History of Bemidji

Bemidji is the county seat of Beltrami County and was organized in 1896. The name is derived from the Ojibwe (Chippewa) Indian words Bay-me-di-ga-maug, meaning a lake with water (river) flowing through.

In 1835, early explorers referred to Bemidji as Pamitchi. In the early 1890's a small settlement grew up around the Carson Trading Post, which was located on the south shore of Lake Bemidji.

By 1900, Bemidji had 2,183 inhabitants. Logging was the principle concern of the people in the early 1900's furnishing direct income and employment. It also attracted railroads, and railroad right-of-ways determined the location of emerging towns.

Bemidji has matured into a highly diversified region that continues to grow in a fast-paced world.

To learn more about the history of Bemidji, please visit www.beltramihistory.org.

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