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Situated along the Rum River, the city of Milaca, Minnesota is the county seat of Mille Lacs County. US Highway 169 and Minnesota Highway 23 are the chief routes through the city. Along Highway 23, Milaca is northeast of Foreston and Oak Park, and southwest of Bock and Ogilvie. Pease is south of Milaca along Highway 169. St. Cloud is about thirty miles southwest. When the area was opened up for settlement by whites in the mid-1800s, the main attraction was its forests, and the railroads came in to transport the logs to market. Mille Lacs County was carved out of Benton County in 1857. Due to the depressions of 1857 and 1873, the railroads were experiencing financial troubles. One railroad man, James J. Hill, knew the railroads would bring settlers and farm equipment to the upper Midwest, and that they would also be used to transport farm products to market, especially wheat. Seeking the shortest route between the wheat fields of the Red River and the area served by his St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railway, he laid a track through what was to become Milaca. In 1885, the settlement began to grow at the area where the railroad first crossed the Rum River. Originally named Oak City, the townsite was surveyed on behalf of the Mille Lacs Lumber Company in December of 1885. Soon afterwards, its name was changed to Milaca, derived from the name of the county. The city was incorporated in 1897. Today, Milaca is primarily a residential community. Centrally located, it offers easy access to the Twin Cities and Saint Cloud without sacrificing its small town atmosphere. The city has a mountain bike trail system that cuts through a park reserve along the river, as well as maintaining four municipal parks, two baseball fields and an outdoor skating rink.


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