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Newport, Minnesota is situated along the Mississippi River, less than ten miles southeast of Saint Paul, in southwestern Washington County. The city is served by Interstate Highway 494, and US Highways 10 and 61. Nearby communities include Cottage Grove, Inver Grove Heights, South St. Paul, Sunfish Lake, West St. Paul, and Woodbury. Minneapolis is about twenty miles northwest of Newport. The city began as two separate settlements: Red Rock and Newport. Red Rock was settled shortly after the land was acquired by the US government in 1837. John Holton came in the spring of 1837 with Rev. Alfred Brunson to open a Methodist mission to the Indians. After helping Brunson to establish the mission near the Indian village of Kaposia, now in South St. Paul, Holton moved his family across the river near what is now the intersection of Bailey Road and I-494. Two years later, the mission was moved across the river on part of Holton’s claim. In 1841, a trading post and home were built next to the mission. When the mission closed in 1844, the post office was moved to the trading post, and the name of the settlement was changed from Kaposia to Red Rock. Soon steamers were stopping at the Red Rock landing. In 1852, a settlement began about a mile south of Red Rock after a steam-operated sawmill was built there, known as Newport. Newport Township was organized in 1858, and Red Rock Township was renamed Woodbury. In 1861, the settlement at Red Rock was annexed to Newport Township. In 1887, Newport Township was divided into two parts, with Newport and Red Rock to the north, and Grey Cloud Island to the south. In 1889, Newport was incorporated as a village, its boundaries including the former Red Rock settlement. When the Indian trail to St. Paul became a federal highway in the 1940s, the population of Newport surged. Newport became a city in 1970. Its population increased significantly from the 1940s to the 1990s, and has has remained steady since.

 

 

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