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Eden Prairie, Minnesota is about twelve miles southwest of downtown Minneapolis. Situated along the north bank of the Minnesota River, upstream of its confluence with the Mississippi River, Eden Prairie is in southern Hennepin County. Although Eden Prairie is now the seventh largest suburb of the Twin Cities and the twelfth largest city in Minnesota, for most of its history it was a slow-growing farming village, its population growing from under seven thousand in 1970 to more than sixty thousand in 2010. The area began to be populated by white Americans after an 1851 treaty opened the land up for settlement, and some of the early farmhouses still exist within the town. Originally known simply as Eden, Eden Prairie held its first town board meeting on May 11, 1858, the day that Minnesota became a state. Eden Prairie remained a small farming town for about a century, the 1970s being the first decade of growth for the city, its population more than doubling each decade between 1970 and 1990, and continuing to rise thereafter. Nearby communities include Atwood, Barden, Bloomington, Chaska, Deephaven, Edina, Hazeltine, Hopkins, Marystown, Minnetonka, Prior Lake, Savage, Shorewood, Spring Lake, and Victoria.

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