Minnesota State Highway 73 serves as a main route in Kettle River.
The Kettle River area of Carlton County, Minnesota, was settled by a large concentration of Finnish Immigrants in the years leading up to the First World War and the influence of those immigrants is still noticeable even today.
On October 12, 1918, the 1918 Cloquet Fire caused by sparks on the local railroads left much of western Carlton County area devastated. Several hundred persons were killed by the fire and thousands more left homeless. The only building left standing in Kettle River following the fire was the bank that was made of brick. This building still stands in Kettle River, near the center of the town on the west side of State Highway 73.
Following the fire, with most people homeless and destitute, the Spanish Influenza outbreak of 1918 wreaked even more havoc on the local peoples, taking more lives.