River Rapids Pet Hospital + Clinic - Location History

River Rapids Pet Hospital + Clinic

1615 Coon Rapids Blvd NW
Coon Rapids, MN 55433



River Rapids Pet Building

The history of the location of River Rapids Pet Hospital + Clinic 


The location of River Rapids Pet Hospital + Clinic has been an institution in the neighborhood of SW Coon Rapids for almost 30 years.  The clinic is located in the River Rapids Overlay District. 

In 1993, a group of veterinarians bought this location and designed the building for emergency pet care.  It has an efficient layout which allows all pet patients to be heard and observed at all times. The building and veterinary practice are now locally owned by Dr. Jennifer Hale and her family, who live in the North Metro.

After many years of serving the community as an after-hours only hospital, it is now a general practice hospital and clinic. Dr. Hale can help your pet with a wide variety of needs, including preventive care, illness, injury, surgery and dentistry.

Older History:

River Rapids Pet is on a three-mile stretch of Coon Rapids Boulevard that follows the exact route of the Ox Cart Trail. The Red River Ox Cart Trail began as a foot path used by indigenous people to travel between rich hunting lands in what is now known as the Red River Valley and the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers.

Through much of its history it was known as the Red River Road, despite the fact that it followed the Mississippi. But over much of its path it was the only good road, so it was probably often just referred to as “the road.” The Red River Road extended north to what is now Winnipeg, west into the plains and 420 miles southeast of Pembina North Dakota to the busy riverboat landings in St. Paul.

Ox carts were introduced to the area in the early 1800s. By the 1840s, Red River ox carts were the principal means of shipping transportation. The ox carts could be heard five miles away when they were coming down the road due to squeaky wheels, and they would sometimes travel as many as 200 carts in a line.

Because the ox carts were made completely of wood and rawhide, repairs did not require a blacksmith. The ox carts couldn’t be oiled because trail dust and mud would adhere to the wheels.

The ox carts brought buffalo hides and other furs, pemmican, tallow, moccasins and other handmade items to St. Paul. They returned with groceries, tobacco, liquor and manufactured goods. 

 On what is now the southeast corner of Coon Rapids Boulevard and Egret (about 700 feet from River Rapids Pet) stood the “Dunn House”. The original house on this location was a halfway house, now known as a hotel, and stopover for the users of the Ox Cart Trail. A large barn and blacksmith shop were located across the road from the halfway house to accommodate the animals used for travel at that time.

By the turn of the century, the fur trade era had ended. Fur bearing animals had been hunted nearly to extinction, and settlers were moving into the region.