This Date In Central Minnesota History – March 11th, 1858
SAUK RAPIDS — Sauk Rapids was incorporated on this date in 1858.
Sauk Rapids was incorporated by the Minnesota Territorial Legislature on March 11th, 1858. At the time, the town was just a budding pioneer village, but it was growing quickly. The first home built here was a mansion named Lynden Terrace built in 1851.
The city is located along the Mississippi River, and named for the rapids just below where the mouth of the Sauk River flows into the Mississippi. The “Sauk Rapids Frontiersman” newspaper, which began in 1854, was the first newspaper to be published outside of St. Paul.
Sauk Rapids was one of the most important cities in Minnesota when it was struck with a devastating tornado on April 14, 1884. The tornado ripped through the downtown heart of the city, wiping out all stores, killing 44 people, and wounding several hundred (more details about this tornado to come on the April 14th segment of This Date in Central Minnesota History). The town has since recouped, and is now a beautiful bustling city.
The population currently exceeds 13,000, and Sauk Rapids has all the conveniences of a large city, while still retaining a small town feel.
Thanks to Sarah Warmka and the Stearns History Museum for their help with our series, “This Date In Central Minnesota History”.