International Falls, Minnesota
|International Falls, Minnesota|
|Nickname(s): Icebox of the Nation,
Location of International Falls
within Koochiching County and state of Minnesota
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|• Total||6.53 sq mi (16.91 km2)|
|• Land||6.42 sq mi (16.63 km2)|
|• Water||0.11 sq mi (0.28 km2)|
|Elevation||1,122 ft (342 m)|
|• Estimate (2013)||6,352|
|• Density||1,000.6/sq mi (386.3/km2)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|Area code||218 Exchanges: 283, 285|
|FIPS code||27-31040 |
|GNIS feature ID||0645435 |
International Falls is located on the Rainy River directly across from Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada. The two cities are connected by the Fort Frances – International Falls International Bridge. Voyageurs National Park is located 11 miles east of International Falls. There is a major U.S. Customs and Border Protection Port of Entry on the International Falls side of the toll bridge, and a Canadian Customs entry point on the north side of the bridge.
International Falls has the nickname "Icebox of the Nation", and with 109.4 days per year with maxima below 32 °F (0 °C), the airport has the most such days of any incorporated city in the contiguous US, just shading nearby Duluth and Houghton.
Although the International Falls area was well known to explorers, missionaries, and voyagers as early as the 17th century, it was not until April 1895 the community was platted by a teacher and preacher L. A. Ogaard for the Koochiching Company and named the community Koochiching. The word "Koochiching" comes from either Ojibwe word Gojijiing or Cree Kocicīhk, both meaning "at the place of inlets," referring to the neighboring Rainy Lake and River. The European inhabitants gave the names Rainy Lake and Rainy River to the nearby bodies of water because of the mist-like rain present at the falls where the lake flowed into the river.
On August 10, 1901, the village was incorporated and two years later its name was changed to International Falls in recognition of the river's role as a border between the United States and Canada. It was incorporated as a city in 1909.
Realizing the potential for water power and mills in the area, industrialist E.W. Backus, president of the Minnesota and Ontario Paper Company in the early 20th century, built a dam on the Rainy River to power the company's mills. Purchased by Boise Cascade Corporation in 1965, and sold to an investment group in 2003, the company remains the largest business and employer in the area.
International Falls, with its relatively central position in the North American continent, has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb), with long, bitterly cold winters and humid and warm summers. January averages 2.7 °F (−16.3 °C), and lows reach 0 °F (−18 °C) on average of 58 nights annually. Highs only reach the freezing point or above an average of 14–15 days between December 1 and February 28 (February 29 in leap years); and in combination with a average seasonal snowfall of 71.6 inches (182 cm), snow cover is thick and long-lasting. Spring, and more especially autumn, are short but mild transition seasons. July averages 65.2 °F (18.4 °C), with highs reaching 90 °F (32 °C) an average of only 3.2 days annually, and in close to 40% of years, the temperature does not rise that high. Precipitation averages about 24.1 inches (612 mm) per year, and is concentrated in the warmer months. The average window for freezing temperatures is September 15 thru May 26. The all-time record high temperature is 103 °F (39 °C), while the all-time record low is −55 °F (−48 °C), a range of 158 °F (88 °C).
|Climate data for International Falls, Minnesota (1981–2010)|
|Record high °F (°C)||49
|Average high °F (°C)||15.4
|Average low °F (°C)||−6.6
|Record low °F (°C)||−55
|Precipitation inches (mm)||0.61
|Snowfall inches (cm)||15.1
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||9.3||7.9||8.8||8.7||12.4||13.7||11.9||11.0||11.9||11.7||10.0||10.7||127.9|
|Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||12.7||10.0||7.7||3.4||0.6||0||0||0||0.2||2.4||9.5||12.7||59.1|
|Source: NOAA (extremes 1897–present)|
Icebox of the Nation
International Falls has long promoted itself as the "Icebox of the Nation"; however, the trademark for the slogan has been challenged on several occasions by the small town of Fraser, Colorado. Officials from Fraser claimed usage since 1956, International Falls since 1948. The two towns came to an agreement in 1986, when International Falls paid Fraser $2,000 to relinquish its "official" claim. However, in 1996, International Falls inadvertently failed to renew its federal trademark, although it had kept its state trademark up to date. Fraser then filed to gain the federal trademark. International Falls submitted photographic proof that its 1955 Pee Wee hockey team traveled to Boston, Massachusetts with the slogan. After several years of legal battles, the United States Patent and Trademark Office officially registered the slogan with International Falls on January 29, 2008, Registration Number 3375139. Only a few days after announcing its success in the trademark battle, International Falls had a daily record low temperature of −40 °F (−40 °C), beating a previous record of −37 °F (−38.3 °C) in 1967.
Besides Fraser, there are still many towns that are smaller and annually overall colder than International Falls, many of these being mountain communities in the Rockies, as well as several in northern Minnesota. International Falls is still called the "Icebox of the Nation" after winning the claim against Fraser in court. One thing that does help or hinder International Falls is that Fraser is located within the Rocky Mountains, which would help to depress low temperatures while International Falls is located on relatively flat land, which takes longer to cool on warm summer nights. It should also be noted that while sub−freezing temperatures are very common at high elevation, valley sites in the Rockies during the winter, maximum temperatures that remain sub−freezing are quite rare, while at International Falls and much of the upper (Northern) Midwest they are of relatively frequent occurrence. This is reflected by the average monthly temperatures during the winter months.
