Statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox
|Motto(s): "The First City On The Mississippi"|
Location of the city of Bemidji
within Beltrami County
in the state of Minnesota
|• Mayor||Rita Albrecht|
|• City||14.14 sq mi (36.62 km2)|
|• Land||12.92 sq mi (33.46 km2)|
|• Water||1.22 sq mi (3.16 km2) 8.63%|
|Elevation||1,365 ft (416 m)|
|• Estimate (2016)||14,942|
|• Density||950/sq mi (370/km2)|
|• Urban||14,500 (roughly)|
|Time zone||Central (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||Central (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||0655325|
Bemidji (// bə-MIJ-ee) is a city in Beltrami County (and county seat), in north west Minnesota, United States. With a population of 14,301 as of July 1, 2016, it is the largest commercial center between Grand Forks, North Dakota and Duluth, Minnesota. Bemidji houses many Native American services, including the Indian Health Service. The city is the central hub of the Red Lake Indian Reservation, White Earth Indian Reservation and the Leech Lake Indian Reservation. Bemidji lies on the south west shore of Lake Bemidji, the northernmost lake feeding the Mississippi River and as such is deemed "The First City On The Mississippi." Bemidji is also the self proclaimed "curling capital" of the U.S. and birth place of Paul Bunyan
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Parks and recreation
- 4 Geography
- 5 Climate
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Culture
- 8 Sports
- 9 Education
- 10 Regional center
- 11 Media
- 12 Infrastructure
- 13 Banks
- 14 Notable people
- 15 In popular culture
- 16 Gallery
- 17 References
- 18 External links
Its name derives from the Ojibwe Buh-mid-ji-ga-maug (Double-Vowel orthography: bemijigamaag), meaning "a lake with crossing waters". On occasion, in Ojibwe, the city of Bemidji is called Wabigamaang ("at the lake channel/narrows"), because part of the city is situated on the Lakes Bemidji/Irving narrows, located on the south end of Lake Bemidji, and extends to the eastern shore of Lake Irving. Some sources also credit the name to Chief Bemidji, an Ojibwe chief.
Bemidji Township was surveyed in 1874 and organized in 1896 twenty-four days after the village of Bemidji was chartered and is the oldest township in the county. In 1897, the county attorney declared the original Bemidji township organization illegal (no reason given) and the township reorganized June 26, 1897.
Parks and recreation
Bemidji is near Chippewa National Forest, Itasca State Park, Lake Bemidji State Park, Big Bog State Recreation Area, and state forest areas. Bemidji has 400 lakes within 25 miles (40 km), 500 mi (800 km) of snowmobile trails and 99 mi (160 km) of cross country ski trails.
Bemidji is home to many recreational events throughout the year. The Paul Bunyan Triathlon is the 3rd Saturday in August. The Dragon Boat Festival is a racing competition held at the waterfront during the first week of August. The Bemidji Polar Days is a week-long event held during the winter months. The Minnesota Finlandia Ski Marathon is also held in Bemidji.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.14 square miles (36.62 km2), of which 12.92 square miles (33.46 km2) is land and 1.22 square miles (3.16 km2) is water.
The largest earthquake on record for the Bemidji area was recorded on September 3, 1917. It is claimed that it shook houses down in Bemidji and across northern Minnesota. The epicenter was about 95 miles (153 km) away in Staples, Minnesota, and affected an area of 48,000 square kilometres (19,000 sq mi) with a magnitude 4.4 with a maximum intensity of VI to VII. The closest and most recent quake occurred in Walker, Minnesota, on September 27, 1982, with a magnitude of 2.0.
Bemidji has a hemiboreal humid continental climate, Dfb in the Köppen climate classification: short, warm summers, and long, severe winters. The average mean annual temperature in Bemidji is 37.3 degrees Fahrenheit. The coldest month is January with an average daily high of 16 degrees and an average daily low of −4 degrees. The warmest month is July with an average daily high of 79 degrees and an average daily low of 57 degrees. The average annual humidity is 47%. The average annual snowfall is 41.1 inches and the average annual rainfall is 23.8 inches. The average day Lake Bemidji freezes over is November 26 and the average day the ice goes off the lake is April 26.
|Climate data for Bemidji, Minnesota|
|Record high °F (°C)||52
|Average high °F (°C)||16.4
|Daily mean °F (°C)||5.9
|Average low °F (°C)||−4.3
|Record low °F (°C)||−50
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||0.73
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||8.2
|Source #1: Climatography of the United States|
|Source #2: XMACIS|
|U.S. Decennial Census
As of the census of 2010, there were 13,431 people, 5,339 households, and 2,557 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,039.6 inhabitants per square mile (401.4/km2). There were 5,748 housing units at an average density of 444.9 per square mile (171.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 81.3% White, 1.2% African American, 11.3% Native American, 1.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.3% from other races, and 4.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.9% of the population.
