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The city of Lake St. Croix Beach, Minnesota is in Washington County, on the western banks of Lake St. Croix, which forms the Minnesota-Wisconsin boundary. St. Mary’s Point and Afton are south of the city, while Lakeland Shores and Lakeland are to the north, along Minnesota Highway 18. Woodbury is about ten miles west of Lake St. Croix Beach, while Oakdale is about fifteen miles northwest, and Hudson, Wisconsin is nine miles northeast. Lake St. Croix Beach was one of the last communities in the county to develop, as it never attracted loggers or other commercial development like Afton and Lakeland. Rather, it was a rural farming community, and part of Afton Township. As late as 1886, the area of the townsite had only two large farms, bisected by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad and a settler’s road from Afton to Lakeland. In the early 20th century, investors began buying up land in the St. Croix Valley as residents of Minneapolis and Saint Paul were looking for recreational property and summer homes. The Saint Paul Daily News bought a large portion of the Lake St. Croix Beach area, offering inexpensive lots as a promotion for the sale of newspaper subscriptions. An elaborate summer home, known as The Anchorage, was built by George H. Atwood on a thirty-acre site fronting on the lake. This was sold to the Saint Paul Automobile Club in 1908. In 1912, the Automobile Club moved to White Bear Lake, largely due to the poor condition of the roads between Saint Paul and Lake St. Croix Beach. Later, The Anchorage was acquired by the Lake St. Croix Beach Property Owners’ Association, which used it as a clubhouse, and currently serves as an activity center for local residents. By the mid-1920s, more than a hundred blocks had been laid out and there were some modest cottages built on small lots. Over the years, some of these cabins and cottages were turned into year-round homes, and the community was incorporated as a village in 1952, becoming a city in 1974.

 

 

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