Red Wing (Formerly Known as Wahcoota) is a city in Goodhue County, Minnesota, United States, along the upper Mississippi River. The population was 16,459 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Goodhue County.
Red Wing is home to the manufacturers of nationally known products: Red Wing Shoes, Riedell Ice and Roller Skates, and Red Wing Stoneware. The Cannon Valley Trail has its eastern terminus in Red Wing. Treasure Island Resort & Casino is operated by the nearby Prairie Island Indian Reservation.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation placed Red Wing on its 2008 distinctive destinations list, which adds twelve communities annually nationwide. Red Wing was added for its "impressive architecture and enviable natural environment." Red Wing is connected to Wisconsin by Red Wing Bridge (officially named the Eisenhower Bridge); it carries U.S. Route 63 over the Mississippi River and its backwaters.
This city was named after the early 19th-century Dakota Sioux chief, Red Wing (Shakea), or Hupahuduta ("Wing of the Wild Swan Dyed Red"). He was one of a succession of Mdewakanton Dakota chiefs whose name "Red Wing" came from their use of a dyed swan's wing as their symbol of rank. He was an ally of British soldiers during the War of 1812. After a vision in which he saw the Americans driving out the British, he declared neutrality. French Canadians referred to him as L'Aile Rouge. Later he took the name Shakea, or "The Man Who Paints Himself Red," after passing the name Red Wing on to a successor chief.
During the lifetime of Hupahuduta, there were few European-American pioneers in his territory. Red Wing was known as a firm friend of the United States, keeping peace with the traders and settlers, and trading for goods that were valued by his tribe. The federal government established a Mdewakanton Sioux Indian reservation in 1889 along the Mississippi River to free up land for new settlers. The city of Red Wing developed around it. This reservation is known as the Prairie Island Indian Community.
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