake County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 1,427 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Red Lake County. The city lies in the middle of Red Lake Falls Township, from which it was separated when incorporated as a village in 1881. Its status was raised to that of a city in 1898.


Red Lake Falls was the site of a North West Company fur post as early as 1796 or 1797, making it one of the oldest sites of European occupation in the State of Minnesota. A French Canadian fur trader, Jean Baptiste Cadotte, partner of the noted British-Canadian fur trader, Alexander Henry the elder, established the post as part of a strategy to ward off Hudson's Bay Company intrusion into the Red River Valley. The famous Canadian explorer David Thompson took shelter from a storm in Cadotte's cabin here in March 1798. The post was abandoned early in the 1800s, as British fur traders withdrew from United States territory.

The surrounding territory was homesteaded by French-American settlers led by Pierre Bottineau, who were relocating via ox cart from their temporary stopping points in Ramsey and Hennepin Counties, Minnesota, in 1876. These pioneers were augmented in 1878 by a number of French Canadian settlers from Upper Canada. The area developed as a grain farming region. In 1878, Earnest Buse and his partner, Otto Kankel, established a flour mill at the confluence of the two rivers.

The town of Red Lake Falls soon after was platted by Mr. Buse, who then moved on to other environs. The Kankel family continued as a prominent presence in the town through the 1950s. The town prospered for a time, as both the Northern Pacific Railway and the Great Northern Railway ran their lines through the town in the 1880s and early 1890s (both lines are now abandoned), and when Red Lake County split off from Polk County, in 1896, Red Lake Falls became the county seat of the newly formed county, a reason for existence that persists to the present day. The population peaked shortly afterward, in 1900, and has been in decline ever since.

The last significant historic event in Red Lake Falls occurred on August 27, 1927, when the famous aviator Charles Lindbergh and his wife landed at the nearby airport during a barnstorming trip through the Upper Midwest and were taken on automobile rides to Huot and Crookston.


Red Lake Falls is located on a tributary of the Red River of the North, the Red Lake River, at its confluence with the Clearwater River. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.03 square miles (5.26 km2), all of it land.

Minnesota Highway 32 serves as a main route in the city. Minnesota Highway 92 is nearby.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 32
1890 774 2,318.8%
1900 1,885 143.5%
1910 1,757 −6.8%
1920 1,549 −11.8%
1930 1,386 −10.5%
1940 1,530 10.4%
1950 1,733 13.3%
1960 1,520 −12.3%
1970 1,740 14.5%
1980 1,732 −0.5%
1990 1,481 −14.5%
2000 1,590 7.4%
2010 1,427 −10.3%
2019 (est.) 1,418 −0.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,427 people, 615 households, and 366 families residing in the city. The population density was 703.0 inhabitants per square mile (271.4/km2). There were 670 housing units at an average density of 330.0 per square mile (127.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.1% White, 0.4% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 0.8% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.1% of the population.

There were 615 households, of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.5% were non-families. 33.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.90.

The median age in the city was 41.2 years. 24.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.6% were from 25 to 44; 27.8% were from 45 to 64; and 17.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.5% male and 50.5% female.

Notable people

  • Adrian Baril, NFL player
  • Roxy Beaudro, ice hockey player

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See also

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