Archive for the ‘County Profiles’ category

August 16, 1914

August 16, 2008

Grant and Stevens Counties are devastated after 1.5 mile wide tornado passes through.

Thanks to Duluth Public Schools for the research on September’s Day in History.

Thanks also to Minnesota’s Learn and Serve America Service Learning Program for their help.

County of the Week – Goodhue

January 4, 2008

Goodhue County, Minnesota

Founded: Goodhue County was established on the 5th of March 1853.


  • Goodhue County was named after James Madison Goodhue who was the first newspaper editor(Minnesota Pioneer) in Minnesota.
  • The Goodhue County seat is Red Wing.
  • Lake City is the “Birthplace of Water Skiing”, for it is here Ralph Samuelson invented the sport.
  • Lac de Pleurs (Lake of Tears) was the name Father Louis Hennepin gave Lake Pepin after witnessing his Sioux captors mourning near the lake over the death of the chief’s son.
  • In 1864 State Legislature allowed Lake City to create a port market for grain, thus allowing the city’s economy to improve greatly bringing in a little over 1.5 million dollars in 1866.    

Places to be:

  • Water Ski Days in Lake City is held on June 22nd to 24th of every year and offers a wide variety of activities.
  • Celebrate Lake City’s local apple economy during Jonny Appleseed days held October 6th the 7th.
  • Spend a summer day on Lake Pepin, for it’s often referred to as one of the best sailing lakes in the nation. 
  • Enjoy taking part in a wide variety of activities on July 1st when Red Wing celebrates the Sesquicentennial.
  • Red Wing Hosts River City Days at Bay Point Park and Levee Park on August 2nd to the 5th offers everything from Sylvander’s Tennis Tourney to free live music.

Sites to see:

  • Located in the county, Lake Pepin is 21-miles long and is the widest spot on the Mississippi River.
  • Near the Mississippi River at Red Wing stands Barn Bluff a lone, high, and level-crested bluff that can be seen for miles up and down the river.
  • Walk through the largest small-craft municipal harbor on the Mississippi in Lake City. 
  • Explore the 13 mile long Douglas Trail, for it offers outstanding rural scenery.
  • Stop in Zumbrota to see Minnesota’s only remaining original covered bridge.
  • Red Wing’s historic train depot in Levee Park is a very attractive site which doubles as the cities visitor center.  

Population: As of the 2000 censes, the population of Goodhue County is 44,127.  


* largest city

Area: 764 square miles


County of the Week – Freeborn

December 28, 2007

Freeborn County, Minnesota

Founded: Freeborn County was established on the 20th of February, 1855.


  • The county seat is located in Albert Lea.
  • Freeborn County is often referred to as the “Southern Gateway of Minnesota.”
  • Agriculture is the main staple in the counties economy and is considered to be a highly productive center for trade.
  • Named after William Freeborn a territorial settler.

Places to be:

  • Every summer the Freeborn County Fair hosts “The Best Six Days of Summer.”
  • Helmer Myre State Park offers many outdoor recreational activities, such as, hiking, biking, camping, wildlife watching, snow shoeing, cross country skiing, and canoeing.
  • When the snow falls one can cruise the 250 miles of groomed snowmobile trails in the county.
  • Spend a summer day in any of Freeborn County’s 38 city parks.
  • If your looking for a enjoyable day out on the water, you wont be disappointed with Geneva Lake, Albert Lea Lake, Fountain Lake, Freeborn Lake, Bear Lake or Twin Lakes.

Sites to see:

  • Take in part in a public tour of 20 historical buildings at Pioneer Village.
  • Gain knowledge of the county by visiting the Freeborn County Museum.
  • Albert Lea offers many sites to see for all ages, including the Aquatic Center, Audubon Science Center, Greibrok’s Toy Tractor Farm, and the Storylady Doll and Toy Museum.

Population: Beautiful lakes and rich soil are just a couple of reasons why 33,000 people call Freeborn County their home.


* largest city

Area: 720 square miles

County of the Week – Fillmore

October 31, 2007

Fillmore County, Minnesota

Founded: Fillmore County was established March 5th, 1853.


Fillmore County was named after President Millard Fillmore who served his presidency from 1850 to 1853.

The county seat is located in Preston, the shire town of Fillmore County.

The city of Chatfield is split between Fillmore and Olmsted County.

This part of the state lies in the driftless area, for it was ice free during the last ice age.

Many farms call Fillmore County home including Good Earth Village and Dream Acres.

At the time of statehood, Fillmore County had the highest population.

Laura and Almanzo Ingalls Wilder attended the Methodist Church in Spring Valley in 1890 and 1891.

Harmony is home to the largest Amish community in Minnesota.

Places to be:

· Each August Dream Acres holds a summer camp for kids.

· Self-guided tours around historic downtown areas.

· The city of Preston hosts the Fillmore County Fair every July.

· Rushford Days in the city of Rushford, July 16th – 22nd.

· Stop in Harmony and discover the Niagara Cave, for it was voted one of the top ten caves in the country.

Sites to see:

· Deer Creek Speedway

· Forestville State Park

· Good Earth Village

· Historic Bluff Country

· Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum

· Mystery Cave State Park

· Washburn-Zittleman House Museum

· Root River State Trail

· Niagara Cave

Population: As of the 2000 census, there were 21,122 people calling Fillmore County home.


