Stearns County has many settlements that would be considered towns, some cities and some villages.  Not all the town names that we know today were the town names that existed years ago.  Settlers began occupying territories in Central Minnesota starting in the 1850s and 1860s.  John Decker from the Stearns History Museum has chronicled these changes.  In part I we looked at St. Joseph, St. Wendel, Albany, Holdingford and St. Wendel.

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photo courtesy of Eleanore Feldhege
photo courtesy of Eleanore Feldhege

For this edition we move further south.  Luxemburg was settled by Luxembourgers in 1861 but the area was also known as West St. Augusta from 1863-1865.  Rockville was settled in 1856 and remains today but just to the south of Rockville is Grand Lake.  The lake area that was settled was once known as Grand Lake Park from 1906-1925.

St. Nicholas was once located a few miles north of where we now identify with St. Nicholas.  The old St. Nicholas settlement existed from 1866-1891.  The current St. Nicholas location has been there since 1891.

Cold Spring was settled in 1856 and hasn't changed its settlement but just north of Cold Spring is Jacobs Prairie.  It has been there since 1856 and once had a Post Office from 1866-1867.  John Decker has also indicated a Bavarian settlement existed just west of Jacobs Prairie since 1859.

To the west of Cold Spring is Richmond.  It was settled in 1856 and was once called Torah from 1856-1909 when a post office with that name was located there.

More interesting Stearns County name changes to come in edition III.


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