Bemidji Minnesota History
The Bemidji Pioneer has existed since its publication and serves as a source of information about the history of the city and its people, as well as about the local economy. With a population of 13,431 in the 2010 census, it is the second largest city in the state of Minnesota, after St. Paul, Minnesota.
To learn more about the history of Bemidji, visit the Pioneer website, as well as the Minnesota Historical Society and the Museum of Minnesota History at the University of Wisconsin - St. Paul. The Walker Bay Theater, which is dedicated to shows that uncover the history of Minnesota, and the Minnesota Ethnic Fest, dedicated to Walker's diverse cultures, expand the lakeside city beyond its fishing heritage. It sits on over 400 fishing lakes, including Lake Superior, Lake Minnetonka, Lakes Superior and Lake Huron, the state's largest lake. Its area also includes the Twin Cities, Duluth, Minn., Minneapolis, St, Paul and Minneapolis - Saint Paul, along with several other cities.
The first Paul Bunyan Bonnie game was held in Bemidji in 1884, the first of its kind in the USA, and as such it is on the National Historic Trust's list. It was built as part of the Cass Lake Convention Center, a modern convention center. The property, originally built in 1937, has been renovated and expanded several times throughout history and has a long history with the community of Cass Lake.
In 1979, Scott Baird's track won its fourth state championship at Bemidji and took the national title. In a perfect start for the Minnesota State Women's Ice Hockey Association (MSA) in the 1980s, Dillon Eichstadt scored the go-ahead goal in overtime to defeat the home-state Beavers over the Michigan Tech Huskies. Liliapis won the Minnesota State Ladies' Championship in Grand Rapids and competed in a national title fight in Detroit, Michigan, in 1981, where she finished fourth.
When the war broke out between the Dakota and the settlers, Shaynowishkung became one of the Ojibwe brave men who gathered when he argued that he prevented the Chippewa from joining them in the historic massacre of Neu Ulm, in which many hundreds of people died. The war was not over when his own tribe joined the Dakotas against them and expanded northward.
The settlers mistakenly named the new village of Bemidji after Shaynowishkung, and when he shared the name of the Cross and Water Lake with the other Ojibwe tribes in the area, they thought he would share his name. The white settlers shortened it to "BemIDji" because of its proximity to the lake and the treasures that grew around the village of the same name, as well as the fact that there were large numbers of people living there.
In 1957, Wayne purchased the Halterman Funeral Home in Clearbrook, Minnesota, from Bob Haltersman, and in 1965 he purchased the Slagerman's Funerary Home in Gonvick Minnesota from Roy Slagserman. The funeral home was built in conjunction with Erickson's funeral chapel in Nevis, Minnesota, which was operated in conformity with Park Rapids Funeral Home. In 1989, Wayne bought a funeral home in Cass Lake Minnesota, which was run in conjunction with Bemidji's business, and Erikson's funeral chapel.
The Bemidji Commercial Club approached the new Crookston Lumber Company and asked them to open a branch on Lake BEMIDji. He sold his claims in the prairie of Dakota, went east, and then learned of new land in the lakes and forests of Minnesota.
The Great Northern Railroad survey of 1897 led the track bed north of Lake Plantagenet from Fosston via St. Paul to Duluth and then east to FOSston and then south to Bemidji. In 1910, the Soo Line, as it was called, was extended from Dulwich to Clearbrook, parallel to the tracks of the East Railway. Although the original railway surveying had the Ostbahn pulled over their village, they watched it with amazement as they knew it.
At the end of 1898 the railway line from St. Paul to Duluth and then north to Bemidji south to the village of BEMIDji was extended. In 1905, John Moberg's crew finished building the tracks that carried the Minneapolis, Red Lake and Manitoba railroads. The following year, it stretched from Walker to the adjacent Lake Park Addition on Tenth and Twelfth Lake Boulevards in Bemsidki, transporting logs from John Pillsbury to his mill in Minneapolis. South of the first original is the townsite and the first additions, north of it the first and original, a new city area and town hall.
The Minnesota Nice Cafe was built in Bemidji at the corner of Third Street and Fourth Avenue in the early 20th century. The city directory lists it as a three-part block bounded by Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth and Twelfth Lake Boulevards, including the Turf Exchange and the awful Swede Saloon. Pine trees were painted on the walls and burgers and specialty pies were prepared with wild rice and blueberries.