Scott County, Minnesota

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Scott County is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. It was organized in 1853 and named in honor of General Winfield Scott. As of 2000, the population was 89,498; In 2009 the U.S. Census Bureau estimated its population to be 131,939 [3] Its county seat is Shakopee[4]. The Shakopee-Mdewakanton Indian Reservation is located entirely within the county and within the cities of Prior Lake and Shakopee.

Scott County is a member of the Metropolitan Council, and shares many of the council's concerns about responsible growth management, advocating for progressive development concepts such as clustering, open-space design, and the preservation of open space and rural/agricultural land.

Scott County is a mixed rural/suburban county in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The county consists of the cities of Belle Plaine, Jordan, Elko New Market, New Prague, Prior Lake, Savage and Shakopee and Belle Plaine, Blakeley, Cedar Lake, Credit River, Helena, Jackson, Louisville, New Market, St. Lawrence, Sand Creek, and Spring Lake townships. Scott County is one of the fastest growing counties in the state of Minnesota, having increased 55% since 1990. Scott County is 365 square miles (950 km2) and is bounded on the west and north by the Minnesota River. The Minnesota River had supported the county's fur trading, lumbering, and farming industries in the 19th century. Today Scott County enjoys a growing mix of commercial, industrial, and housing development, but is still primarily rural. Scott County is the home to several historical, scenic, and entertainment destinations including Canterbury Park, Murphy's Landing, Elko Speedway, Mystic Lake Casino, the Renaissance Festival, and Valleyfair Amusement Park.



Scott County was first inhabited by two bands of the Santee Sioux (Dakota) Indians, the Mdewakanton and Wahpeton. They lived a semi-nomadic life that followed a seasonal cycle. They gathered food, hunted, fished, and planted corn. In the summer the Dakota villages were occupied but in the winter the groups separated for hunting. They had many permanent villages along the Minnesota River. They had many trails leading to these settlements and to the Red River Valley in the North, and the Prairie du Chien to the Southeast. These trails were later used by the fur traders and settlers, and were known as the "ox cart trails." The area of Scott County, as well as much of southern Minnesota, was opened for settlement by two treaties signed at Mendota and Traverse des Sioux, in 1851 and 1853. These treaties removed the Dakota Indians to reservations in upper Minnesota.

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