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The city of Karlstad is in Kittson County, in northwestern Minnesota. The main routes through the city are US Route 59 and Minnesota Highway 11. Settlement of the area began with a Swedish immigrant named August Carlson, who moved into the country west of Twin Lakes around 1883, establishing a homestead. In 1904, the Son Line Railroad constructed its tracks through Carlson's farm, buying land for the townsite from him. When the village was platted, several names were suggested, but the town decided on Karlstad, for the city in Sweden. Many of the buildings from a former stagecoach town east of Karlstad, known as Pelan, were moved to the new town. Early businesses included a blacksmith shop, a couple of livery barns, a lumber mill, flour mill, grain elevator, hotel, and a general store. The first business in Karlstad was the Pearson Hotel. The city's peak population was 934 in 1980, and the city has decreased in population each census year since.



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