International Falls is a city in and the county seat of Koochiching County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 6,703 at the 2000 census.
International Falls is located on the Rainy River directly across from Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada. The two cities are connected by the Fort Frances-International Falls International Bridge. Tolls are only charged for north (Canadian) bound vehicles, but it is a round-trip toll. Voyageurs National Park lies 11 miles east of International Falls. There is a major U.S. Customs Port of Entry on the International Falls side of the toll bridge, and a Canadian Customs entry point on the north side of the bridge.
You can always use our vacation planner to be contacted by our renowned Virtuoso Travel Agents, or just call: Travelwizard.com
Phone: 1 415 827 4981 or 1-415-446-5252 between 8:00 am and 5:00 Pacific Standard Time
International Falls History
Although the International Falls area was well known to explorers, missionaries and voyagers as early as the 1600s, it was not until the late 1800s that a small village was founded. This promising community originally was known as Koochiching, an Ojibway word meaning “neighboring lake and river.” The inhabitants gave the names Rainy Lake and Rainy River to the nearby bodies of water because of the mist-like rain present at the falls where the lake flowed into the river.
In 1901 the village was incorporated and two years later its name was changed to International Falls in recognition of the river’s role as a border between the United States and Canada.
Realizing the potential for water power and mills in the area, industrialist E.W. Backus, president of the Minnesota and Ontario Paper Company in the early 1900s, built a dam on the Rainy River to power the company’s mills. Purchased by Boise Cascade Corporation in 1965, and sold to an investment group in 2003, the company remains the largest business and employer in the area. This is the coldest city in the United States in Forbes magazine.
International Falls Icebox of the Nation
International Falls long promoted itself as the “Icebox of the Nation”, however the trademark for the slogan has been challenged on several occasions by the small town of Fraser, Colorado. Officials from Fraser claimed usage since 1956, International Falls since 1948. The two towns came to an agreement in 1986, when International Falls paid Fraser $2,000 to relinquish its “official” claim. However, in 1996, International Falls inadvertently failed to renew its federal trademark, although it had kept its state trademark up to date. Fraser then filed to gain the federal trademark. International Falls submitted photographic proof that its 1955 Pee Wee hockey team traveled to Boston, Massachusetts with the slogan.