There were 5,339 households of which 24.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 28.7% were married couples living together, 14.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 52.1% were non-families. 38.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.83.
The median age in the city was 27.1 years. 19.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 26.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.6% were from 25 to 44; 17.5% were from 45 to 64; and 14.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.7% male and 52.3% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 11,917 people, 4,669 households, and 2,427 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,011.8 people per square mile (390.6/km²). There were 4,948 housing units at an average density of 420.1 per square mile (162.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.31% White American, 0.76% African American, 11.52% Native American, 1.12% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.20% from other races, and 2.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.14% of the population.
There were 4,669 households out of which 25.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.0% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.0% were non-families. 35.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.87.
In the city, the population was spread out with 21.2% under the age of 18, 24.9% from 18 to 24, 23.0% from 25 to 44, 15.4% from 45 to 64, and 15.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 87.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $28,072, and the median income for a family was $37,250. Males had a median income of $28,312 versus $20,694 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,264. About 13.2% of families and 19.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.7% of those under age 18 and 10.9% of those age 65 or over.
Bemidji is a college city with strong arts influences. The city's streets are lined with small shops and adorned with sculptures and other forms of public art.
The Concordia Language Villages are located near Bemidji and have been influential in the existence of several language conversational groups (including French, Chinese, Norwegian, Spanish, Italian, and German) that meet weekly in local coffee houses.
During the summer, the Paul Bunyan Playhouse operates a non-Equity, summer stock theater. Bemidji Community Theatre also provides live theatre for the Bemidji area when Paul Bunyan Playhouse is not in operation.
Bemidji is known for having an above average crime rate of 91/1000 chance of being a victim of a crime. 
The city is well known to fans of the sport of hockey. As a Division II team, Bemidji State was a hockey dynasty in the 80s and 90s. Bemidji was in the title game 8 straight years, winning 5 Div II titles.
Also, the city is known to fans of the sport of curling. Both men's and women's rinks from the Bemidji Curling Club won the right to represent the United States in the 2005 World Curling Championship and the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. Pete Fenson, the skip of the U.S. curling team that took the bronze medal at the 2006 Olympics, is a native of Bemidji, as is Natalie Nicholson, who was the lead for the United States women's team at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
A city referendum for a Bemidji Regional Events Center passed by a slim majority of 43 votes out of 4,583 votes cast in November 2006. Opening in 2010, the center was renamed the Sanford Center and serves as home to the Bemidji State University hockey team. The men's and women's hockey teams are both members of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. Beginning in the spring of 2014, the Sanford Center is the home of the city's first-ever professional sports team, the Minnesota Axemen of the Indoor Football League.
Bemidji is home to Bemidji State University, Northwest Technical College, and Oak Hills Christian College. Public Education is served by Bemidji Area Schools, TrekNorth Charter High School, Voyagers Charter High School and Schoolcraft Charter School. Bemidji is also home to three private schools: St. Philips Catholic School, St. Mark's Lutheran School and Heartland Christian Academy.
The City of Bemidji acts as a regional center for shopping, arts, entertainment, education, health services, worship, and government services. The Bemidji Area includes parts or all of Beltrami (Pop. 44,442), Hubbard (Pop. 20,428), Cass (Pop. 28,567), Itasca (Pop. 45,058), Koochiching (Pop. 13,311), Lake Of The Woods (Pop. 4,045), Marshall (Pop. 9,439), Pennington (Pop. 13,930), Red Lake (Pop. 4,089), Clearwater (Pop. 8,695), and Mahnomen (Pop. 5,413) counties. The Bemidji area also includes the White Earth (Pop. 9,192) and Leech Lake (Pop. 10,660) Reservations and the Sovereign Nation of Red Lake (Pop. 5,162). This places the Bemidji Area population at 131,553.
The Bemidji Pioneer is the local daily (except Mondays) newspaper.
