Population (2010)

16,459

Introduction

A popular destination for daytrippers from the Twin Cities, Red Wing is a good place to use as a base to explore the surrounding area; stick around for a few days.

Visitor Information

The old rail depot, completed in 1905 and still used by Amtrak, houses the Red Wing Convention and Visitors Bureau (420 Levee St.; 651.385.5934).

History

Let’s start with the town’s namesake: Red Wing. He was probably born about 1750 and was probably the nephew of Chief Wabasha I, though no one is sure. He was a shaman and a very successful military leader of the Mdewakanton Dakota in the latter part of the 18th century. In Dakota his name was Tatankamani (Walking Buffalo). French explorers, for reasons that are not well documented, called him L’Aile Rouge (Red Wing). He broke from Wabasha’s band, leading a group of 100 who lived near the mouth of the Cannon River. He led an active life in the middle of changing times, chatting with the explorer Zebulon Pike in 1805 and fighting with the British against American interests before switching sides in the middle of the War of 1812. He traveled to Portage des Sioux (Missouri) in 1815 to sign a treaty of friendship with Americans. When he was older, he gave the name Red Wing to his oldest surviving son, Wakute, and called himself Shakea (The Man Who Paints Himsel