Moorhead, Minnesota, is at a crossroads: a natural crossing point
of the Red River of the North, a place where Minnesota and the Dakotas
meet. Today, that's made us a transportation and business hub. But
in the old days, it was a different-and wilder!-story.
Moorhead was settled in the 1870s at a natural crossing of the Red
River of the North. For many years, this lively frontier town served
as a transfer point for goods and passengers between the Twin Cities
of Minneapolis and St. Paul and Winnipeg, Manitoba. Hudson Bay Company
goods were hauled by oxcart from St. Cloud, Minnesota, to Moorhead,
then reloaded onto riverboats for the journey north on the Red.
It was a rough-and-ready time-and we were a rough-and-tumble town!
The New City
Founded on September 22, 1871, our city was named for William G.
Moorhead, a director of the Northern Pacific Railway. Moorhead was
officially incorporated in 1881-and later that same decade added
electric, water, sewer, fire and police services. That's also when
Moorhead developed a reputation as "Sin City," with more
than 100 bars at a time when neighboring Fargo, N.D., did not allow
the sale of alcohol.
Today, Moorhead is still considered a transcontinental crossing.
Interstates 94 and 29 intersect just west of the city limits. While
distribution and transfer industries remain a vital part of our
business environment, education and service industries have played
an increasingly important role. Concordia College and Minnesota
State University Moorhead have helped build our strong reputation
for education and culture.
Moorhead's population is now 38,065. More than 200,000 people live
in the Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area.