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Sandstone is located along the Kettle River in Pine County, in central-eastern Minnesota.

The town was settled along a large sandstone quarry, from which it got its name, which was first worked in 1885. Extensive quarries of St. Croix sandstone was situated in the bluffs of the Kettle River. Here, quarry workers drilled deep holes into the sandstone, filled them with black powder, and blasted large chunks of sandstone from the cliff walls. Stones were cut to order using a variety of chisels and mallets. Area quarries were owned by William Henry Grant, Sr., and operated by his son, William Henry Grant, Jr., who also served as the first postmaster in 1887. Several of the remaining sandstone buildings in town was built by James J. Hill, a Canadian-American who served as the chief executive officer of the family of railroads headed by the Great Northern Railway.

A town, known as Sandstone Junction, once stood at the corner of Highway 61 and County Road 27 (Grindstone Road). Here, the 4-mile-long Kettle River Railroad branched off from the Saint Paul and Duluth Railroad to transport supplies and sandstone to and from the Sandstone quarries to the east.

An area of Sandstone that was settled earlier was the Village of Fortuna. Situated at the junction of the Point Douglas to Superior Military Road and the Kettle River, Fortuna was platted by W.A. Porter, and incorporated in 1857. Fortunata served as the county seat for Buchanan County, Minnesota before Sandstone was founded.

The Village of Sandstone was formed just north of Fortuna, platted in June of 1887 and incorporated in 1887. In 1920, Fortuna and Sandstone merged and reincorporated as the City of Sandstone.

In 1888, the Eastern Railway of Minnesota completed a line between Superior, Wisconsin, and Hinckley, Minnesota. The Eastern Railway became part of the Great Northern in 1907, which itself became part of Burlington Northern in 1970, and the BNSF Railway in 1996.

The Sandstone Rail Bridge, built by Saint Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway in 1894, is recognized as the most impressive rail bridges in northeastern Minnesota. It crosses the Kettle River in Banning State Park. The current bridge was constructed in 1894, after the old bridge was destroyed during the Hinckley Fire of 1894.

The Village of Sandstone was mostly destroyed in the Hinkley Fire, after which its original location was abandoned, and a new village was built on land donated by W.H. Grant, Sr.

Portions of Banning State Park comprise the northeastern and much of the eastern part of the city, while the largest portion of the park is just north of Sandstone.

The city operates Robinson Park, which serves as a picnic area for the Sandstone community, hosts ice climbing in the winter, and preserves the history of the Sandstone Quarry. Access to the Kettle River is also available through Robinson Park.

Held in early December, the annual Sandstone Ice Festival celebrates the beginning of winter with ice climbing, winter camping, and snowshoeing. The spring brings the Kettle River Paddle Festival, which is a race for canoeists and kayakers. Combined with a whitewater rodeo, the event attracts people from throughout the Midwest.

The Federal Correctional Institution, Sandstone (FCI Sandstone), located in the city limits, but a couple of miles from the main settlement area, is a low-security prison for male offenders.

Sandstone is reached by Interstate Highway 35 and Minnesota State Highways 18, 23, and 123.

Hinckley is just over eleven miles south-southwest of Sandstone, along I-35.

Sandstone, Minnesota is the focus of topics in this category, which includes websites representing the municipal government or any other government agencies or departments situated within the city, as well as Sandstone churches, schools, businesses, organizations, or individuals.

 

 

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