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Established December 20, 1902
Clearwater County is home to Lake Itasca, the source of the Mississippi River.
Portions of the Red Lake and White Earth Indian reservations extend into the county.
From the county
The 83rd of Minnesota’s 87 counties was established by the proclamation of Governor Samuel Van Sant on December
20, 1902. It is 60 miles in its length and 18 miles in width, lying north and south. Its name was taken from the
Ojibwe word “gawakomitgweia,” which means “clear water”. The county’s topography is unique, with the northern part
being drained through the Clearwater River and eventually the waters going to Hudson Bay, while the southern part
has its drainage into the Mississippi River and then to the Gulf of Mexico. Undoubtedly the most famous fact about
Clearwater County is that it is the home of the source of the mighty Mississippi River whose headwaters are in
Lake Itasca which lies inside equally famous Itasca State Park. Itasca Park still contains over 3,000 acres of
old growth pine, which in earlier years was abundant throughout the county.
Bear Creek Township
La Prairie Township
Moose Creek Township
Pine Lake Township
Rice Lake CDP
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