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Surrounded by Winsted Township, the city of Winsted, Minnesota is in McLeod County. This is a guide to both the city and township.

The city surrounds all but the southeast and southern portion of Winsted Lake, a 376-acre body of water. Although the lake is only about twelve feet deep, on average, it supports several species of fish, with the use of a winter aeration system. Other nearby lakes are Grass Lake, South Lake, Butler Lake, and Campbell Lake.

There are two non-contiguous sections to the city. The more populated part of the city is in the north, between Grass Lake and Winsted Lake. Another section, to the south, includes Winsted Municipal Airport and an industrial district, closer to South Lake.

The chief routes through the city are County Roads 1, 5, 6, and 9. Nearby cities include Lester Prairie (6.1 miles south), Howard Lake (7.3 miles north), and Silver Lake (11.1 miles southwest). Minneapolis is about forty-five miles to the east.

James Baird, a trapper, trader, hunter, and scout, was in the area in the mid-1840s. The area was part of what was then known as the Big Woods. Baird led a man named Eli Lewis to the region in 1853., as it had been opened for settlement. The first white settlers to come were mostly of German ancestry.

Eli Lewis acquired the land north of what is now Main Avenue from Baptiste Campbell, a half-Sioux Indian. Along with his brother, Isaac, Lewis began to develop a townsite in 1857, which he named for his hometown in Connecticut. Lewis bought and dried ginseng, which provided cash for the early settlers. Later, he built a soap and potash factory, making potash from the ashes of the timber was cleared in order to build the town.

Winsted was platted in 1867, and incorporated as a city in 1887. By the turn of the century, the city had a school, several churches, a waterworks, electric lights, a telephone line, and a town hall. Among Winsted's early businesses were the Millerbernd Store, Winsted Milling Company, and Winsted Roller Mills.

A post office operated there as Winsted from 1856 to 1861, closing during the Civil War, then reestablished as Winsted Lake in 1866, and changed back to Winsted in 1886.

In 1886, a fire destroyed a whole block of the downtown district of Winsted. In the following years, the town organized a fire department, but it wasn't until the city purchased a chain-driven Oshkosh fire truck in 1927 that weekly volunteer firefighter training began.

In 1915, the Electric Shoreline Railroad attracted new businesses to Winsted, including the Gopher State Canning Factory, Pure Milk Produce, and the Winsted Farmers Elevator. The Winsted Telephone Company was established in 1917, and Millerbernd opened a farm machinery and automobile repair shop. Quast Transfer began hauling groceries and livestock by horse and wagon, and Kubasch Excavating purchased a truck to haul milk for Pure Milk Produce.

Saint Mary's Home and Hospital was opened in 1959, and the city opened the Winsted Municipal Airport in 1962.

Today, there are two school systems in operation in Winsted. The Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School District, also known as Independent School District #2687, serves the Winsted, Waverly, and Howard Lake communities. Its high school and middle school campuses are located between Howard Lake and Winsted, while its K-4 elementary and preschool facilities are in Waverly and Winsted. The other school system is made up of the Catholic Holy Trinity High School, Holy Trinity Elementary School, and Tiny Trojans Pre-School.

The city of Winsted includes several businesses and services, residential areas, and recreational features, such as the Luce Line Trail, various ball fields, and parks. The city hosts a festival each summer and winter, as well as the Winsted Country Music Festival, which supported the Holy Trinity Catholic School system.

Topics related to the Winsted city government, local schools, churches, organizations, businesses, events, and individuals are appropriate for this guide.



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