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The city of Barnesville is in on the southeastern edge of the Red River Valley in southern Clay County, in western Minnesota. The community was founded as a railroad town by George S. Barnes in 1874, after he moved his store, originally a boxcar near Downer, to a site just north of the current city limits. When another rail line reached Barnesville, he moved his store to the current town center. A post office was established there in 1877, and it was incorporated as a city in 1889. In 1907, the railroad shops were moved to Devil’s Lake, North Dakota, and the Golden Era of the railroad in Barnesville came to an end. The town continued to prosper, however. Known for its wheat production originally, and then its potato production, the city hosts the Barnesville Potato Days near the end of August each year. The Clay County Fair has also been held in Barnesville since 1914. Interstate Highway 94 runs just east of the city limits, while Minnesota Routes 9 and 34 pass through the city. Nearby communities include Baker, Comstock, Downer, Norwegian Grove, Rollag, Rustad, Sabin, Tansem, and Wolverton. Fargo, North Dakota is about twenty-five miles northwest of Barnesville.

 

 

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