Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Kettle Falls Hotel


In the center of Voyageurs National Park ~ America's motorboat wilderness
Kettle Falls Hotel and Kettle Falls are a remote spot on the Minnesota-Canadian border that has a rich history spanning several hundred years. Native American Indians fished for sturgeon at the falls since the early 1700's. French Voyageurs portaged their 26 foot canoes and packs of fur around the falls. Gold miners took steamers from here to Rainy Lake's gold fields in the 1800's.
Loggers brought millions of logs through the dam in the early part of the century. During the 1920s, commercial fishermen auctioned off their catches in 100-pound boxes at the docks.
During prohibition, bootleggers distilled and sold whiskey near the Hotel and surrounding areas.
The Kettle Falls Hotel was constructed in 1910 by timber baron, Ed Rose but was reputedly financed by Madame Nellie Bly. The William's family, beginning with Bob and 'Lil in 1918, operated the hotel for 70 years.
Recognized for its significant contribution to regional history, the hotel was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

The boundary between the U.S. and Canada runs through the middle of the Kettle Falls Dam. This unique geographic phenomenon allows a visitor to stand on United States soil and look "south" into Canada. The overlook near the Dam is a great place to do this so bring your camera.

Voyageurs National Park was established in 1975 "to preserve for the inspiration and enjoyment of present and future generations, the outstanding scenery, geological conditions and waterways system which constituted a part of the historic route of the Voyageurs who contributed significantly to the opening of the Northwestern United States.” The park was named for the French-Canadian canoe men, the voyageurs who paddled large birch bark canoes carrying trade goods and furs between the Canadian northwest and Montreal. But this landscape was also home to people that sought to make their living off the land here through logging, mining, commercial fishing, and recreation.
Kettle Falls Hotel is open from May thru mid October.

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