Most of Bemidji's TV stations primarily rebroadcast the television stations of the Twin Cities.
|9||9||KAWE||PBS||Northern MN Public TV|
(Located near Walker, MN)
|Fox Television Stations|
|Fox Television Stations|
|42||none||K42FH||TBN||Trinity Broadcasting Network|
|48||48*||K48KI||3ABN||Three Angels Broadcasting Network|
|AM radio stations|
|820 AM||WBKK||AM 820||Catholic Talk||Real Presence Radio|
|1300 AM||KPMI||County Legends||Classic Country||Paskvan Media|
|1360 AM||KKBJ||Talkradio 1360||News/Talk||RP Broadcasting|
|1450 AM||KBUN||The Bun||Sports
|Paul Bunyan Broadcasting|
- inMagazine, a quarterly lifestyle magazine focused on Bemidji and the surrounding area. First published in December 2013 by The Bemidji Pioneer.
- Northwoods Woman, a bimonthly magazine published from 2008-2013, launched in Bemidji, Walker and Park Rapids and included articles about women who live and work in northern Minnesota.
The following routes are located in the Bemidji area.
- U.S. Highway 2
- U.S. Highway 71
- Minnesota State Highway 89
- Minnesota State Highway 197
- Minnesota State Highway 371
Bemidji is served by Bemidji Airport, which has passenger services on 3 airlines, Delta Connection, Sun Country Airlines and Bemidji Airlines, the latter of which is based in the city of Bemidji. Bemidji Airlines also operates cargo flights, while Corporate Air is the only airline to operate all-cargo-only flights to the airport, on behalf of FedEx Express.
- Wells Fargo
- First National Bank of Bemidji
- Security Bank USA
- Deerwood Bank
- Bank Forward
- Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union
- Ultima Bank Minnesota
- Trustar Federal Credit Union
- Citizens State Bank - Midwest
- Roy C. Booth, speculative fiction, fantasy and horror author.
- Gary Burger, guitarist and lead vocalist for the band The Monks
- Dave Casper, Hall of Fame football player
- Pete Fenson, American curling skip
- Bob A. Johnson, Minnesota state representative and school social worker
- Joe Motzko, hockey player, member of 2007 Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks
- Kent Nerburn, author
- Jane Russell, actress
- Gary Sargent, Pro Ice Hockey defensemen, played in National Hockey League 1975-1983
In popular culture
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-07-14. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
- "Freelang Ojibwe Dictionary". Beaumont. 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
- Upham, Warren (1920). Minnesota Geographic Names: Their Origin and Historic Significance. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 36.
- "History". Bemidji Township.
- "Home of the Minnesota Finalndia". Minnesota Finlandia Community Health Sports. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
- "Earthquake Shakes City". Little Falls Daily Transcript. September 4, 1917.
- "Minnesota at a Glance: Earthquakes in Minnesota" (PDF). Regents of the University of Minnesota. 1994.
- "Monthly Average of Daily Maximum and Minimum Temperature" (PDF). National Climatic Data Center.
- "Monthly Climate Normals (1981-2010) - BEMIDJI, MN". National Climatic Data Center.
- United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved September 11, 2013.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on October 19, 2016. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
- Amble, Rosemary Given. "Bemidji Minnesota History: Original Inhabitants Meet White Settlers". LakesnWoods.com. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
- Meurs, Michael (2011-09-21). "Native American Language Revitalization on Red Lake Agenda". Indian Country Today Media Network. Retrieved 2013-04-13.
- "Pioneer Web Site". Bemidji Pioneer and Forum Communications Company. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
- "Northwood Woman". Archived from the original on 16 April 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2012.
- Wilson, Earl (Nov 27, 1969). "Small Towns Have Produced Many Big Stars". The Milwaukee Sentinel. pp. A33. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
- Joe Froemming, "Bemidji is 'Fargo': From characters large and small to the town itself, a fictional Bemidji plays a large role in new, much-anticipated FX television series," Bemidji Pioneer, April 18, 2014, http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/content/bemidji-fargo-characters-large-and-small-town-itself-fictional-bemidji-plays-large-role-new, accessed March 7, 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bemidji, Minnesota.|
- City of Bemidji
- Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce
- The Bemidji Pioneer, newspaper
- Sanford Bemidji Medical Center
- Best of Bemidji Quarterly Magazine
- 360 Degree Virtual Tour of 2011 Beltrami County Fair
- First National Bank of Bemidji