Karlstad, Minnesota

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Karlstad is a city in Kittson County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 794 at the 2000 census.

U.S. Route 59 and Minnesota State Highway 11 are two of the main arterial routes in the city.The current mayor is Nick Amb (elected 2006). The city's slogan is "The Moose Capitol of the North".



In 1904, the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad built its track through the farm of a Swedish immigrant named Carl August Carlson and bought a town site from him. The new town was named Karlstad, honoring both Mr. Carlson and the city of Karlstad in Sweden.


Karlstad's largest employers are Wikstrom Telephone Company (Wiktel) and Mattracks. Wiktel provides internet and phone services for much of Northwestern Minnesota, including the regional telephone directory. The company has a long history in Karlstad, going back to the early 1900s. It was founded by the Wikstrom family, and many of the current employees are Wikstroms. Mattracks, however, is a newly founded company within the last 15 years, and manufactures and markets track conversion systems. Started by Glen Brazier, the rapidly growing company recently opened a new plant in China. Other than these two companies, most town businesses are locally owned and employ only a few individuals. That said, residents are lucky to have businesses that meet basic needs, including hardware, furniture, and grocery stores, a hair salon, a Scandinavian gifts shop, a few restaurants and bars, and insurance and accounting services. In addition, the local community is primarily a farming one.

From 1951 through 1995, the town had its own hospital.[3]


Karlstad has two schools: Heritage Christian School and Tri-County Public Schools. Both schools serve grades K-12. Tri-County School combines with Marshall County Central Schools of Newfolden, Minnesota, located 17 miles to the south, for all of its athletic programs. The name given for the consolidated team is the Northern Freeze. Girls and boys track are also combined with Badger School and Greenbush-Middle River School. Baseball and Softball have included Stephen-Argyle Central School in their sports coops. The Northern Freeze coop has proved to be a success for all schools involved. The Freeze, since the coop, have advanced to the State Tournament three times: Volleyball (2006, 6th place), Baseball (2009) and Girl's Basketball (2010, 4th place).


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.5 square miles (3.9 kmĀ²), all of it land.


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