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Situated in Stearns County, Minnesota, the city of Cold Spring is within Wakefield Township, but is a separate political entity. Minnesota Highway 23 is the chief route to and from the city. Cold Spring is east-northeast of Richmond, Roscoe and Paynesville, and west-southwest of Rockville, Pleasant Lake and Waite Park. Other nearby communities include Eden Valley, Farming, Kimball, Luxemburg, Marty, St. Augusta, St. Joseph, St. Martin and St. Nichols and Watkins. Collegeville is about eight miles north, and St. Cloud is about twenty miles northeast of Cold Spring. The route now followed by Highway 23 was in use by the Indians at the time of the earliest explorations of the area, at least as far back as the mid-19th century. When bridges were built, it became the stagecoach mail route until the railroad was constructed in 1886. A secondary travel route was known as the Manannah Trail. Cold Spring was founded in 1856, the same year as nearby Richmond and Rockville. The town site was chosen because there was water power available to power grist mills and saw mills. The first European-American settlers were Protestants who came from the East, setting up stores, opening blacksmith shops, and establishing a post office. Soon, German Catholic immigrants came, largely establishing farms, although breweries were also founded there.


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