Community Profile



  • John H. Beaulieu started a trading post in this area in 1868, along the Wild Rice River. This was years before Mahnomen County was ever formed.
  • Mr. Beaulieu traded with the Native Americans for their furs in exchange for hardware, calico, tobacco, flour, tea, etc.
  • A post office was established as time went on.
  • A government boarding school for the Native American children was built in the 1890's. The barracks and buildings took up about two city blocks.
  • Soon businesses began to sprout: T. J. Beaulieu's general store, two pool halls, restuarnat, and additional genral store, Weston's Store and show hall, Weston's roller rink, blacksmith shop, two hotels and an additional school.
  • The Episcopal Church and the Catholic Church and their cemeteries were also established in the early years.
  • The government school later was turned into a senior citizens home.

Source of information: Mahnomen Co. History


  • 1904 was the beginning for the village of Bejou, when the Soo Line railroad came through the area.
  • Bejou township and the village received its name from the Ojibwe greeting which means "Good Day" or how the English would say, "How do you do?"
  • Records state that in 1908 Russ and Annie Bethel donated to public use forever all streets, avenues and alleys in Bejou.
  • Bejou remained as a township until it was incorporated in 1921.
  • The first school was the west half of what was the Catholic Parish hall. It was also used for a church. The east half was added to the school, so two rooms could be used. Soon it became too small and in 1915 a modern brick school was built.
  • The Bejou post office was established in 1906 with John A. Hinzen as the first postmaster.
  • A grain elevator, livery barn, blacksmith shop, hardware store, lumber yard, bank, restaurant, hotel, tavern, two general merchandise stores, butcher shop and a dance hall were some of the early businesses in Bejou.

Source of information: Mahnomen Co. History


  • Duane was located 10 miles south of Fosston and 7 miles north of Beaulieu. There was a combined grocery store and post office at Duane. Postmasters that served at Duane were Henry Goodwin, Simon Goodwin, Alexander McDonald and Joseph Hillenbrand. Christ Natvig delivered the mail from Mahnomen to Duane.
  • Pastor Duane Porter ministered at the Methodist Church for many years. Duane was named after Pastor Duane Porter. Pastor Porter had served the longest as pastor of the Methodist Church of anyone in Minnesota history. Following his service in Duane, Pastor Porter took over duties at the Pine Bend Church.
  • In 1908 the Porterville Day School was started at Duane. James Fischer was the first teacher. Ethel Fischer was the housekeeper. The Day School was also named in honor of Pastor Porter.

Source of information: Mahnomen Co. History


  • Mahnomen is the county seat of Mahnomen County. Mahnomen means "wild rice" in the Ojibwe language.
  • October 1, 1904 the first train arrived in Mahnomen. As there was not a depot built yet at that time, a box car served as the depot. Telegraph instruments were installed and put into service. In a short time a round house was built.
  • The first permanent building was a hardware store owned by S. B. Olson. As time went on more businesses started: general stores, clothing stores, livery barns, pool halls, butcher shop, restaurants, hotels, blacksmith shop, additional hardware stores, barber shop, drug store, two banks and a grain elevator.
  • S. B. Olson became Mahnomen's first postmaster.
  • Part of the Bank of Mahnomen was used for a courthouse until in 1909 one could be built.

Source of information: Mahnomen Co. History


  • Mah-Konce meaning "bear cub" in the Ojibwe language is located approximately 15 miles east of Mahnomen on Highway 200.
  • At one time a store/gas station was located there.


  • Nay-tah-waush is located in the eastern part of Mahnomen County, along the shore of North Twin Lake.
  • Nay-tah-waush means "smooth sailing" in the Ojibwe language. The village was first called Twin Lakes, (Gah-nee-shoo-gah-mag) which means "eagle soaring". The name change took place around 1906 because of mail being sent to another town by the name of Twin Lakes in the southern part of Minnesota. The village was named after an Ojibwe chief who moved to the area in 1888.
  • Many white people and Native Americans passed through this community when going to the Red Lake Reservation years ago. The Trail passed from White Earth to Red Lake through the narrow pass (Pinehurst) between the lakes.

Source of information: Mrs. Bisek's 6th grade class, History of Nay-tah-waush 1951-1952


  • This low spot on the Wild Rice River was a crossing point for the Red River Valley ox-carts, hence, a small village formed.
  • The Pembina Mission (Wild Rice Church) south and west of what is now Mahnomen was the site of the early post office, which was housed in a government building. Mr. Pettijohn was the postmaster. The post office was first known as the Perrault and later the Wild Rice post office. After the railroad came through and people started settling in the area by the railroad, citizens of the new Mahnomen had to travel to this spot to pick up their mail.
  • In the years to follow, the church was moved into Mahnomen. The abandoned cemetery, on the hill, can still be see from the road.


  • "When I found the Indians selling their allotments around Duane and moving farther east, I advised those who had parted with all their land and had no place to go to move to the 80 acres given by the government to the Methodist Episcopal Church at Pine Bend, about 12 miles east of Duane. Many of them took advantage of this opportunity and built themselves small but comfortable log houses and established a small community which gradually increased to about 100 souls." from The Beginnings of Pine Bend Mission by Rev. Duane Porter
  • The village of Pine Bend sits in a beautiful setting Norway and White pines in the northeastern part of Mahnomen County. Scott Porter, Rev. Duane Porter's brother is said to have named the village in the early years.
  • Mahnomen County established and maintained a Day School at Pine Bend. Dorothy Hanley was the teacher of the Day School. Source of information: History of Rev. Duane Porter


  • Waubun is located in the souther part of Mahnomen County.
  • The Soo Line Railraod arrived in what is now called Waubun in 1904.
  • Waubun was first established as Bement in Norman County in 1905. In 1906 Bement was changed to Waubun meaning "rising sun" in the Ojibwe language when it became a part of Mahnomen County.
  • Early businesses included Wm. Bement's butcher shop, Nels Narum's general store, Golden Rule store, Woodworth Elevator Co., First State Bank (later becoming Waubun State Bank) and Luck Land Co.
  • A mill near the railroad tracks ground grain for farmers and stores sold "Fredenburg's Waubun Flour." The first lumberyard was built by a fur buyer and was later owned by Dorenkemper. (more owners followed in later years.)
  • Telephone service began in 1908.
  • In 1907 school for 13 pupils was held above Anderson's Hardware while a larger school building was being built.