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Ontario GenWeb Project: Rainy River District
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Rainy River District

This area of Ontario is covered by Rainy River District GenWeb. The information presented below is merely an outline of the county and does not include what is available for genealogical research for this area. For information on genealogical research of this area please visit Rainy River District GenWeb.

Rainy River District was established in 1885 but didn't become a separate district until 1914. Until then it was part of Thunder Bay District.

This area was part of two boundary disputes. The first was between Canada and the United States, both countries claimed this area was in their country. This dispute was settled in 1818 when the 49th parallel was set as the official dividing line between the countries.

The second dispute took place between Ontario and Manitoba. Each province claimed the area should be part of their province. It was decided in 1884 that this area belonged to Ontario.

While the Hudson's Bay Company had outposts in the area, settlement didn't really begin until the 1870's when the Dawson Trail was built linking Fort Garry to Fort William. This opened the Rainy River area to lumbering.

When Indian Treaty No. 3 was signed in 1873, ceding Ojibwa lands west of Lake Superior to the Dominion of Canada, settlers started to arrive.

"Population 2,210 in 1891, 26,531 in 1966 and 20,423 in 1980."3

  • Prior to 1914 - Thunder Bay District

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    1 Lovell's Gazetteer of British North America 1873
    3 Place Names of Ontario by Floreen Carter, 1984
    5 Place Names of Ontario by Alan Rayburn, 1997

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