As of 2000 the median income for a household in the city was $29,908, and the median income for a family was $41,458. Males had a median income of $41,584 versus $20,053 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,171. About 10.0% of families and 14.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.5% of those under age 18 and 12.3% of those age 65 or over.
As of the census of 2010, there were 6,424 people, 2,903 households, and 1,645 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,000.6 inhabitants per square mile (386.3/km2). There were 3,157 housing units at an average density of 491.7 per square mile (189.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.3% White, 1.0% African American, 2.5% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.1% of the population.
There were 2,903 households of which 26.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.1% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.3% were non-families. 37.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.80.
The median age in the city was 42.4 years. 21.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.4% were from 25 to 44; 27.3% were from 45 to 64; and 19.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.1% male and 51.9% female.
International Falls is home to two commercial radio stations; KGHS (1230 AM) and KSDM (104.1 FM), owned and operated by Red Rock Radio; two non-commercial radio stations in International Falls, KBHW (99.5 FM) and KXBR (91.9 FM), owned and operated by Heartland Christian Broadcasters, Inc.; and two Minnesota Public Radio stations from Bemidji, KNBJ (88.1 FM; News) and KCRB-FM (97.7 FM; Classical).
The local Icebox Radio Theater produces radio drama broadcasts on 106.9 FM, with a power output one watt.
International Falls is part of the Duluth television market, and is served by the following repeaters:
|OTA channel||PSIP||Channel Type||Call sign||Network||Rebroadcasts||Owner|
|38||38.1||Digital||K38MM-D||Three Angels Broadcasting Network||Via satellite||Three Angels Broadcasting Network|
|45||n/a||Analog||K45JD||Fox||KQDS-TV||Red River Broadcasting|
|47||11.1-2, 3.1-2||Digital||K47NW-D||NBC, The CW, CBS, MyNetworkTV||KRII (NBC, MyNetworkTV)
KDLH (CBS, The CW)
|Koochiching County government|
|49||13.1-2||Digital||K49BU-D||ABC, Me-TV||WIRT-DT||Koochiching County government|
|51||31.1-4||Digital||K51CM-D||PBS, PBS Satellite Service, Create, Minnesota Channel||WRPT||Koochiching County government|
Local cable television service is offered by Midcontinent Communications.
The local newspaper is The Journal.
- Icebox Radio Theater
Falls International Airport (IATA: INL, ICAO: KINL) is a public airport located just south of the city. The airport has two runways. It is mostly used for general aviation but is also served by one commercial airline: Delta Air Lines' Delta Connection, with two daily flights to Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport.
The town is served by City Cab. It is a local cab and van service, providing transportation to the region.
The following routes are located within the city of International Falls.
Reference in pop culture
A Sears Diehard car battery commercial was filmed here in the 1970s, playing on the city's extremely cold winter climate to promote the longevity and effectiveness of the product. It led to a parody ad - aired several times in the first (1975) season of Saturday Night Live - promoting a geriatric product.
The fictional Minnesota small town of Frostbite Falls, which was the hometown of cartoon characters Rocket "Rocky" J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, was a spoof of the real-life International Falls. The fictional town was located in Koochiching County as well.
The town was referenced in an episode of Family Matters.
- Edward Backus, industrialist
- Tammy Bakker, PTL The 700 Club
- Dean Blais hockey coach, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NCHC
- Bill Borcher, University of Oregon head basketball coach 1951-1956
- Kevin Constantine, hockey coach, NHL IHL
- Jim Crotty, pro football NFL Washington Redskins
- Mike Curran, hockey player, 1972 Winter Olympics Silver Medal
- Richard Dougherty, Minnesota Gopher Hall of Fame Hockey, Silver Medal 1956 Olympic Games
- Arlys Johnson-Maxwell, weightlifter Senior World Champion 1987
- Bob Mason, Goalie NHL 1984-1991. Coach Minnesota Wild
- Bronko Nagurski, football player, member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame
- Ernest Oberholtzer, explorer, author, conservationist
- Gary Sampson, hockey player Washington Capitals
- Neil Sheehy, hockey player Calgary Flames
- Frank Youso, NFL New York Giants Oakland Raiders
- Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) details for International Falls, Minnesota; United States Geological Survey (USGS); January 11, 1980.
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
- "2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
- Climatography of the United States 1971-2000: International Falls Airport, Minnesota (214026)
- "NOWData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved November 17, 2012.
- Two Towns Feud Over Icebox Title, Associated Press, January 13, 2008.[dead link]
- Curt Brown, International Falls says it loud: We're cold, and we're proud, Star Tribune, February 8, 2008.[dead link]
- Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS), United States Patent and Trademark Office, Accessed February 11, 2008.
- Nation's 'Icebox' hits record 40 below zero, Associated Press, February 11, 2008.[dead link]
- Riccardi, Nicholas. "Dueling for ‘Icebox of Nation’." Journal Gazette. March 5, 2007. Retrieved on March 5, 2007.[dead link]
- United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved January 7, 2014.
Media related to International Falls, Minnesota at Wikimedia Commons
- City of International Falls
- International Falls Chamber of Commerce
- International Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau