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Situated at the confluence of the Rainy River and the Baudette River, on the Ontario, Canada border in central-northern Minnesota, across the Rainy River from Rainy River, Ontario, the city of Baudette is accessed through Minnesota Highway 11, which crosses the river into Canada at the Baudette-Rainy River International Bridge. Other nearby communities include Dawson, Ontario, as well as Graceton, and Williams. The Red Lake Indian Reservation and the town of Red Lake, Minnesota is about ninety miles south of Baudette. The community began as a steamboat landing and lumber town, with a sawmill. A post office was established in 1900, called Port Hyland, for the postmaster, Daniel Hyland. The Minnesota and Manitoba Railroad (now the Canadian National Railway) came through in 1901, and the town was incorporated as a city in 1907, renamed Baudette for Joseph Baudette, a trapper who had come to the area in the early 1880s. A large portion of the city was destroyed by fire in 1910, but was quickly rebuilt. Baudette is the county seat of Lake of the Woods County.

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