French River, Minnesota

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French River, Minnesota
Unincorporated community
French River is located in Minnesota
French River
French River
Location of the community of French River
within Duluth Township, Saint Louis County
Coordinates: 46°53′53″N 91°53′50″W / 46.89806°N 91.89722°W / 46.89806; -91.89722Coordinates: 46°53′53″N 91°53′50″W / 46.89806°N 91.89722°W / 46.89806; -91.89722
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Saint Louis
Township Duluth Township
Elevation 650 ft (200 m)
 • Total 110
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code 55804
Area code(s) 218
GNIS feature ID 661327[1]

French River is an unincorporated community in Duluth Township, Saint Louis County, Minnesota, United States; located on the North Shore of Lake Superior.

The community is located 13 miles northeast of the city of Duluth, at the junction of North Shore Scenic Drive (County 61) and Ryan Road (County Road 50).


French River had also been known by the name Clifton during the early settlement years. Clifton, the first townsite surveyed in the United States section of the North Shore, was platted west of the mouth of the French River in 1855. The river was known to early explorers as Riviere de Francais. Rumors of nearby copper deposits resulted in widespread prospecting and townsite planning in the 1850s. Like many of the projected towns, Clifton never developed. From 1864 to 1866, the French River Mining Company and the North Shore Mining Company dug several exploratory shafts, but failed to locate profitable copper deposits. Extensive lumbering operations were carried on in the vicinity during the 1880s.[2]


  1. ^ "French River, Minnesota". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ Keith L. " – The Historical Marker Database". Near Duluth in St. Louis County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains). J. J. Prats. Retrieved April 16, 2012. 
  • Rand McNally Road Atlas – 2007 edition – Minnesota entry
  • Official State of Minnesota Highway Map – 2011/2012 edition