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Chanhassen is situated mostly in Carver County, with a portion of the city extending into Hennepin County. Although Chanhassen was one of the first settlements in Carver County, it was primarily a farming community until the 1960s. Early settlers came to the area in the 1850s to homestead farms, with Joseph Vogel making the first claim in Chanhassen Township in 1852, on land near the Shakopee Station, west of Rice Lake. Later that same year, another German, Joseph Kessler, settled four miles northwest of Vogel. In 1853, when the land was officially opened for white settlement, many others came, and the town’s name was adopted in 1858. Chanhassen was incorporated as a village in 1896, shortly after the Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad was constructed. In the 1960s, a mini-mall was constructed, housing a drug store, grocery store, hardware store, and restaurant. In 1968, Herb Bloomberg opened a lumber and hardware store, then opened a 600-seat theater, which continues today. In 1960, Chanhassen had a population of 244, and by 1970 its numbers had grown to 4,879, and has increased every decade since, numbering 22,952 at the time of the 2010 census. US Highway 212 and Minnesota Highways 5 and 41 are the chief routes to and from the city. Chanhassen is surrounded by Chaska, Excelsior, Eden Prairie, Shakopee, Shorewood, and Victoria. Minneapolis is about twenty mies northeast, and St. Paul is about thirty miles east of Chanhassen.

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