The Northwest AngleThe Northwest Angle is located in Minnesota. It is actually the northernmost point of the United States conterminous forty-eight states and it is the only point in the United States, apart from Alaska, that is north of the 49th parallel. It is attached to Manitoba and is only accessible from the United States by boat across the Lake of the Woods or through Canada by means of windy back roads.
Northwest Angle OriginThe Northwest Angle was partitioned by the Treaty of Paris which divided U.S. territory and British territory. The treaty set the boundary to the north to run "through the Lake of the Woods to the northwestern most point thereof, and from thence on a due west course to the river Mississippi." This boundary was set based on the Mitchell Map, a map that had several inaccuracies, including showing the Mississippi River extending too far north. The Treaty of 1818 determined that the boundary would be drawn instead from "a line drawn from the most northwestern point of the Lake of the Woods, [due south, then] along the 49th parallel of north latitude." This treaty created the Northwest Angle. The Northwest Angle is known to locals as "The Angle."
Life on the AngleAs of the 2000 Census, the Angle had a population of 152 people, including 71 households and 48 families. The Angle has one schoolhouse, the Angle Inlet School, which is Minnesota's last one-room schoolhouse. Its enrollment varies by seasons and attendees, including the school's teacher, get to the school often by boat from one of the islands, or by snowmobile in the winter.
The area first received telephone service in the 1990s, but radio telephones are still used on the islands. The Angle is a big area for tourism, but it has retained its separation from the rest of the world without becoming transformed and modernized.