Aviva Directory » Local & Global » North America » United States » States » Minnesota » Cities & Towns » Burnsville

Burnsville is situated on the southern banks of the Minnesota River, upstream from its confluence with the Mississippi River, south of downtown Minneapolis in Dakota County, Minnesota. When European-Americans first came to the area, a permanent Dakota village was located near the current site of the Black Dog Power Plant. Three large burial mounds were also discovered after its settlement by Europeans. The Dakotas were encouraged to cede their land in 1851, opening it to settlement by Europeans, largely Scottish and Norwegian farmers who came from Saint Paul. Among them was William Byrne, who settled at the current junction of County Road 34 and Judicial Road, near the Scott County line, later contributing land for a church, school and cemetery. In 1858, Byrnesville Township was organized, and it is believed that the city was named for him, using an alternate spelling, because the town was alternately referred to as Byrnesville or Burnsville. By the time that it was incorporated as a city in the 1960s, the Burnsville spelling prevailed. Its territory originally included downtown Savage, then known as Hamilton, which was later split off to form an independent municipality. Burnsville was largely rural and agricultural until the population boom following World War II, and Burnsville was incorporated in order to avoid annexation by Bloomington. Other nearby communities include Apple Valley, Deer Park, Nicols, and Savage. Minneapolis is seventeen miles north, and Saint Paul is twenty miles northeast of Burnsville.

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