History of the Community

Originally called Otter Tail City settled by trappers that traded with the natives of the area.  Otter Tail City was named as the county seat of Otter Tail County until 1872 when the seat was moved to Fergus Falls. The city's population of 1500 declined as businesses that wanted to be located in the county seat moved to Fergus Falls after the Northern Pacific Railroad was unable to locate its tracks and depot in Otter Tail City.  The Soo Line made plans to pass through Otter Tail City, but the town site owners couldn't agree, so the track was moved to a "new" site and was platted east of the original site and named Ottertail.   The Saint Paul House, a former hotel and the only remnant of Otter Tail City was recently moved from its original site on Hwy 78 to "old" Ottertail which is now where Main Street located on Hwy 108.

Ottertail consists of nearly 3,200 acres and 5 sections, platted where pioneers planned for great expansion.  Today, visitors will find the "old town" of Ottertail existing on MN Highway 108 just a mile east from MN Hwy 78.  MN Hwy 78, one and a half miles South, to County Road 1 compliments the many businesses providing the basic services, dining and recreation to residents and visitors.  A bike/walking trail connects the two areas of Ottertail and is a welcomed addition to the city.

Ottertail History Project Visit Ottertail History Project. New Content Added daily
Otter Tail County Historical Society Valuable information for Otter Tail County including the City of Ottertail