History of Lake of the Woods County

Lasting Settlements

Main Street Baudette 1905Thomas Cathcart came to the border area in 1891. Working at the Beaver Mill in Rainy River, Ontario,  he soon became attracted to the unsettled American side of the river. He moved to the south bank, settling at the mouth of the Beaudette River which, like the Rainy, had received its name during the earlier fur trade days. The town which then quickly developed assumed the Beaudette name as well although the initial “e” was eventually dropped. In 1893, Cathcart’s family arrived from eastern Canada via Kenora aboard the Shamrock to become Baudette’s first family. Spooner, the village on the east bank of the Baudette River, was incorporated in 1906, the same year as Baudette.

ClementsonHelic Clementson established his home at the mouth of the Rapid River in 1896. His brother Ole soon joined him and started a store around which the community of Clementson grew.

In 1901 with the arrival of the Canadian National Railroad across the county, the county got its first settlement boom. William Mason and George Williams followed the track roadbed to stake claims at the site which would become Williams. The towns of Pitt, Graceton, Cedar Spur and Roosevelt sprang up along the rail line in a matter of months. Settlements also spread up the Rapid River to Hay Creek and Carp.

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