Maple Lake, Minnesota

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Maple Lake is a city in Wright County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 1,633 at the 2000 census. Minnesota State Highway 55 serves as a main route in the city.



Maple Lake is situated in a part of central Minnesota once inhabited by the Ojibwe Indians. In 1855 the Government revoked the treaty with the Winnebago and opened up Wright County for non-Indian settlers. The history of the city of Maple Lake begins in the mid 1850s. Early maps of Wright County illustrate a number of villages which included a city labeled "Geneva" located on the northwest shore on Maple Lake. Early pioneers came to Maple Lake to farm but, in 1857, C. H. Hackett surveyed a 200 plat and named it "Geneva". The 1857 severe depression caused a financial panic which resulted in failure of the development of the city of "Geneva". The city of "Geneva" never materialized but the town site of Maple Lake was established in 1858 with the establishment of a mail site.

The Irish migrating from Clare County Ireland began to influx into Maple Lake in the late 1850s and early 1860s. With this early group of Irish immigrants, came Patrick O'Loughlin Sr. who would become the pioneer founder of the present day village of Maple Lake. O'Loughlin saw the establishment of the village but his son-in-law, James Madigan, platted the village of Maple Lake in 1886 and began to sell lots in 1887. The first lots were sold to John Roehrenbach who opened a dry goods and groceries store on a street known as "Main Street". Today this site is the location of the Maple Lake City Hall. Other businesses were developed in 1888. The development of the city spurred the development of farming, the expansion of the "Soo Line" railroad through the city as well as the opening of an elevator in 1889.

Rumors of the incorporation of the village of Maple Lake surfaced in 1888 but the actual incorporation was completed in 1890. Following the incorporation, Martin O'Loughlin was elected to serve as Mayor and the village began developing ordinances in January 1891. The first ordinance passed by the council was the establishment of the city seal.

Education for the children of the Maple Lake area began in 1866 with the construction on a one room log structure in then District #28. District #104 for the village of Maple Lake emerged in 1882 from District #28. In 1892, the village school was relocated to the center of the village and a new building was constructed. In 1898, the school building was doubled, in 1907, this building was abandoned, a new site was selected and a building was constructed. The former site now serves as the site of the current fire station. In 1991, the 1907 school was abandoned and demolished and a new school complex was built in northeast Maple Lake.

The 1890s brought the growth in the number of businesses, establishment of a school as well as in the number of businesses burned down by fire. In 1896, the Maple Lake Cooperative Dairy Association was formed for farmers dairy products. Early Maple Lake was established as a center for wood milling and related wood products.

The turn of the century brought the continued development of businesses and the flourishing of farming. In 1900, he business district was taking shape but changed by fire. One of the businesses that burned in 1900 was the Jude Hotel. The turn of the century also brought the development of streets, construction of sidewalks from the business district to the railroad depot and other civic improvements. The village council paid $1,000 for land to build a community park and today this site of central park.

1903 brought the construction of street lights. In 1906, Security State Bank opened. The 1910s brought the construction of a water tower, water mains and sewers; the arrival of the first car; and, the "Spanish Influenza" which caused epidemic death. The 1920s brought the opening of the Maple Lake Garage and the Maple Lake Pavilion.

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