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This is a guide to Saint Paul Park, a city in southwestern Washington County, about five miles southeast of Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The city is situated along the east banks of the Mississippi River, across from Inver Grove Heights. Upper Grey Cloud Island, part of Grey Cloud Island Township, is south, and the Saint Paul Park abuts Newport to the north and Cottage Grove to the east.

The main routes through the city are US Highways 10 and 61, which run together through northeastern Saint Paul Park.

Prior to 1887, what is now Saint Paul Park was part of Newport Township, and consisted of pasture and farmland. Among the early settlers of the land were William and Giles Fowler, Joseph Hugunin, and R.S. Snow.

In 1887, William Fowler sold his land to the Saint Paul Park Improvement Company for a townsite. The village was platted that same year, the first sale was made, and the first home built. By 1888, the village had a population above one thousand, a post office, streets, sidewalks, a hotel, stores, churches, and schools.

The railroad bisected the village, and a cash bonus, as well as land, was promised to the employees of any manufacturing plants who would relocate to Saint Paul Park. This brought several manufacturing plants to the new village, including Black Hawk Mills, Dewey Harvester Works, Globe Engine and Boiler Works, Saint Paul Knitting Works, and a broom factory, excelsior mill, lumberyard, and mattress factory.

Soon, the village was served by two railroads. The Chicago, Milwaukee and Saint Paul were the first to come through, while the Chicago, Burlington, and Northern built a spur along the north end of the village to serve the village's factories. Both railways built depots at Broadway and Pullman Avenues, and a steamboat landing was created at the foot of Broadway Avenue.

During the 1890s, the mills employed so many people that they had to recruit from Saint Paul. In order to house them, the village had several boarding and rooming houses. An elegant hotel, the Parker House, was situated near the depot on Broadway.

A two-room schoolhouse was established in 1887, which was expanded within two years. Saint Paul Methodist College operated from 1890 to 1918, when it was closed due to reduced enrollment due to World War I.

In 1895, the ferry across the Mississippi River was replaced by the Rock Island Swing Bridge, which carried rail traffic on its upper deck and road traffic on the lower. Until 1938, the railroad operated it as a toll bridge. When the Wakota Freeway Bridge was built in the 1960s, it was closed to road traffic.

By 1900, there were three Protestant churches, and the Saint Thomas Catholic mission church began operations.

However, the turn of the century was not a good time for Saint Paul Park. The city lost many of its industries, some of its empty factories burned, the village lost much of its population.

By the 1930s, the village began to grow again. A commercial district began to develop along Broadway and Second Streets. A bakery, blacksmith shop, confectionery, a doctor's office, three grocery stores, and a livery stable were opened. A new post office and a large opera house were built.

Saint Paul Park wasn't without industries either. The Northwest Refining Company opened in 1936 and built its first refinery in 1939, which later became Marathon Ashland Petroleum Company. In addition, a sausage factory opened in one of the empty factory buildings. Today, a major industry in Saint Paul Park is the St. Paul Park Refinery, owned by Western Refinery.

The village became a city in 1974 when the Minnesota Legislature made all of the state's incorporated municipalities cities.

Except for a 122.4% growth in population between 1940 and 1950, Saint Paul Park has experienced slow but steady growth, its only decline since 1910 being the decade of 1970 to 1980. Although it began as an industrial community, today it is more of a residential community.

The focus of this category is on the city of Saint Paul Park, Minnesota. Websites representing the municipal government or any local businesses, industries, schools, churches, organizations, or individuals are appropriate for this category.

 

 

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