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Mendota Heights is situated along the Mississippi River, at its confluence with the Minnesota River, in Dakota County, Minnesota. Augusta Lake, Rogers Lake, and a portion of Gun Club Lake are within the city limits. Interstate Highways 35-E and 494, as well as Minnesota Highways 55 and 110 are common routes through the city, which serves as a suburb of St. Paul. Nearby communities include Inver Grove Heights, Lilydale, Mendota, Richfield, Sunfish Lake, and West St. Paul. One of the first Europeans to come through the area was Pierre Charles Le Sueur, who sailed by along the Mississippi River looking for copper. Soon, other French and English explorers and traders came, and a fur trading post was set up at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers. The land became part of the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. In 1805, Lieutenant Zebulon Pike was sent by the U.S. Army to the upper Mississippi River with orders to locate the source of the river, to purchase land from the Native Americans for future military posts, and bring some important chiefs back to St. Louis for negotiations. Pike acquired more than 155,000 acres, including more than half of what is now Mendota Heights. Fort was built across the Minnesota River from Mendota Heights. By the 1820s, the government operated a ferry across the Minnesota River, connecting the fort and the city of Mendota, a small village that had sprung up around an American Fur Company post that was along the river, now immediately adjacent to a portion of Mendota Heights on the west. Pilot Knob, south of Mendota Heights, was then the capitol of the Minnesota Territory. In 1858, the village of Mendota became part of Mendota Township until 1887, when it again became a village. In 1956, the residents of Mendota Township voted to incorporate as the Village of Mendota Heights, which is now a city. Mendota Heights surrounds Mendota on three sides.



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