· Canton

· Chatfield

· Fountain

· Harmony

· Lanesboro

· Mabel

· Ostrander

· Peterson

· Preston

· Rushford Village

· Rushford

· Spring Valley*

· Whalan

· Wykoff

* largest city

Area: 865 sq. miles (553,082 acres)


Information gathered by Andrew Ferguson

County of the week-Douglas County

September 12, 2007


Douglas County, Minnesota: 

Founded: It was founded it the year 1858-The first year Minnesota became a state
• Named for Senator Stephen A. Douglas, who aided in the county’s establishment
• Alexandria and Osakis Township were established at the very first meeting
• All the county’s land was claimed by 1869, mainly by European immigrants
• The County is well known for the Kensington Runestone, man believe that it’s a record of Viking explorer visits in the 14th century
• The Runestone if on display at the Runestone museum in Alexandria

Population: There are about 35,500 people who call Douglas County their home

• Alexandria
• Brandon
• Carlos
• Evansville
• Forada
• Garfield
• Kensington
• Millerville
• Milton
• Nelson
• Osakis

Area: 720 sq. miles

Thank to for providing the information

Information gathered by Laura Baratto, Sesquicentennial Fellow

County of the Week – Dakota

September 6, 2007

Dakota County

Founded: It was founded it the year 1849
• Prior to the European settlement, Dakota county was a part of an expansive territory of the Dakota tribe
• Lands west of the Mississippi river became annexed from France to the Unite States in 1805 because of the Louisiana Purchase
• Dakota county became one of the nine original counties created by the Minnesota territory legislature in 1849
• Dakota county holds3 of the 4 major rivers draining from the State of Minnesota
• The development of the county has had tremendous influence from the proximity to the rivers

Population: There are approximately 400,000 people residing in Dakota county. It grew by about 30% between the year 1990 and 2000

Apple Valley
Inver Grove Heights
Mendota Heights
South St. Paul
Sunfish Lake
West St. Paul

Area: 593 sq. miles

Recreational opportunities:

County Fair
 Lebanon Hills regional park
 Spring Lake Park
 Big Rivers Regional Trail
Dakota woods dog park
 Crystal Lake beach

Thank to for providing the information

Information gathered by Laura Baratto, Sesquicentennial Fellow

County of the week

August 14, 2007


• It became the 83rd county in Minnesota on December 20, 1902
• The name “Clearwater” comes from the Ojibwe word “gawakomitgweia”
• The county is the home to the Mississippi river, which lies inside of Itasca state park

• about 8,500 people reside in Clearwater county

• Bagley
• Clearbrook
• Clearwater
• Elbow Lake
• Gonvick
• Leonard
• Shevlin
• Portions of the Red Lake and White Earth Indian reservations

Events and things to do:
• Clearwater Historical society October 3, 2007
• Key Ingredients: America by food in Shevlin MN
• Visit the Clearwater RV park

Information gathered by: Laura Baratto

Thanks to for providing the information

Chisago County

August 13, 2007


Chisago County is another beautiful place in Minnesota to visit!

• First organized on September 1, 1851
• The name comes from the Chippewa Indian word “Ki-Chi-Saga”, which means “Fair and Lovely Lakes”
• First county election was October 14, 1851
• Taylors Falls was chosen as the county seat

• About 49,000 people

• Center City
• Chisago City
• Harris
• Lindstrom
• North Branch
• Rush City
• Shafer
• Stacy
• Taylors Falls
• Wyoming

• Karl Oskar Days is held there every year in Lindstrom
• Rush City Music Festival August 18-19
• Ki Chi Saga Days August 24-26
• Classic Car show September 22
• Fall Harvest Festival Art Craft Fair September 22-23

Information gathered by: Laura Baratto

Thanks to for providing the information!

Cass County

August 7, 2007



• First created in 1851
• Named after Lewis Cass of Michigan he was the territorial governor, a U.S. Senator, Secretary of war as well as Secretary of state
• Backus
• Boy River
• Cass Lake
• Cyphers
• Hackensack
• Longville
• Pillager
• Pine River
• Pontoria
• Remer
• Wabedo
• Walker

• Around 29,000 people

Upcoming Events:
• Lakes Bluegrass festival August 23-26
• Moondance Jam July 9-12 2008 (tickets on sale in August)

Recreation Sites:
• Cass Lake
• Leech Lake
• Hackensack
• Cass county museum

Carlton County

August 7, 2007

Another fun county worth visiting is Carlton county!



• Carlton County was established in 1857
• The county was named after Rueben B. Carlton, one of the earliest settlers in the are
• Well known for the tragic fire of 1918

• Over 30,00 residents, including over 3,200 people of the Fond du Lac Reservation

Major Towns:
• Largest is Cloquet
• Moose Lake
• Barnum
• Cromwell
• Kettle River
• Scanlon
• Thomson
• Wrenshall
• Wright

Upcoming Events:
• Labor day Celebration & Parade in Cloquet, Sept. 3, 2007
• Relay for life in Moose Lake, Sept. 7-8, 2007

• Black Bear Casino
• Southgate Bowl
• Premiere theatres
• Black Bear gold course
• Pine Hill golf course
• Pine Valley Snow tubing hill
• Sandstone Area Country Club
• Superior Whitewater rafting

Information gathered by: Laura Baratto

Thanks to for providing the information