Albany, Minnesota

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Albany is a city in Stearns County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 1,796 at the 2000 census. It is part of the St. Cloud Metropolitan Statistical Area.



According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.5 square miles (3.9 km²), of which, 1.4 square miles (3.6 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (7.28%) is water.

Interstate 94 and Minnesota State Highway 238 are two of the main routes in the city.


The City of Albany was incorporated in 1890, but not without a struggle. The first petition to incorporate, signed by 33 male residents of the proposed area of incorporation, was presented to the Stearns county Board of Commissioners on November 30, 1888. The County Board issued a notice calling for an election on the issue at the District 59 schoolhouse the following January.

The Great Northern and Soo Line Railroads once bounded the city, but have since been removed and the right of way now is utilized for pedestrian (hiking/biking) travel. One of the lines running from Avon through Albany to Sauk Centre is now a paved bike, hike, and snowmobile trail called The Lake Wobegon Trail. The water plant was installed in 1902 and electricity in 1909. Beautiful Pine and Pelican Lakes are about 1½ and 4 miles northeast of Albany. People wonder why commercial development on Railroad Avenue (Mainstreet) was almost confined to one side of the street, as you can see in these photos. That was no accident. The railroad designed it that way, the objective always being to receive revenue from people who used the rails. The land within the 300 foot railroad right of way was not for sale, only for lease. Businesses allowed to lease the land from the railroad were those who shipped by rail - livestock, grain, general merchandise, farm implements, automobiles, and so on. Retail merchants and service business hesitated to build on the railroad right of way with only a 30 day lease, so they built on the north side of Mainstreet. The City celebrated its 100th year centennial in 1990![3]


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,796 people, 708 households, and 436 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,287.6 people per square mile (498.9/km²). There were 732 housing units at an average density of 524.8/sq mi (203.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.72% White, 0.22% African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.06% Asian, 0.11% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.33% of the population.

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