Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, may be a small town, but it has a rich history dating back to the mid-1800s. Here are seven historical events that have taken place near Pelican Rapids:
1. Pelican Rapids: In the 1860s, a group of settlers discovered a waterfall on the Pelican River and named the area Pelican Rapids. The town grew quickly, and by the 1870s, it had a post office, a school, and a cemetery.
2. Battle of Dead Buffalo Lake: In 1863, about 150 Dakota warriors attacked a group of travelers at Dead Buffalo Lake near Pelican Rapids. Nine people were killed in what became known as the Battle of Dead Buffalo Lake.
3. Clay County Fair: The Clay County Fair started in 1881 and was held in several towns before finding its permanent home in Barnesville, about 25 miles east of Pelican Rapids. The fair still runs today and attracts thousands of visitors each year.
4. Glacial Lake Agassiz: The area around Pelican Rapids was once covered by Glacial Lake Agassiz, a massive body of water that covered much of present-day Minnesota, North Dakota, and Manitoba. The lake was formed at the end of the last ice age and lasted for thousands of years before eventually draining.
5. Otter Tail Power Company: In 1907, the Otter Tail Power Company was founded in Fergus Falls, about 20 miles south of Pelican Rapids. The company's first power plant was built on the Otter Tail River near Fergus Falls and provided electricity to customers in several nearby towns.
6. Dead Lake Township: Dead Lake Township, which includes part of Pelican Rapids and surrounds nearby Dead Lake, was established in 1880. The township's name comes from Dead Lake, which was so named because it has no outlet and is therefore stagnant.
7. WWII POW Camp: During World War II, a prisoner of war camp was located near Fergus Falls, about 20 miles south of Pelican Rapids. The camp held German and Italian prisoners and was in operation from 1944 to 1946.
Pelican Rapids may be a small town, but it has a rich history that spans centuries. From battles and fairs to glaciers and power plants, the area around Pelican Rapids has seen it all. Whether you're a local or just passing through, take some time to learn more about the history of this unique and fascinating place.
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