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The city of Mahnomen is the county seat of Mahnomen County. Situated along the Wild Rice River, the city is in the White Earth Indian Reservation in upper western Minnesota. Mahnomen County is on the far eastern edge of what was once Glacial Lake Agassiz. The main routes through the city are US Highway 59 and Minnesota Highway 200. Nearby communities include Beaulieu, Faith, Auburn, and Waukon. Detroit Lakes is about thirty-five miles south, Crookston is fifty-five miles northwest, and Bemidji. Is sixty miles east of Mahnomen. When white travelers, trappers and settlers came to the area, they were pretty well isolated. Early commerce between the Selkirk settlement (Winnipeg) and St. Paul was accomplished by slow-moving caravans of wagons towed by oxen, known as Red River Ox-Carts. The routes established in the 1800s included a trail that crossed what is now western Mahnomen County. Established in 1844, it was known as the Woods Trail, although only a small portion of it was wooded. The White Earth Indian Reservation was established In 1867, and named for its beds of white clay. The Clapp Amendment of 1906 allowed for the sale of reservation lands, which brought in white settlers and merchants. Mahnomen was established after the railroad came through in 1904. Mahnomen County was created from eastern Norman County in 1906, and the village of Mahnomen became the county seat.



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