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Situated along the Middle Fork of the Crow River, the city of New London is in Kandiyohi County, Minnesota. Minnesota Highways 9 and 23 pass through the city. Cedar Island Lake, Green Lake, Long Lake, Mud Lake, and Nest Lake are within a few miles of the city, with a portion of Mud Lake extending within the city limits. Nearby communities include Hawick, Spicer, Norway Lake, and Regal, with Spicer as its nearest neighbor. Belgrade is about thirteen miles northwest, Paynesville about fourteen miles northeast, and Willmar is about sixteen miles southwest of New London. New London had its beginnings in 1850, when Louis Larson found a waterfall while on a trapping expedition. In 1861, Larson took a homestead on a large parcel of land that includes most of what is now New London. He and a man named Stoner began building a sawmill and a dam in 1862, planning to use the waterfall as a source of power. The construction crew took a break in mid-August of 1862 to return to their home places to harvest their crops. Days later, the Sioux uprising drove all of the white men from their lands between the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers, closing the area to settlement until 1864. When the wars were over, construction resumed, and a a grist mill and a sawmill were in operation by 1865. New London was named as the county seat in 1867, but in 1870 the seat was moved to Willmar. The mill was in operation for 73 years but, in 1938 the federal government acquired the mill, the dam and the water rights for a fish hatchery. The mill was removed, but the mill pond remained as a scenic center for the town. The fish hatchery is now operated by the state. Other industries in New London have included a creamery, a glove factory, a concrete company, a propane tank manufacturer, and a printing company. New London became a city in 1889.


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