Minnesota: Roseau County

From Kittson County, Minnesota Highway 11 goes east into Roseau County (pop. 15,629). The county seat is Roseau (pop. 2,633).

Roseau is famous for snowmobiles and ice hockey. Polaris Industries was one of the first manufacturers of snowmobiles (in the 1950s), and today it continues to make snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles in Roseau. The Polaris Experience Center has exhibits about the firm, and the adjacent factory has daily tours.

Roseau High School’s boys’ hockey team has won the Minnesota state championship seven times, tying it with International Falls for the most titles.

Roseau Memorial Arena

Roseau has a first-run movie theater called the Roso (1940).

America’s only Roso Theater

The Roseau Pioneer Farm and Village, two miles west of town, has an agricultural museum with a variety of restored buildings.

Roseau Pioneer Farm and Village

East of Roseau on Highway 11 is the town of Warroad (pronounced “war road”). The name apparently comes from the days when Indian tribes used the area as a route to battle. Warroad is at the southwestern corner of Lake of the Woods, which extends north into Canada.

Warroad calls itself “Hockey Town USA.” Warroad High School has won four boys’ state titles and two girls’ state titles in the past 20 years. The town (pop. 1,781)  has two indoor hockey arenas: Olympic Arena (1984) and the adjacent Gardens Arena (1993).

Gardens Arena (left) and Olympic Arena (right)

NEXT: LAKE OF THE WOODS COUNTY

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6 comments on “Minnesota: Roseau County

  1. Mary Schlick says:

    Ca. 1978 we visited the KaKaygesik home on Rainy River just east of Warroad where in a day of making baskets using the red osier dogwood (red willow) that grew along the riverbank there. We left for Oregon with our already-loaded car bulging with a big “potato basket” just completed by Verna KaKaygeesick. It holds my own basket making materials today.

  2. John Dodds says:

    well I can’t top that comment, but it’s impressive that such a small town can have such hockey talent.

  3. Charlie Warnes says:

    I’d like to add a couple tidbits about Warroad:

    1. Most of the border between the US (which many folks in the US refer to as “America”) and Canada is the 49th parallel running from the Pacific Ocean to Lake of the Woods, where it makes and abrupt northward turn. A result was the Northwest Angle – a part of MN that can only be accessed by boat, plane, or driving through a part of Canada. This was the northernmost part of the US before Alaska became a state.

    2. Warroad’s largest employer is Marvin Windows – a supplier of high quality residential millwork and windows nationwide.

    3. Cal Marvin was arguably Warroad’s most famous citzen. It has been said that he would do anything for the cause of hockey. He coached the 1958 United States National (the first American athletic team to play in the Soviet Union), to a fifth place finish in the World Tournament, and in 1965 was selected as manager of that year’s national team.

  4. Charlie Warnes says:

    Ooops! I shoulda knew better, but I obviously did not. Wit’ the Nort’west Angle being located directly nort’ a Warroad, I just presumed it was a part a Roseau County instead a LOTW County. Shame on me.

  5. Carolyn Ocheltree says:

    To boast the nation’s only Roso Theater and a championship hockey team really puts Roseau on the map!

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