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The city of North Oaks is an affluent suburb of Saint Paul in Ramsey County, Minnesota. The community began as a gated community situated around Pleasant Lake, a water source for the Saint Paul municipal water system, which still owns the water rights. Other lakes within the city limits include Black Lake, Charley Lake, Deep Lake, Gilfillan Lake, and Wilkinson Lake. The land was acquired by James Jerome Hill, builder of the Great Northern Railroad, in 1883, who built a 5,000-acre hobby farm there. His son, Louis Hill, inherited the farm and operated it until his death in 1950, at which time his children decided to develop it into a model residential community. The land was subdivided and sold with a deed restriction that created the North Oaks Home Owners Association in 1989, which would be responsible for roads and recreational facilities. As the property lines were extended halfway into the street, all roads were in private ownership, while the remaining land is owned by the North Oaks Company. The original farm buildings have been restored, and tours are available to the public, with its granary, dairy, and blacksmith and machine shop listed on the National Register of Historic Places. About 620 acres have been set aside as conservancy land, never to be developed, and another 220 acres is set aside as agricultural land, and another 500 acres of open space is available for use by residents. In 2008, the Home Owners Association sent a letter to Google, demanding that its Street View software be removed because they contained images that violated the city’s trespassing ordinance. North Oaks is surrounded by Shoreview, White Bear Township, and Vadnais Heights.

 

 

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