Post by ● Aug 8, 2016

City of Lakeland: A Brief History

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The earliest settlers in the area that is now Lakeland where French Canadians, who arrived as early as 1840. By 1849 the settlers left the area because they had not yet constructed any buildings. In 1842 Henry W. Crosby purchased land that included the present site of Lakeland and built a farm there because it was well situated for fur trading with Hudson Wisconsin across the river. In 1848, Moses Perin established a ferry service, which was run by former British Naval Officer and Boston harbor pilot John Oliver. In 1849, Moses Perin purchased land near the ferry crossing and platted the town of Lakeland. The town featured 47 blocks, a public square along main street, and a wide avenue along the river.

In 1850 development entered the city and by 1858 there were 14 stores, hotels, shops, houses, and a school house. In 1852, Moses Perin established the Shanghai Sawmill which helped bring much-needed growth to the town. By 1857 several other sawmills were formed but many feel on hard times and were unsuccessful. Although several were unsuccessful, there were several mills that thrived. One Saw Mill that thrived was C.N. Nelson Lumber Company and at it’s peak employed around 75 men.

Today the city of Lakeland continues to grow and control the development in the area to maintain the small town ambiance. The population has grown from 500 in 1950 to over 1,800 today. The city is home to over 680 households and 520 families. There is little industry in the city of Lakeland but there are several businesses in a commercial strip in Lakeland shopping center.

If you have any questions regarding the city of Lakeland, Minnesota, or if you would like to sell or buy a house in the area, please feel free to visit or call 1-800-909-1953.