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Orono

City of Orono

Orono is a rural city in Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States west of Minneapolis. Located on the north shore of Lake Minnetonka, Orono is known for its rural character and abundant wildlife.

The population was 7,437 at the 2010 census. Orono is in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area.

Orono is named after Orono, Maine, the hometown of early resident George A. Brackett.

Orono History
Early History
Orono’s corporate history dates to 1858 when Minnesota became a state, and western Hennepin County was surveyed and divided into townships. All of Orono south of Watertown Road was located in Excelsior Township, with the area north of Watertown Road being located in Medina Township.

But the citizens of Orono, few as they were, found the going difficult in having to negotiate the lake in order to transact business in far away Excelsior. So, in 1868, the townships were realigned with everything north of the Narrows becoming part of Medina.

Creation of the Township of Orono
The separate Township of Orono was created out of the southern half of Medina on April 9, 1889. The name Orono was brought to the area by Major George Brackett, a native of Orono, Maine, who first used it to designate the area now known as Brackett’s Point.

Creation of Neighboring Cities
Orono Township once included areas now part of neighboring cities. Minnetonka Beach was incorporated out of Medina Township in 1884. Long Lake was incorporated from Orono Township in 1906. Long Lake expanded, Wayzata grew westward, and then Spring Park was incorporated in 1952.

Incorporation of Orono
Finally, effective January 1, 1955, Orono Village was incorporated encompassing all the remaining parts of the township including the settlements of Navarre, Crystal Bay, Orono and Bederwood (Stubbs Bay).

Boundary Changes
A number of minor boundary changes have occurred since then, including detachment of the tip of Three Points Peninsula to Mound in 1963; annexation of a small strip from Minnetrista in 1980 for McCulley Road; detachment of the Fleming Trail Addition to Long Lake in 1993; and annexation of property along North Ferndale and West Ferndale Roads from Wayzata in 1994 in exchange for detachment of a property along Highway 12 to accommodate Wayzata’s public works facilities.

Geography
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 25.15 square miles (65.14 km2), of which 15.98 square miles (41.39 km2) is land and 9.17 square miles (23.75 km2) is water. U.S. Highway 12 serves as a main route.

Notable people

  • George A. Brackett – Early Minnesota businessman and politician
  • Kevin Garnett – National Basketball Association player
  • Bruce Dayton – Retail executive and philanthropist, former chairman and CEO of the Dayton Hudson Corporation (now the Target Corporation), founder of B. Dalton bookstores
  • Irwin L. Jacobs – Corporate raider and entrepreneur
  • Whitney MacMillan – Billionaire and former Chairman of the Board and CEO of Cargill
  • William W. McGuire – Former Chairman and CEO of UnitedHealth Group and current owner of the Minnesota United FC soccer team
  • Gregg Steinhafel – The former President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of Target Corporation
  • James J. Hill – The Empire Builder who had a farm on Crystal Bay to supply his Hotel Lafayette. Gave Hill School to the community.
  • George S. Pillsbury – was an American businessman and politician.
  • William Hood Dunwoody – Had a summer home on Brackett’s Point.
  • Mark Dayton – Former Senator, Governor, and former resident. Married Aida Rockefeller (1978-1986).
  • Greg LeMond – Racing Cyclist and former resident.
  • Charles Pillsbury – Former resident and namesake for the “Doonesbury” character.
  • Robert L. Searles – businessman, Minnesota state representative, and mayor of Orono.

References:

“Orono, Minnesota” │ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orono,_Minnesota

“Orono History” │ https://www.ci.orono.mn.us/293/Orono-History

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