History of Warroad

Warroad was once one of the largest Chippewa villages on Lake of the Woods.  The Chippewa fought a long and fierce war against the Sioux for the lake’s rice fields.  Occupying the prairies of the Red River Valley, the Sioux would frequently invade the territory by way of the Red and Roseau Rivers, a route which ended at the mouth of the Warroad River.  This was the old “war road” from which the river and village derived their name.

Museums

Warroad Heritage Center and Museum

Heritage Center Interior202 Main Av NE
PO Box 688
Warroad, MN 56763
218-386-2500
Hours: Mon-Fri. 1-5 pm. Free admission

Exhibits and artifacts: Indian artifacts from the Warroad area, the local commercial fishing industry, the Northwest Angle, early pioneers, military, the fur trade, Marvin Windows and Doors, Christian Brothers Hockey Stick factory, and sports. Plus, works by area writers, genealogies and old photographs, with information on early lumber industry, mink ranching, boating, transportation, and special holiday exhibits.

Canadian National Depot

121 Main Av NE Warroad, MN 56763att-candepot

In April 1980, Governor Quie signed a bill making the Canadian National Station a state historical site. In December 1981, Marvin families donated $25,000 to purchase the building in memory of George and Almina Marvin. Restoration began November 1983. The depot was dedicated and opened to the public on July 4, 1985. The oak doors, window casings, and woodwork are restored from the original building, as is the counter at the office window. The public washroom doors are from the original building. The depot now serves as the Warroad City Office center. The depot is also on the National Register of Historical Places.

Harbor Park

Riverharborpark Street NE

St. Mary’s Church

oldStMarys

This fabulous room is built into the former balcony area of the old St. Mary’s Church, preserving a piece of Warroad’s history.

Before relocating to its new location on Cedar Ave., St. Mary’s had the largest all-weather log church in the world. The church was built as a memorial to Father Jean Pierre Aulneau, a French missionary. Serving the northernmost Catholic parish in the continental United States, St. Mary’s Church was designed to fit into the north woods surroundings and portray the ruggedness of the life of early voyageurs and Catholic missionaries.

The logs used in construction were donated by the Indians at Pine Island and were hauled the 90 miles by parishioners to be peeled and treated on-site. The 70,000 cedar shakes from Middlebro, Manitoba, which were used for the roof, were hand-split, dipped and stained by parishioners. The stained glass windows, originally made in Germany, were bought from a parish in Red Lake Falls. Interior paneling was California redwood. The 40-foot bell tower adjacent to the church, which commemorates the work of Father Aulneau, was designed as a replica of the cross and cairn of stones used by Jesuits at Fort St. Charles, on Magnusson Island.

This room is available for reservations.

Indian Burial Grounds

This beautiful memorial commemorates our United States Armed Forces. The memorial was dedicated in May 2004.

Norris Camp

DSC00429Beltrami Island State Forest
Red Lake WMA
PO Box 100
Roosevelt, MN 56673
218-783-6861

Located within Beltrami Island State Forest, Norris Camp has a rich history that spans over half a century. It has employed and housed over 1000 people and is one of the last Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Resettlement Administration (RA) camps in the nation in operational condition. Norris Camp is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Norris Camp has been headquarters for the Red Lake Wildlife Management Area since 1935. The Red Lake WMA, known earlier as the Red Lake Game Refuge, was established in 1932. Many research projects, habitat improvement projects, and population surveys have been completed there. This headquarters is also an excellent stop for bird watchers along the Pine to Prairie Birding Trail. Visit with management officials and pick up a brochure with information on site locations within the Beltrami Island State Forest.

Veterans Memorial

att-vetCorner of Elk St. and Hwy 11

Located within Beltrami Island State Forest, Norris Camp has a rich history that spans over half a century. It has employed and housed over 1000 people and is one of the last Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and Resettlement Administration (RA) camps in the nation in operational condition. Norris Camp is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Norris Camp has been headquarters for the Red Lake Wildlife Management Area since 1935. The Red Lake WMA, known earlier as the Red Lake Game Refuge, was established in 1932. Many research projects, habitat improvement projects, and population surveys have been completed there. This headquarters is also an excellent stop for bird watchers along the Pine to Prairie Birding Trail. Visit with management officials and pick up a brochure with information on site locations within the Beltrami Island State Forest.

Historical Markers

Fort St. Charles

Bicyclist PtParkMarker location: Warroad Point Park, at the end of Lake St. NE

Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de La Vérendrye, established Fort St. Charles on Lake of the Woods in 1732. A daring soldier, fur trader and explorer, Pierre had the ambitious dream of finding the fabled “western sea” and sought to establish French outposts along the way. On Magnusson Island (then connected with the mainland) he built a palisaded fort which he named in honor of Charles de Beauharnois, governor of New France. Fort St. Charles became the western capital of the French empire in the northwest. From it expeditions were launched and supplies dispatched to newer posts around Lake Winnipeg. Indians brought furs to trade for white men’s goods and these pelts were sent by canoe to Montreal. The scarcity of food and Indian warfare made life precarious. In 1736 Pierre’s oldest son John Baptiste de La Vérendrye, 19 voyageurs, and the Jesuit priest Father Aulneau, were sent on an expedition to the east for supplies. They were massacred by a Sioux war party on a nearby island. Abandoned after 1760, the fort was rediscovered and marked by a group of Jesuit fathers in 1908. The site was acquired and the buildings reconstructed by the Minnesota 4th Degree Knights of Columbus some 40 years later.

Warroad

Marker location:  Lake Street NE, just west of 1st Avenue

The name Warroad bespeaks the Indian heritage of this town, once one of the largest Chippewa villages on Lake of the Woods.  The Chippewa fought a long and fierce war against the Sioux for the lake’s rice fields.  Occupying the prairies of the Red River Valley, the Sioux would frequently invade the territory by way of the Red and Roseau Rivers a route which ended at the mouth of the Warroad River.  This was the old “war road” from which the river and village derived their name.

Warroad Fur Post

Marker location:  Lake Street and Hwy 11

One miles east of this point just north of the mouth of the Warroad River stood a post of the American Fur Company built around 1820. The French explorer La Vérendrye and his party probably visited this region in 1732 en route to build Fort St. Charles in the present Northwest Angle.

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Upcoming Events

April 2017

Pool Activities

April 3, 2017

Warroad Chamber of Commerce Meeting

April 6, 2017
201 Lake St., Suite E+G

Last day of Walleye fishing until May 14

April 14, 2017
All Day

Last Day of Walleye Fishing until May 14

April 14, 2017

Easter Egg Scramble

April 15, 2017

ROSEAU-LAKE OF THE WOODS SPORTSMAN CLUB - Trail Clean up

April 22, 2017

April 22 — weather permitting

Sturgeon (keep one) season opens

April 24, 2017

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