Place:Grand Forks, Grand Forks, North Dakota, United States

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NameGrand Forks
TypeCity
Coordinates47.912°N 97.055°W
Located inGrand Forks, North Dakota, United States     (1750 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Grand Forks is the third-largest city in the state of North Dakota (after Fargo and Bismarck) and is the county seat of Grand Forks County. According to the 2010 census, the city's population was 52,838, while the total of the city and surrounding metropolitan area was 98,461. Grand Forks, along with its twin city of East Grand Forks, Minnesota, forms the center of the Grand Forks, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is often called Greater Grand Forks or the Grand Cities.

Located on the western banks of the north-flowing Red River of the North, in a flat region known as the Red River Valley, the city is prone to flooding. The Red River Flood of 1997 devastated the city. Originally called Les Grandes Fourches by French fur traders from Canada, who had long worked and lived in the region, steamboat captain Alexander Griggs platted a community after being forced to winter there. The Grand Forks post office was established in 1870, and the town was incorporated on February 22, 1881. The city was named for its location at the fork of the Red River and the Red Lake River.[1]

Historically dependent on local agriculture, the city's economy now encompasses higher education, defense, health care, manufacturing, food processing, and scientific research. Grand Forks is served by Grand Forks International Airport and Grand Forks Air Force Base. The city's University of North Dakota is the oldest institution of higher education in the state. The Alerus Center and Ralph Engelstad Arena host athletic and other events, while the North Dakota Museum of Art and Chester Fritz Auditorium are the city's largest cultural venues.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Prior to settlement by Europeans, the area where the city developed, at the forks of the Red River and Red Lake River, for thousands of years had been an important meeting and trading point for Native Americans. Early French explorers, fur trappers, and traders called the area Les Grandes Fourches, meaning "The Grand Forks". By the 1740s, French fur trappers relied on Les Grandes Fourches as an important trading post. This was French colonial territory.[1]

The United States acquired the territory from British Rupert's Land with the Treaty of 1818, but indigenous tribes dominated the area until the late 19th century. After years of warfare, the United States made treaties to extinguish the land claims of the Ojibwe and other Native American peoples. When a U.S. post office was established on the site on June 15, 1870, the name was changed to the English "Grand Forks".[1] Alexander Griggs, a steamboat captain, is regarded as "The Father of Grand Forks". Griggs' steamboat froze in the Red River on a voyage in late 1870, forcing the captain and his crew to spend the winter camping at Grand Forks. Griggs platted a community in 1875, and Grand Forks was officially incorporated on February 22, 1881.[1]

Thousands of settlers were attracted to the Dakota Territory in the 1870s and 1880s for its cheap land, and the population began to rise. Many established small family farms, but some investors bought thousands of acres for bonanza farms, where they supervised the cultivation and harvesting of wheat as a commodity crop. The city grew quickly after the arrival of the Great Northern Railway in 1880 and the Northern Pacific Railway in 1887. In 1883, the University of North Dakota was established, six years before North Dakota was admitted as an independent state born from the Dakota Territory.[2] During the first half of the 20th century, new residential neighborhoods were developed south and west of downtown Grand Forks. In the 1920s, the state-owned North Dakota Mill and Elevator was constructed on the city's north side.

In 1954, Grand Forks was chosen as the site for an Air Force base. Grand Forks Air Force Base brought thousands of new jobs and residents to the community. The military base and the University of North Dakota became integral to the city's economy. With construction of federal highways, during the postwar years residential and business development became suburbanized, spreading to new areas as land was available.[1] Interstate 29 was built on the western side of the city, and two enclosed shopping malls – South Forks Plaza and Columbia Mall – were built on the south side.


The Red River had a history of seasonal flooding, aggravated by the broad ancient lake bed that formed the Red River Valley. The 1997 Red River Flood caused extensive damage in the city. Fargo was upstream from the bulk of the flood waters that season, and Winnipeg had built an extensive system of flood control structures in the 1960s. In 1997, Grand Forks suffered the most damage of any major city in the Red River Valley. During the height of the flooding, a major fire destroyed 11 buildings in the downtown area. The government began developing a new levee system to protect the city, which was completed 10 years later. It required the relocation of numerous residents, as some neighborhoods were emptied for this construction.

The city and government decided to change the type of development allowed near the river. The floodplain bordering the Red River was converted into a large park known as the Greater Grand Forks Greenway. This provided new recreation space for city residents, as well as space for future floodwaters to be absorbed naturally by trees and other plants, without damage to infrastructure. East Grand Forks developed a related greenway park on its side of the river, as it has also suffered extensive flooding that year.

Since the 1997 flood, public and private developments have been constructed throughout Grand Forks. Two new, large sports venues opened in 2001: the Alerus Center[3] and the Ralph Engelstad Arena.[4] In 2007, the Winnipeg-based Canad Inns hotel chain opened a 13-story hotel and waterpark next to the Alerus Center. By 2007 Grand Forks had a larger population than it did before the 1997 flood. Area employment and taxable sales had also surpassed pre-flood levels.

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