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Lake of the Woods County MN 
Genealogy and History

Lake of the Woods County History

Lake of the Woods County, Minnesota


January 1, 1923

Named for

Lake of the Woods



Largest city


- Total
- Land
- Water

1,775.05 sq mi
1,296.70 sq mi
478.35 sq mi

Source: Wikipedia - Submitted by SD

Lake of the Woods County is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of 2010, the population was 4,045. Its county seat is Baudette. The county contains the Northwest Angle, the northernmost point of the Lower 48 States, and includes the U.S. portion of Lake of the Woods, shared with Canada. The county also includes the exclave of Elm Point. Since Alaska has no counties, Lake of the Woods is the northernmost county in the United States, by definition.

Lake of the Woods County was named because the lake covers a large portion of the county. Jacques de Noyon, a Frenchman who came from Trois Rivières, (Quebec), explored this area in 1688 and became the first white man to view the lake. He named the lake Lac aux Îles which means "Lake of the Islands" in English.

In 1885 the region of Lake of the Woods got its first settler, Wilhem Zippel, who was a German immigrant and a fisherman. He settled on the south shore of the lake in a place now called Zippel Bay. Shortly after, Alonzo Wheeler settled on a point on the southwest side of the lake which is now called Wheeler's Point.

A terrible wildfire, which has come to be known as the Baudette Fire of 1910, broke out in October of that year, burning 300,000 acres (1,200 km2) and destroying the towns of Spooner, Baudette, Graceton, Pitt, Williams, and Cedar Spur. Lake of the Woods County was founded January 1, 1923, with Baudette as the original county seat. Lake of the Woods County is also known as Minnesota's youngest county. This county was organized on November 28, 1922, when residents voted to separate the northern Townships.

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 1,775.05 square miles (4,597.4 km2), of which 1,296.70 square miles (3,358.4 km2) (or 73.05%) is land and 478.35 square miles (1,238.9 km2) (or 26.95%) is water.


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