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Beaver Bay, Minnesota is the oldest settlement on the North Shore of Lake Superior. The Beaver River flows through the city, emptying into Lake Superior.

East Beaver Bay is an unincorporated community immediately northeast of Beaver Bay.

This is a guide to the communities of Beaver Bay and East Beaver Bay.

First settled in 1854 by Antoine Ambul, Henry Schutte, and R.B. McLean, who constructed three small cabins prior to the ratification of the Treaty of La Pointe in order to establish a claim to the property for the real proprietors, Thomas Clark II, Justus Ramsey, and W.H. Newton.

Clark surveyed and platted the townsite in 1856, who had determined that the Beaver River would provide sufficient water to power a sawmill. By the time the plat was filed, there were about twenty German and Swiss immigrants ready to settle there.

An early leader of the village was Christian Wieland, one of five brothers who became prominent in the Beaver Bay community. Christian, an associate of Clark, encouraged his brothers to sell a successful tannery they were operating in Ohio, and move to Beaver Bay. The Wielands arrived on the Illinois, a Lake Superior steamboat in June of 1856, bringing their horses, cattle, and stock. Although the townsite was on the eastern side of the Beaver River, the Wielands settled on the west side, while a man named John Gilomen claimed a 160-acre homestead at the townsite.

The boundaries of the city were later extended to include an area on the east side of the river, while most of the city lies on the west side.

The Wielands established the H. Wieland and Brothers Lumber Company, which came to include a lath and shingle mill, sawmill, tannery, and grist mill. In the mid-1860s, the Wielands bought the schooner Charlie to move their lumber and other products to the various mining places. The Wielands also operated the general store in Beaver Bay, had a government contract to carry mail, traded for furs, and operated other lumber yards in Minnesota, Michigan, and Ontario. They were involved in land acquisition, and held an interest in the Silver Islet mine.

Christian Wieland served as the county auditor, postmaster, and school teacher. He engineered and constructed the first bridge over the Beaver River and for other government projects. Despite numerous interests in the area, within three years of Christian's death in 1880, the other Wielands left the area.

Another early resident who featured prominently in the history of Beaver Bay was John Beargrease, the son of Chief Beargrease, and an Ojibwe mail carrier, who also served at times as pilot for the Wielands schooner Charlie. John began carried the mail from Two Harbors to Grand Marais and back from 1887 to sometime in the 1890s, carrying out his duties by hiking, rowing, sailing, using a team of horses, or driving his dogsled team.

Primarily a summer colony today, Beaver Bay has never been a large town. Its population peaked at 362 in 1970, and it has been under two hundred in the first decade of the 2000s.

Minnesota State Highway 61 is the main route through the city, connecting Beaver Bay with Two Harbors and Schroeder. Silver Bay is about four miles northeast, just off of Highway 61. County Road 4 begins in Beaver Bay and connects the city with much of the rest of Beaver Bay Township.

The city of Beaver Bay is bordered by Lake Superior to the east, and by Beaver Bay Township to the south, west, and north.

Beaver Bay Township was organized in 1885 and named for the city of Beaver Bay. Minnesota State Highways 1 and 61 are the main routes in the township.

Topics relating to the city of Beaver Bay, the community of East Beaver Bay, or Beaver Bay Township are appropriate for this category. Websites representing governmental the city or township are on-topic in this category, along with local schools, places of worship, organizations, businesses, or individuals.

 

 

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