Fond du Lac (French for "head of the lake") was the site of an Ojibwe settlement in the 16th through 19th centuries. The American Fur Company established a trading post in the community in 1817 and operated for 25 years. Mission Creek was named for an Ojibwe mission located here in the 1830s. The American Fur Company post was purchased by the Missouri Fur Company in 1842 and continued operating until 1848. The 1826 and 1847 Treaties of Fond du Lac were signed at Fond du Lac.
A village was platted in 1856 and incorporated in 1857. In 1895, the city of Duluth annexed Fond du Lac.