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Jenkins, Minnesota is in northwestern Crow Wing County. There are several lakes just east of the city, known as the Whitefish Chain of Lakes, including Rat Lake, Lower Hay Lake, Nelson Lake, Upper Hay Lake, Upper Whitefish Lake, Bertha Lake and Island Lake. The main routes through the city are Minnesota Highway 371 and County Roads 15, 16, and 145. Pequot Lakes is just south of Jenkins. Other nearby communities include Breezy Point, Chickamaw Beach, Crosslake, Fifty Lakes, Graff, Manhattan Beach, Mission, Nisswa, Poplar, and Swanburg. Brainerd is about twenty-five miles south of Jenkins. The settlement at Jenkins began as a supply depot built in 1883 for Mrs. Isabella Jenkins, who had acquired the land from the government. Teams and wagons would haul supplies to Jenkins from Brainerd, to be distributed to the various logging camps in the area. The Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railroad built its tracks to Jenkins in 1895, largely for transporting logs, but passenger trains soon followed. The depot was located on the west side of the tracks and on the north side of County Road 115, and a water tower provided water for the steam engines. The passenger trains were discontinued in 1963, and the railroad quit hauling freight along that line in the 1980s, after which the railroad right-of-way was developed into the Paul Bunyan Trail, a recreational trail. Jenkins was incorporated in 1904. A school was established there that same year, operating until the Jenkins School District consolidated with Pequot Lakes in 1964. The first church in Jenkins was built in 1908; originally named Evangelical Church, it was changed to Union Church shortly afterwards, as it was used by ministers of several denominations. Although the population of the city has been below three hundred until 2000, its population increased by nearly fifty percent in the 2000s.



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