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Lake City, in southeastern Minnesota, is mostly a part of Wabasha County, although a strip of the city extends into southern Goodhue County along the banks of Lake Pepin. Situated about sixty-five miles southeast of the Twin Cities, Lake City is at the intersection of US Highways 61 and 63, on the Mississippi River at Lake Pepin, and within the boundaries of Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest. Lake City is Between Frontenac to the north, andn Maple Springs to the southeast. Stockholm, Wisconsin is across the lake from Lake City. The lake was originally named Lac de Pleurs (Lake of Tears) by Father Louis Hennepin, who camped along its shores in 1680, as he observed his Sioux captors weeping over the death of a chief’s son. The first white settler on the townsite was Jacob Boody, who came in 1853, and the village was platted in 1855 as a port market for the transport of grain. Lake City was incorporated as a city in 1872. In 1890, an excursion vessel by the name of Sea Wing capsized near Lake City with two hundred people on board, ninety-eight of whom perished. Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author of the Little House on the Prairie series of books, was born in Pepin, Wisconsin, across the lake and southwest of Lake City, and lived in Lake City with her parents for a time after leaving Walnut Grove, Minnesota. Ralph Samuelson, a Lake City native, invented water skiing on Lake Pepin in 1922, just before his 19th birthday.

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