Minnesota: Beltrami County

West of Itasca County on Highway 2 is Beltrami County (pop. 44,442). The county seat is Bemidji (pop. 13,431), home of the famous statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe – built in 1937 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.

18-foot Paul and 10-foot Babe

Bemidji’s Great Northern Depot (1913) is now a history museum.

The Beltrami County History Center

The actress Jane Russell was born in Bemidji in 1921.

“The Outlaw,” produced by Howard Hughes in 1943

The Bemidji Curling Club has won many state and national titles.

Bemidji curlers have represented the U.S. at the Olympics.

Bemidji State University is on the shores of Lake Bemidj.

Founded in 1919 as Bemidj State Normal School

The Paul Bunyan Playhouse, a summer theater troupe founded in 1951, plays at the Chief Theatre (1933).

The oldest continually operating summer theater in Minnesota

Beltrami County borders nine other counties – the most in Minnesota.

Roseau, Lake of the Woods, Koochiching, Itasca, etc.

The town of Funkley (pop. 5) is the least populated incorporated place in Minnesota.

The combined Upper Red Lake and Lower Red Lake, which are joined by a mile-wide channel, make up the largest lake that’s entirely within the state of Minnesota.

Lake Superior and Lake of the Woods are larger, but not entirely within Minnesota.

Red Lake is not a major fishing destination for Minnesotans; all of Lower Red Lake and part of Upper Red Lake are in the Red Lake Indian Reservation, and the tribal waters are generally off-limits to non-members.

Red Lakes and Lake of the Woods from space, upside down, in winter

NEXT: MARSHALL COUNTY

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