Canosia Township received its name from the local Ojibwa peoples. The word "Kanoje" or "Canosia" means "pike" its translation into English can be seen in the name of Pike Lake. Settlement in Canosia Township began soon after the first government surveys in 1856. The first platted towns in Canosia Township were called Valley Field and Canosia. These towns soon died out due to the financial panic of 1857. Settlement began again in earnest in 1862 with the Homestead Act. During the next two decades Canosia was settled by railroad workers and lumbermen.
In 1870, the Township of Rice Lake was formed and included within its boundaries were the present day townships of Canosia, Fredenberg and Grand Lake. In 1887 Canosia Township splintered off from Rice Lake Township and became an independent township. During this time land speculators attracted many new residents by promoting its free land, bountiful supply of lumber and sawmill. Road improvements to roads such as Swan Lake Road also helped to bring more people into the area. The majority of Canosias early settlers were ethnic Germans or Scandinavians. There was also a smaller number of ethnic Poles, Irish, English and Scots.
Logging and farming were the two main industries in Canosia in its early years as these industries grew so did the population of Canosia. However, in 1918 Canosia was struck by a great forest fire which stretched from Moose Lake to the Duluth area townships. The fire claimed a number of settlers lives and drove many more settlers from their homes.
In 1907 a hydroelectric dam was built on the north side of Wild Rice Lake doubling its size. The 1950's saw a large degree of growth in the population of Canosia Township. Greater mobility created by the automobile brought young families into Canosia. They came seeking the benefits of living in a rural community. The population remained fairly stable during the 1960's. The Township has experienced fairly rapid growth during the 1970s through the 1990s in population, housing and commercial enterprises. Today, Canosia Township has become part of the Duluth-Superior Metropolitan area, but has still maintained much of its rural/suburban atmosphere.
The following dates reflect events and milestones which shaped Canosia Township and the Pike Lake area top of page