The History of Perham:

The birth of Perham was in 1872.. Perham was once named MarionLakeTownship. In March 1877 MarionLake was soon renamed to Perham. Many people settled here because of the new arrival of the Railroad. Which entered Otter Tail County on September 30th, 1871. Perham was known for logging operations on the Red River. In 1872 the first Post Office was established in Perham. Soon after that the first wooden building was built in Perham. Perham was named after Mr. Joseph Perham of New York. Mr. Perham was the first President of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Perham never got a chance to visit the city of Perham. In the fall of 1872 the first car of wheat was shipped. Perham soon became known for wheat as well as flour.  In July 1874 the first newspaper of Perham was issued and it was called “Perham News”.

In 1887 the first solid brick building was established in Perham. The First Bank of Perham was established in 1899. At this time everything was looking up for Perham. Two years before the Railroad entered Perham only two families lived here. Now Perham was flourishing with people. City Hall was built in 1902. City Hall once had a jail and a fire hall located on the left side of the building. Perham was prospering there after. In this little town of less than 50 people for the population there are now about 2,900. SunsetBeach on Big Pine is one of the oldest resorts around the area. Perham is known for turtle races which take place every Wednesday through out the summer as well as the wonderful view at the resorts around the Perham area.