Aviva Directory » Local & Global » North America » United States » States » Minnesota » Cities & Towns » Perham

Perham, Minnesota is in upper Otter Tail County, situated along the southwestern shores of Mid Lake and the southeastern shores of Little Pine Lake. The main routes through the city are US Route 10 and Minnesota Highways 78 and 108. Nearby communities include Basswood, Butler, Dent, Grand View Heights, Heinola, Luce, Richville, New York Mills, and Ottertail. Wadena is about twenty miles southeast, Detroit Lakes about twenty miles northwest, Fergus Falls forty miles southwest, and Park Rapids forty miles northeast of Perham. Originally named Marion Lake Township, the area was settled when the Northern Pacific Railroad came into Otter Tail County in 1871. The townsite was laid out in 1872. A post office was established there in 1872. Logging operations were what brought early settlers to the area, but wheat soon became an important crop, and the first railcar of wheat was shipped in the fall of 1872. Although he never visited the town, it was renamed for Josiah Perham, the first president of Great Northern Railroad, in 1877, and Perham was incorporated as a village in 1881. The first brick building in Perham was constructed in 1887, and the First Bank of Perham was established in 1899. A city hall building was constructed in 1902. In recent years, taking advantage of the lakes in the area, tourism has become a significant part of the city’s economy, and some years it is said that its population triples in the summer. Perham also hosts a manufacturing industry, producing products that are sent out all over the United States.

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