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Situated in central-eastern Carver County, the city of Chaska is the seat of government for the county. When the first Europeans came to the area in the 1770s, the land then known as the Big Woods was inhabited by the Dakota. In 1776, Jonathan Carver explored the area along the Minnesota River, journaling his travels. French-Canadian fur traders were also active in the area, trading with the Dakota, and Jean-Baptiste Faribault started a trading post at the place where Chaska would be developed. In 1851, the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux opened the area to white settlement, the community was originally known as Little Rapids. Among the early settlers was Thomas Andrew Holmes, who cleared the townsite on twenty acres in 1851. David L. Fuller purchased the site from Holmes the following year, and in 1857 the town was platted by the Shaska Company. Construction of a county courthouse began that year, and Chaskak was incorporated as a village in 1871, becoming a city in 1891. The city’s first major industry was brick building, and bricks were shipped by boat to Saint Paul. When the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway was completed in 1873, its population grew rapidly, doubling by 1880. Soon, other industries came, including the processing of beet sugar, flour production, and butter making. Its population has increased every year since 1930, transitioning into a metropolitan city in the 1950s. The communities of Jonathan and Hazeltine have become neighborhoods within the city of Chaska. Nearby communities include Augusta, Carver, Chanhassen, Dahlgren, Shakopee, Shorewood, and Victoria. Minnetonka is about twenty miles northeast, and Bloomington is about the same distance east of Chaska.

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