Cloquet ( (listen) kloh-KAY) is a city in Carlton County, Minnesota, United States, located at the junction of Interstate 35 and Minnesota State Highway 33. A portion of the city lies within the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation and serves as one of three administrative centers for the Indian Reservation. The population was 12,124 at the 2010 census.
Cloquet began as a group of small settlements around three sawmills: Shaw Town, Nelson Town, and Johnson Town. These later became known as Knife Falls after a local waterfall over sharp slate rocks, and later as Cloquet. The area was platted in 1883 and the village of Cloquet was incorporated from the three settlements in 1884. It became a city with a mayor and city council in 1904. The word "Cloquet" first appeared on a map of the area by Joseph N. Nicollet in 1843 which named the Cloquet River, a tributary of the Saint Louis River, and the Cloquet Rapids to the north. "Cloquet" is a French surname but historians researching the name of the river and city have found no definitive answer, and are reduced to speculations. One of these is that the river might have been named after 19th century French scientists, the Cloquet brothers Hippolyte and Jules, with the settlement later being named after the river.
The area was the site of the 1918 Cloquet Fire, which destroyed much of the town and killed approximately 500 people.
Cloquet is famed in American economic history because before and after World War II it was home of the strongest consumers cooperatives of the country.