Grand Rapids, Minnesota

Grand Rapids, Minnesota

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Grand Rapids, Minnesota
settlement_type = City
nickname =
motto =

imagesize =
image_caption =


imagesize =
image_caption =


mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location of Grand Rapids, Minnesota

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =

subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = Minnesota
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Itasca

government_footnotes =
government_type =
leader_title = Mayor
leader_name = Jim Millis
leader_title1 =
leader_name1 =
established_title = Founded
established_date = About 1872
established_title2 = Incorporated (village)
established_date2 = 1891-06-09

unit_pref = Imperial
area_footnotes =
area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 20.9
area_land_km2 = 19.0
area_water_km2 = 1.9
area_total_sq_mi = 8.1
area_land_sq_mi = 7.3
area_water_sq_mi = 0.7

population_as_of = 2000
population_footnotes =
population_total = 7764
population_density_km2 = 408.4
population_density_sq_mi = 1057.8

timezone = Central (CST)
utc_offset = -6
timezone_DST = CDT
utc_offset_DST = -5
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 392
elevation_ft = 1286
latd = 47 |latm = 14 |lats = 0 |latNS = N
longd = 93 |longm = 31 |longs = 45 |longEW = W

postal_code_type = ZIP codes
postal_code = 55730, 55744, 55745
area_code = 218
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 27-25118GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0656428GR|3
website = []
footnotes =

Grand Rapids is a city in Itasca County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 7,764 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Itasca CountyGR|6. Mayor Jim Millis was elected in 2006; and announced he would not seek a second term in August 2008.

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.


Grand Rapids was originally founded as a logging town, as the Mississippi River provided an optimal method of log shipment to population centers. The predecessor of the Blandin paper mill was opened in 1902. [ [ Grand Rapids Minnesota ] ]

The [ Forest History Center] is a State Historic Site and a living museum that recreates life as it was in a turn of the century logging camp.

Judy Garland's Birthplace

Grand Rapids is the birthplace and early (until she was four) childhood home of legendary singer and actress Judy Garland. There is a local museum dedicated to her life and career, and Judy's fully restored birthplace is open to the public as well. An annual Judy Garland Festival is held the fourth weekend in June.

"The plaque, left, stands in front of the house in Grand Rapids in which Judy Garland spent her first four years. The house, right, was built in 1892 and was moved to this site in 1994."


Historically, the local economy was based on timber harvesting, and to this day, Blandin Paper Mill, now owned by the Finnish-based UPM paper company, has its papermaking facilities in downtown Grand Rapids, while Ainsworth (formerly Potlach) located just outside of the city limits, produced oriented strand board until it closed recently.

The Mesabi Range or Iron Range region of Minnesota begins with iron mines north and northeast of the city. Although technically and geographically a member of the Iron Range, Grand Rapids and its economy has been historically based on paper manufacturing and other wood products. Its current economy also has a large tourist footing, with many local resorts, golf courses, and excellent regional hunting and fishing. It also is the service center for a large seasonal and weekend population with summer residences on surrounding lakes.

Grand Rapids was the first rural city in Minnesota to be served by an Advanced Life Support Ambulance Service, [ Meds-1 EMS] .

Grand Rapids Pizza Hut is where store manager Mark Bondhus came up with the idea of garlic cheese bread in 1979.Fact|date=April 2008


Grand Rapids has one of the few competitive high school marching bands north of the Twin Cities. Schools include:

*Southwest Elementary
*Murphy Elementary
*Forest Lake Elementary
*St. Joseph's Elementary
*Robert J. Elkington Middle School
*Grand Rapids High School
*Itasca Community College
* [ Grace Christian School]
*Christian Community School

All the schools except St. Joseph's, Grace Christian School, Christian Community School, and ICC are part of Independent School District 318

Notable Natives

*Bill Baker - a member of the Miracle On Ice 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team that won the Gold Medal in Lake Placid, NY. Baker was also a member of the first Grand Rapids High School State Championship winning hockey team
*Jon Casey - professional hockey player for the Minnesota North Stars with a record of most wins @ 31 in 1989-1990
*Jeff Nielsen - professional hockey player for the Minnesota Wild and other NHL teams
*Alex Goligoski - professional hockey player for the Pittsburgh Penguins
*Janelle Pierzina - "Big Brother" television series cast member.
*Judy Garland - born June 10, 1922 in Grand Rapids, MN.
*Norman Ornstein - political scientist


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.1 square miles (20.9 km²), of which, 7.3 square miles (19.0 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.9 km²) of it (9.16%) is water.

The city of Grand Rapids sits on the junction of U.S. Routes 2 and 169. Highway 2 runs west towards Bemidji and east towards Duluth. 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 Virginia, Minnesota, passing through Hibbing and several other smaller towns along the way. Grand Rapids is also the starting point of State Highway 38, running north along the "Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway" towards Bigfork, Minnesota. State Highway 38 has been designated a National Scenic Byway by the United States Department of Transportation.

Grand Rapids is also located at a junction of the BNSF Railway.

Grand Rapids is the county seat of Itasca County, a county that contains over 1000 lakes.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 7,764 people, 3,446 households, and 1,943 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,057.8 people per square mile (408.4/km²). There were 3,621 housing units at an average density of 493.3/sq mi (190.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.53% White, 0.28% African American, 1.93% Native American, 0.71% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.39% from other races, and 1.13% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.85% of the population.

There were 3,446 households out of which 25.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.5% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.6% were non-families. 38.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.15 and the average family size was 2.82.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.1% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 23.9% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 23.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 87.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,991, and the median income for a family was $39,468. Males had a median income of $36,035 versus $20,759 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,223. About 9.2% of families and 11.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.1% of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over.

Local Radio Stations

The following radio stations are licensed by the FCC to Grand Rapids. The city is also served by many other radio stations from around the northland.
* KOZY 1320 AM Talk radio, Oldies
* KMFY 96.9 FM Soft Rock, Paul Harvey
* KAXE 91.7 FM Public Radio (first rural public radio station in the United States)
* KGPZ 96.1 FM Country
* KBAJ Deer River 105.5FM Rebroadcast of KQDS-FM Duluth, MN except for commercials and community calendar, which are local.


* Grand Rapids Herald-Review - Published on Sundays and Wednesdays.

Television Stations

Grand Rapids TV is primarily fed in from Duluth TV stations. However, some cable subscribers receive Minneapolis stations as well.

* Itasca Community Television, Inc. (ICTV) - Public access community television station serving the Itasca County area.


External links

* [ City of Grand Rapids, MN -- Official site]
* [ Grand Rapids "Herald Review" - Newspaper site]
* [ Itasca Community Television website]
* [ Visit Grand Rapids .com -- Visitor Information site]

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