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Gold Town to Ghost Town

Gold Town to Ghost Town

  • Gold Town to Ghost Town: Boom or Bust on Rainy Lake


Although it was brief, the Rainy Lake gold rush had a profound impact on the settlement of northern Minnesota. H.V. Winchell, an assistant state geologist of that era, commented that "one great good will result from the rush to the new gold fields; it will call attention to the country itself."


The prediction proved accurate and by 1893, Rainy Lake became a boom-town. Rainy Lake City and the village of Koochiching were born during the raucous early years of the 1890's, but today only the latter survives, better known as International Falls. 


This short account of the Rainy Lake gold rush drama relies, as much as possible, on original narratives and other first person accounts. Only those who actually experienced the countless tragedies and triumphs of the gold rush can offer to the reader the genuine sights, sounds, and smells of a wilderness adventure set just before the turn of the centur. 


Today, most of the Rainy Lake gold field resides within the boundaries of Voyageurs National Park.

--David E. Perry



Author: David E. Perry

50 pages, Index

Published by Lake States Interpretive Association, 1993





SKU: 048
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