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Mountain Lake, Minnesota is in Cottonwood County. Minnesota Highway 60 is the main route through the city, running east to west, while County Road 1 runs north and south. Nearby communities include Bingham Lake, Butterfield, Delft, Darfur, and Windom, Mankato is about fifty miles east of Mountain Lake. The area’s first white settler was William Mason, who found a shallow lake with three islands there. The larger island looked to Mason like a mountain rising from the lake, so he named the lake Mountain Lake and the island Mountain Island. In 1871, the St. Paul & Sioux City Railway was going to name the village Midway, as it was midway between Saint Paul, Minnesota and Sioux City, Iowa, but Mason insisted that the village be platted as Mountain Lake. The area southeast of town became Mountain Lake Township. A large portion of the village’s early settlers were Mennonites who had emigrated from southern Russia. There were three hundred people there when Mountain Lake was incorporated in 1886. The Mennonite congregation that is now known as the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren was founded in Mountain Lake, and headquartered there until 1956. In 1937, a dam, bridge and outlet were built on the north end of town, which also has an island, and the original island became a hill in a cornfield, now a county park that has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.



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