The Township of Emo was settled in the early 1880's by pioneers who arrived to free homesteads. The settlers were confronted by many hardships and hard work in the undomesticated country. The river was the main route of transportation, until the CNR lines were built in the early 1900's.
Emo is comprised of three townships - Carpenter, Lash and Aylsworth, each surveyed in the late 1800's to make up Emo as it is known today. A meeting of the electors was held on October 7, 1899 to nominate the first Reeve and four Councillors. On November 13, 1899, the council hired their first Clerk-Treasurer.
Emo was incorporated into a township in 1899, and originally had a five-member council. The former members were:
In the 1880s, Alexander Luttrell
travelled from Ireland to
Canada, and settled here. He named this place Emo, after the town close
Luttrell became the first postmaster shortly after moving here, and became the first Reeve of Emo in 1899. He died in 1911. His granddaughter, Marg Jewell, still lives in Emo.
Marg wrote this in an article about her grandfather in the West End Weekly:
"As well as being a farmer and a father of 12, he wore many hats in his lifetime. Besides the first postmaster, reeve, and ‘namer’ of Emo village, he was a road builder...they were built with hard-earned labour, of digging ditches by hand, and laying corduroy as a base. I would be inclined to think that one of these could be the River Road, since that was where his home and farm were situated. The property where Cecil Ogden lives was originally the Luttrell homestead."
The Village of Emo is located in Lash Township, along the Rainy River, directly north of the state of Minnesota. The closest bridge connecting the two countries is located at Fort Frances, which is approximately 20 minutes from Emo. Another international bridge is located in Rainy River, approximately 30 minutes west from Emo.
Emo provides a full range of services including a school, hospital, library, medical & dental clinics, recreation, commerce and waterfront development to the growing, dynamic community. This provides a desirable atmosphere for individuals employed in other industries outside of Emo, but wanting to live in a rural environment. The Township of Emo's existence is based on natural resources (agriculture and forestry). Emo, because of its geographic location, serves as the main service centre for the agricultural needs of the Rainy River District.
Emo is home for the Rainy River District Agricultural Society Fall Fair. This event held the third week in August each year offers a midway, grandstand competitions, agricultural displays and stock car races. This event well attended by area residents as it offers an opportunity to meet and converse with old friends and acquaintances from Northwestern Ontario.
Emo has in recent years started developing their waterfront. The effort is very impressive and definitely adds to the beauty of the charming village. Emo is just one stop on the "Atikokan-Minaki Waterway" which links Rainy Lake to the Lake of the Woods.
During the winter, the Emo Snowmobile Club has established a strong organization which is a part of a network of several snowmobile clubs in the district. Many miles of groomed trails are provided by volunteers to a very enthusiastic group of snowmobiles that reside in the area and others who come as tourists.
Emo is entering into an exciting era with a considerable amount of new economic development taking place in the area. Emo along with the support of its citizens and based on an already strong municipal foundation, has firm plans for their community's future in both residential and business growth.