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Wawina News (Click here for the latest)


10/4/17:  Kirk F. Powers, 19, of Wawina, Minn., convicted of misdemeanor under 21 drinking and driving on Oct. 2, 2017. Sentenced by Judge Mark M. Starr to 90 days jail stayed, one year probation with conditions including two days jail, $385 in fines, follow recommendations of evaluation, no alcohol or controlled substance use with the exception of prescribed medications, no mood-altering chemicals, no possession of alcohol or drugs, remain law-abiding, no driver’s license violations, no driving without insurance, complete alcohol assessment within 30 days and provide proof to the courts.

12/12/16:  Gary G. Bestel, 53, Wawina, second count of driving while impaired, fined $1,000 and 60 days in local confinement, time stayed on one year of probation with conditions including if defendant completes Victim Impact Panel within six months, fine will be reduced by $500; violation of a restricted driver’s license and first count of driving while impaired, dismissed.


3/17/14:  EWEN, MI. - Dorothy A. "Dode" Nuorala, 79 of Ewen, MI passed away.  She graduated high school in Grand Rapids, MN in 1953 and married Jarlli "Chuck" Nuorala on April 4, 1953 in Wawina, MN.


Wawina Township is a township in Itasca County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 77 at the 2010 census.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 36.5 square miles (94.7 km²), of which 36.5 square miles (94.6 km²) is land and 0.03% is water.  Wawina sits at an elevation of 1,270 feet, and has a population density of 2.1/square mile.  The only lake is Dry Lake, deriving its name from its draining in 1910.  The MN DOT flooded it in 1990 for wetlands mitigation.


Wawina has the distinction of having America's smallest telephone company. Northern Telephone Company of Minnesota (Area Code 218-488) serves fewer than 40 subscribers.


It gained brief fame as the last place in the continental United States to use a trunking system (inter-office circuits) that was called "N2 Carrier", an analog system that utilized Multi-Frequency (MF) tones and the infamous 2600 Hz control tone for answer supervision and idle trunk condition. This system was much loved by phone freaks as it was the same system which the now infamous John Draper made famous. The era ended in June 2006, when the privately owned exchange switched to a digital trunk. Phone hacking attempts from across the nation had placed a large burden on the extremely small telephone company serving the township.




Wawina is the most southeastern township of Itasca county.  Wawina received the name of its earlier railway village.  Its name derives from an Ojibwe word meaning "I name him often, . . . mention him frequently," as defined in Baraga's Dictionary. Some claim the area was named after the legend Indian princess Wawina.


The village in section 27, settled primarily by Finnish immigrants, began as a station of the Duluth and Winnipeg Railroad called Siding No. 6.  It once held a post office for one year in 1912 in the store of postmaster George T. Johnson.  It had a depot built in 1915.  Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society




Wawina got its first schoolhouse in 1901, that later burned in 1907.  It was rebuilt in the same location.  The West Fork School was built by the Wawina Creek in 1907 for settlers farther north.  In 1915 the Maki School was built to serve the population of southern Wawina Township.  By 1917, the number of total children warranted the building of a consolidated school, which was further expanded in 1929.  Wawina closed its school in 1947.



Wawina Township Hall
13432 County Road 25
Wawina, MN 55736
(218) 488-6508


Clerk:  Betty Karkiainen
13288 County Road 25
Wawina, MN 55736
(218) 488-6588


Tamouth C Snyder Witz
11852 County Road 25
Wawina, MN 55736
(218) 448-6569


Sam Hendricks
13861 Wawina B Road
Wawina, MN 55736
(218) 488-6556


Duane Heikkinen
15164 County Road 425
Wawina, MN 55736
(218) 448-6557


Robert Riddell
13505 County Road 25
Wawina, MN 55736
(218) 448-6511


Wawina Peatland is Minnesota's southernmost example of a large patterned peat land complex, and it is the only major peat land in the Glacial Lakes Aitkin and Upham areas. It contains the best ovoid island patterns in the northeastern part of the state, along with a featureless water track. A raised bog and a crested raised bog can also be seen here. Early spring viewers may witness the dancing and booming of sharp-tail grouse.


Wawina Cemetery



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