History of Red Lake Falls
The Red Lake Falls area has a rich and varied history in which the Red Lake and Clearwater Rivers have played a central role. These rivers provided the proper habitat for a wide range of wildlife. Over 200 years ago this wildlife attracted the Chippewa (Ojibwa) Indians from the Great Lakes region who were following the fur trade business west. By 1798, Jean Baptiste Cadotte had established a trading post near the junction of the two rivers in the present-day site of Sportsman's Park in Red Lake Falls
As oxcarts began crossing the area while transporting goods between St. Paul and Selkirk or River Colony (Winnipeg), the "old crossing" of the Red River near Huot became a place of historical importance. At this site in 1863, a peace treaty was signed between the Red Lake and Pembina bands of the Chippewa Indians and the U.S. Government. This treaty ceded to the United States nearly 11 million acres of some of the most fertile land in the world.
In 1876 the famous metis guide, Pierre Bottineau, brought the first settlers to the area, 119 families of French-Canadian descent, who founded the towns of Red Lake Falls and Gentilly. Settlers of European descent followed, attracted to the same waters that attracted the Indians and trappers before them. Newspaper of the time advertised the abundant supply of water power provided by the two rivers.
More history on Red Lake Falls can be found here.