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Rainy River

Trip Planner Canada  /  Ontario  /  Rainy River
Rainy River is a Canadian town situated on the Ontario-Minnesota border, along the eponymous Rainy River opposite Baudette, Minnesota, USA, and southeast of the Lake of the Woods. It is at the western terminus of Ontario Highway 11.Rainy River and Baudette are connected by the Baudette – Rainy River International Bridge.HistoryIncorporated as the town of Rainy River in 1904, the actual community was first formed around 1895 along the East shore of the Rainy River about 2 km from the current town center by a group of lumbermen whose mill was purchased by the Beaver Mills Lumber Company in 1898. The small village took the name Beaver Mills until it was incorporated as a town. In 1901 the Ontario and Rainy River Railway completed a bridge connecting Minnesota to Ontario, but Beaver Mills town site was in the way of the Eastern end and so they created a new town further up river and in between the two large Mills. The only method of transport at the time was by Steam ship so parts of the bridge arrived addressed to "Rainy River". The town eventually accepted this as their name.The town grew rapidly because of the thriving lumber industry and its two large Mills and bolstered by the Railway. In 1910, a forest fire known as The Great Fire of 1910 originating in northern Minnesota swept north and destroyed the Mills. Across the South side of the River the two villages of Baudette and Spooner were completely burned out with much of the population being saved at the very last moment by a group of brave citizens from Rainy River who backed a Train of box cars across the bridge and pulled them out. The mill industry relocated as a result, contributing to a drop in population from more than 4500 people to its current 1000.
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