Town’s population has had its ups and downs

Fort Frances Times and Rainy Lake Herald

When LaJemeraye beached his canoes at “the Point” in the fall of 1731, he was accompanied by LaVerendrye’s eldest son, Jean Baptiste, 25 voyageurs and a guide.

When the Town of Fort Frances was incorporated in 1903, the resident population was only “approximately 650 souls”. The town’s expansion paralleled its industrial growth.

In 1905, when construction began on the dam, the town had grown to 775 inhabitants.

In 1910, when the dam was completed, the population was 1,524.

In 1911, when Shevlin-Clarke sawmill began operating, the population was 1,870.

In 1912, when construction began on the papermill, it was 1,925.

In 1914, when the papermill went into production, it was 2,909.

In 1925, when number seven became operational, the population was 5,305.

In 1940, when Shevlin-Clarke sawing operations ceased, the population was 5,800.

In 1942, when Shevlin-Clarke ceased operations altogether and with Canada at war the population was 5,410.

In 1945, at the end of the war, the population was 5,597.

In 1949, following the annexation of McIrvine, the population was 7,653.

Since then, the increase and decline has been gradual.

In 1950 the population edged over the 8,000 figure for the first time at 8,028.

In 1958, an increase brought the population up to 9,699.

In 1965, when the Noden Causeway over Rainy River was opened, it fell to 9,420.

In 1971, when the kraft mill was completed and put into production, the population peaked at 9,876.

In 1976, the population slipped to 8,919 as many residents built year around homes either on Rainy Lake or in adjacent townships to the west.

In 1977, the population was 8,928.