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Situated 15 miles west of downtown Minneapolis, Plymouth is the 7th largest city in Minnesota. The chief routes through the city are Interstate Highway 494, US Highway 169, and Minnesota Highway 55. Nearby and surrounding communities include Corcoran, Crystal, Golden Valley, Hamel, Maple Grove, Medina, Minnetonka, New Hope, Orono, and St. Louis Park. There are several lakes and smaller bodies of water within the city limits, including Bass Lake, Lake Camelot, Cavanaugh Lake, Hadley Lake, Hidden Lake, Kraetz Lake, Lost Lake, Medicine Lake, Parkers Lake, Pomerleau Lake, Schmidt Lake, Snyder Lake, and a portion of Eagle Lake and Gleason Lake, while Mooney Lake is immediately adjacent to the city. Prior to white settlers coming to the area, it was inhabited by the Dakota, who camped at the north end of Medicine Lake. Antoine LeCounte, who came to the area in 1848 and settled in 1852, is thought to have been the first white settler in the area. Plymouth began as a town in 1855, centered along what is now known as Parkers Lake, where a gristmill and other structures were built. In 1858, the Hennepin County commissioners named the new settlement Plymouth. Although the townspeople voted to change it to Medicine Lake a few weeks later, that name was only used once, for reasons unknown. During the Dakota Wars of 1862, Plymouth formed a militia. During the Civil War, the town paid its volunteers $25 to enlist. In the early 1860s, schools, churches, a post office, and hotels were built in Plymouth. Plymouth incorporated as a village in 1855 and a city in 1974. Since its first recorded census in 1890, the city’s population has increased each census year, and by large amounts since 1930. Five school districts serve Plymouth: Wayzata Public Schools, Robbinsdale Area Schools, Osseo School District, West Metro Education Project District, and Hopkins School District, but primarily by Wayzata Public Schools, and Wayzata High School is located in Plymouth.

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