Grand Rapids is a city located in Itasca County, Minnesota. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 7,764. It is the county seat of Itasca County.
The city of Grand Rapids is named for the local rapids in the Mississippi river, which was the uppermost limit of practical steamboat travel during the late 1800s. Today, those rapids are hidden underneath the dam of the Blandin Paper Mill.
Historically, the local economy was based on timber harvesting, and to this day, Blandin Paper Mill has its papermaking facilities in downtown Grand Rapids, while Potlach is located just outside of the city limits. To the north and northeast of the city are iron mines (part of the Mesabi or Iron Range region of Minnesota) which grew into a leading industry in the early and mid 1900s, but is of declining importance today. The current economy has a large tourist footing, with many local resorts, golf courses, and excellent regional hunting and fishing.
The city of Grand Rapids sits on the junction of US Highway 2 and US Highway 169. Highway 2 runs west towards Bemidji, Minnesota, and east towards Duluth, Minnesota. Highway 169 heads south to Hill City, Minnesota and ultimately towards Minneapolis, Minnesota. In the other direction, Highway 169 heads up the Mesabi Range until it reaches Hibbing, Minnesota, passing through several small towns along the way. Grand Rapids is also the start of US Highway 38, running north towards Bigfork, Minnesota.
Web Sites and Links
Grand Rapids Township Topographic MapShows land features as well as roads. Also a small map indicating where the township is situated in Minnesota.
Minnesota Guide TripsPat Selmser is a fishing guide on Itasca County lakes. Walleyes a specialty. Full-day or half-day trips. Rates, what's included, what to bring.