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The county seat of Dakota County, a portion of the city of Hastings, Minnesota extends into Washington County. The city if situated near the confluence of the Mississippi River, the Vermillion River, and the St. Croix River. The main routes through the city include US Highway 61 and Minnesota Highways 55 and 316. Prescott, Wisconsin is located across the river and to the east of Hastings, while Nininger is northwest, along the Mississippi River. Other nearby communities include Coates, Cottage Grove, Empire, Hampton, Pine Bend, Rich Valley, Smith Landing, and Vermillion. St. Paul is about twenty miles northwest of Hastings. The area around Hastings was first settled by a military detachment sent from Fort Snelling in 1820. A trading post was developed there in 1833, and the region was opened for white settlement with the Treaty of Mendota in 1851. The area was initially known as Oliver’s Grove, but its name was changed to Hastings when the settlement was incorporated as a city in 1857. The community developed largely because of its water resources, which provided water power for mills, while the rivers provided a deep water harbor for steamboats. Early on, several bridges were built over the rivers, and the surrounding farm land brought immigrants to the area. As the county seat, Hastings soon offered opera houses, a library system, health care facilities, a park system, churches, and schools. The modern highway system has made Hastings an outer suburb of the Twin Cities. Hasting’s population has increased every year since 1890.


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