The Town of Embarrass lies in the Embarrass River Valley near the Laurentian Divide on the Iron Range. French explorers traveling through the area by canoe found it very difficult to maneuver through all the obstacles and debris that was in the way. This is believed how the Embarrass River was named. Later, when the railroad system was established, the depot which stood near the Embarrass River also bore the name Embarrass. It was then appropriate that the township should also hold this name.
Early records show that the Dakota Indians inhabited the area prior to being driven out by the Ojibwe. Later the French, English, and Americans all competed for furs during the fur trading period of 1810-1840. The earliest Finns were drawn to the area to work in the iron ore mines around 1900. The Finns, known for their determination or “sisu” carved their homesteads and fields in the area’s forests and began farming.
Having a similar climate, biome, and topography; Embarrass attracted many Finnish immigrants to this area. Eventually churches, schools, roads and businesses became established. It wasn’t until the boom of the taconite mining industry in the 1950’s that people with different nationalities moved into the area.
Today, the community of Embarrass is still thriving. Mining is still a prevalent industry in the area. Some residents own small businesses in Embarrass while many travel to neighboring towns for other employment opportunities.City of Embarrass