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Spicer, Minnesota is in Kandiyohi County, on the southeastern shores of Green Lake.

Several other lakes and ponds are nearby, including Nest Lake, East Woodcock Lake, Twin Lakes, and Elkhorn Lake.

Minnesota State Highway 23 is the main route through the city. New London is about five miles to the north and Kandiyohi is about seven miles south.

Aside from its long frontage on Green Lake, the city has several parks, green spaces, and recreational facilities, including the Green Lake Ball Diamonds, Kandiyohi County Park 4 (Saulsbury Beach), Westside Park, Pirrotta Park (Downtown City Park), and Beach Street Park. Glacial Lakes Trail runs through the city, providing opportunities for walking, biking, or rollerblading, including areas for horseback riding.

The Dakota people, and probably others before them, were in the area long before white people arrived, and the lake's name is derived from the name by which the Dakota knew it, Mdeto, which means "blue-green lake," and was a reference to the color of the water.

Although the Dakota visited the area often, there were no Dakota living there when the first white settlers came. E.T. Woodcock, Jesse M. Ayers, and V.L. Forsythe came to the lake after being told of it by traders who were passing through. Woodcock made a claim, built a cabin, then returned east and married, bringing his new bride, Loretta, to spend a rough winter by the lake in 1856-1857. Their daughter was born a year later, the first white child born in Kandiyohi County.

The town of Columbia was founded in August of 1856. Ayers and Forsythe gave land to Francis Arnold, who built a cabin and a store, becoming Columbia's first postmaster. Columbia was located on a one-mile stretch on the west shore of Green Lake, which is now north Spicer. A financial panic halted immigration to the area, and Columbia's role as a town was short-lived.

The area was abandoned during the Dakota Uprising of 1862, and F.B. Woodock, Burdick, and Adams families, as well as Jonas Hart and Thomas Darling, were the only ones to return.

In 1886, Spicer was platted on the historic townsite of Columbia. As John M. Spicer was then the owner of the site, the village was named for him. The Saint Cloud and Sioux Falls Railroad came through that same year. Changing names and ownership a few times, the railroad served the community for sixty-four years, closing in 1950. Today, its tracks have been developed into a recreation trail.

William Olson's family had settled near Green Lake before the Sioux Uprising and were driven from the area. William, who was in real estate in Minneapolis, returned to Spicer to offer boat excursions on the lake. He later opened a lumberyard and a general store, becoming Spicer's first postmaster.

Other early businesses include an elevator, blacksmith shop, restaurant, feed mill, hotel, and s saloon, operated by men named Burgess, Nelson, Hendrickson, Nordgren, Samuelson, and Sorenson, respectively. The business district was all along Second Avenue. Nothing was west of there until 1910.

Embertson opened a creamery at the south end of Second Avenue, and before long there were three elevators and other merchandise stores. Martin Olson was a shoemaker, and he had competition from a man named Benjaminson.

Spicer was incorporated as a village in 1904. At that time, there were three general merchandise stores, a hardware store, drugstore, lumber yard, livery barn, meat market, bargain store, jeweler, and a newspaper office, as well as a bank, a fuel dealer, two restaurants, two hotels, a soft drink parlor, a temperance saloon, a barber, two shoemakers, and a dressmaker. The village also had a stone mason, two wheat buyers, a doctor, a malt and confectionery parlor, a boat shop, well drillers, and a Presbyterian Church.

By 1910, several Spicer businesses were moving to the east side of the tracks, and houses were built on Third Avenue. A fire department was organized. A cemetery was located west of Fourth Avenue, and a school was built on a street behind the cemetery.

On the east side of the tracks, a garage, a restaurant, general store, fire station, community club, and a town hall were built.

After 1920, several homes were built on the west side of the tracks.

Although the population of Spicer has been growing steadily, except for two slight decreases in 1930 and 1970, its population is just over a thousand people.

The focus of this category is on the small city of Spicer, Minnesota. Websites representing the municipal government or any of its programs or facilities are appropriate for this category, as well as those of local schools, churches, organizations, businesses, or individuals.

 

 

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