The Mayo Clinic, a world-renowned medical center, was founded in Rochester, Minnesota in 1864.
Carlton County, located in northeastern Minnesota, has a rich history that spans centuries. The area was originally inhabited by the Ojibwe people, who relied on the region's abundant natural resources for sustenance and trade. European settlement began in the mid-19th century, as French-Canadian fur traders established trading posts along the St. Louis River.

In the 1850s, the United States government forced the Ojibwe people to cede their lands through a series of treaties, paving the way for further settlement. The town of Carlton, named after Reuben Carlton, was established in 1881 as the county seat. The construction of the Northern Pacific Railway in the late 1800s brought a wave of new settlers, primarily of European descent, who built farms and established businesses in the area.

During the early 20th century, Carlton County faced significant challenges, including the devastating Cloquet Fire of 1918. This massive forest fire, one of the worst in Minnesota's history, destroyed much of the county's infrastructure and claimed hundreds of lives. The community demonstrated resilience and rebuilt, leading to a period of growth and development in subsequent decades.

Today, Carlton County remains a picturesque region known for its natural beauty and recreational opportunities. With a population of approximately 36,000 residents, the county continues to be a mix of small towns, farms, and natural landscapes. Its rich history, from the Ojibwe tribes to European settlement and the challenges faced in the past century, has shaped its present-day identity as a vibrant and resilient community.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Carlton County, Minnesota.

  • 1854 - Carlton County is established.
  • Early 1850s - An Ojibwa village known as Fond du Lac is settled.
  • 1860s - The St. Paul and Duluth Railroad is built through the county, leading to growth in settlements and the timber industry.
  • 1870 - The city of Carlton is incorporated.
  • 1881 - The city of Cloquet is incorporated.
  • 1889 - Fire destroys much of Cloquet and surrounding areas, resulting in significant loss of life and property.
  • Early 1900s - The lumber industry continues to drive the economy, with several mills operating in the county.
  • 1974 - The Black Bear Casino Resort opens in Carlton County.
  • 1990s - The economy begins to diversify with the growth of healthcare services and tourism.
  • 2000 - The city of Moose Lake celebrates its 100th anniversary.