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Maple Lake is in Wright County, Minnesota. Minnesota Highway 55 serves as the chief route through the city. A portion of the city is situated along the shore of the body of water for which the city was named. Lake Mary and Ramsey Lake are nearby. Along Highway 55, Maple Lake is southeast of Annandale and northwest of Buffalo. Other nearby localities include Albion Center, French Lake, and Silver Creek. Minneapolis is about fifty miles southeast. Early maps of the county show a number of villages, including one labeled “Geneva,” which was located on the northwestern shore of Maple Lake. Settlers came to farm but, in 1857, C.H. Hackett surveyed a plat and named it Geneva. The city never materialized however, because of the 1857 depression. Irish immigrants came to the area in the late 1850s and early 1860s, including Patrick O’Loughlin, who was credited with establishing the village, but it was his son-in-law, James Madigan, who platted Maple Lake in 1886. John Roehrenback opened a dry goods and grocery store on a street that became known as Easy Street, which is now the location of the Maple Lake city hall building. The expansion of the Soo Line Railroad through the city and the opening of a grain elevator in 1889 spurred population growth. Maple Lake was incorporated in 1890. The 1890s brought several new businesses, and the town became a center for wood products. During the 1950s and 1960s, a shift in the town’s economic base took place, as agriculture gave way to manufacturing and service employment, and the town’s population began to become migratory. The city’s population declined during the 1920s and 1930s, but increased considerably in the 1940s and has not experienced a population decline since. Maple Lake Township was organized in 1858, and continues to be a separate political entity, just outside of the city. Topics related to either the city or township are appropriate for this category.



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