Other Towns of the Area

Moose, Popple, Turtle River, Nebish, Puposky

MOOSE. Moose, in Moose Creek Township, was a trading post and village established 30 miles east of Fosston and about 15 miles west of Bemidji. The Fosston County Road, leaving the main trail at Popple, led southeast to Moose. There was a road from Moose into Bemidji, but the County Commissioners in 1896 rejected a petition from Moose to build and maintain it. Moose was given a post office in 1892, two years before Bemidji. When the railroad was completed from Fosston to Bemidji in 1898, it passed five miles north of Moose. That, with the decline of logging, spelled the end, and Moose is now extinct. Moose Corners, at the junction of Clearwater 2 and 37, five miles south of U.S.2 is the location of the original Moose.. A derelict building, apparently a store and hotel, remains on the site.

POPPLE. The town of Popple was located ten miles east of Fosston on the Fosston Trail. It got its post office in 1890. In the early 1890's it was a town with some influence. When the first commissioners of the organized county gave out the county jobs, Jacob P.Nygaard of Popple, who maintained a popular stopping place on the Fosston Trail, was made sheriff. Popple and Buena Vista fought unsuccessfully against Bemidji to be made county seat. When the railroad came through, the new town of Bagley was established, (James J.Hill's brother-in-law was one of the owners.) and the new town became the distribution center for the area. Popple is now extinct, but its town hall can be seen just north of U.S.2 about a mile east of the Polk county line.

TURTLE RIVER. Turtle River was first settled at the south end of Turtle River Lake. When the Minnesota and International Railroad came through at the north end of the lake in 1901, the town moved in order to be on the railroad. The railroad is now abandoned and its tracks taken up. Turtle River is some seven miles northeast of Bemidji just off U.S.71, on Beltrami County 23 (Old 71). Still on the map of Minnesota, its population is listed as 60.

NEBISH. Nebish is seven miles north of Buena Vista on Beltrami County 15, at its junction with County 32. Old Nebish, as the first town came to be called, began on the shores of Lake Nebish. It got its post office in 1898, and stage service was established between Nebish and Buena Vista. Nebish was the first southern terminus of the Red Lake Railway, the logging road that ran from Nebish to Redby on Red Lake.

In 1905. It was 3/4 of a mile northwest of the present Nebish and south to the lake. C.W.Highshoe, who came to Nebish about 1920, wrote, "I was going to write a story about Old Nebish once, but when I got at it there was nothing to write; it was just a logging camp." Highshoe explains why Nebish moved:

In 1905. the railroad was extended from Nebish into Bemidji.The town moved up to the corner where it is now about 1912.

I will tell you just what happened. Wilbur Nebish had a land company . . . . the land company said they would give five acres for a graveyard if they would move the townsite to where it is now, and of course, they did.

Information on Old Nebish from C.W.Highshoe, "Old Nebish," North Country (1979), pp.86-88. © Hilda R.Rachuy 1979.

Od Nebish developed into a town after it moved to its present location in 1912. In 1905. the railroad had been extended from Nebish into Bemidji. The new Nebish became a properous town, an agricultural center, the destination of many hard-working immigrants. Nebish began to decline after The Minneapolis, Red Lake, and Manitoba Railway( the official title) closed its operation and its tracks were removed in 1939.

PUPOSKY. Puposky was created by the Minneapolis, Red Lake, and Manitoba Railway when it extended its tracks from Nebish to Bemidji. The citizens of Buena Vista had hoped that the new line would come down through Buena Vista, at the south end of Lake Julia, and go from there to Bemidji. C.A.Smith, the principal owner, decided the track would go to the North of Lake Julia, and a new town -- Puposky -- was built between Lake Julia and Lake Puposky. A number of people from Buena Vista moved to Puposky. There were houses, stores, a sawmill, and of course a depot. As logging declined, so did the railroad; and in 1939 the railroad was shur down and the tracks taken up. Puposky lies near the junction of Beltrami 26 and 30. It still has a church and a few houses. Its forsaken and derelict stores, for so long a reminder of the old town, have now been demolished and hauled away.