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City of Princeton

Princeton is a city in Mille Lacs and Sherburne counties in the U.S. state of Minnesota, at the junction of the Rum River and its West branch. It is 50 miles north of Minneapolis and 30 miles east of St. Cloud, at the intersection of Highways 169 and 95. The population was 4,698 at the 2010 census. A majority of its residents live in Mille Lacs County.

In the winter of 1855 Samuel Ross, Jame W. Gillian, Dorilus Morrison, John S. Prince and Richard Chute platted the town of Princeton. The plat was officially recorded on April 19, 1856.

Princeton’s location near the junction of the Rum River and its West branch was critical to the town’s development. In 1847, Daniel Stanchfield led an expedition to explore the Rum River. The group discovered vast white pine forests upstream from Princeton’s future site along the Rum River, the West Branch Rum River, and their tributaries. Three sawmills were built in Princeton between 1856 and 1867. Lumbermen floated logs down the Rum River to the Princeton mills, though most of the logs passed through Princeton to mills in Minneapolis.

Brick-making was another important industry in the Princeton area. The industry developed about two miles northeast of Princeton near beds of clay. A community known as Brickton formed in the location. From 1889 through the late 1920s several brickyards operated in Brickton, collectively producing as many as 20 million bricks per year. When the brick industry declined, Brickton ceased to exist. “Years after the last brick had been shipped from Brickton, specifications in contracts for construction of public buildings often stated that it should be of Princeton brick or of equally good quality.”

Other important industries in Princeton’s early years included: wheat farming (before potatoes became primary), potato farming, starch production, dairy, and distilled spirits production, in which the town’s distillery continues to play a key role.

The Princeton Farmers Market has been a seasonal mainstay since 1988.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.18 square miles (13.42 km2); 4.96 square miles (12.85 km2) is land and 0.22 square miles (0.57 km2) is water.

Notable people

  • Bob Backlund, former World Wrestling Federation champion wrestler
  • Jared Berggren, Professional basketball player, former Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball player
  • Fay Craven, Minnesota legislator and newspaper editor
  • Charles R,. Davis, Minnesota legislator and educator
  • Kurt Daudt, Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives
  • Robert C. Dunn, Minnesota legislator and newspaper editor
  • Robert G. Dunn, Minnesota legislator and building contractor
  • Rod Grams, United States Senator from Minnesota
  • Robert J. Odegard, Minnesota state representative
  • Jerome P. Peterson, Minnesota legislator and educator

“Coke Geysers” World Record Attempt
The Princeton High School Student Council organized a community effort to break the world record for simultaneously erupting coke geysers on May 27, 2011. The record of 2,854 bottles was set in October 2010 in the Philippines. Hundreds of students participated, with a goal of setting off a series of 3,000 geysers, a figure they exceeded with 3,051 total simultaneous eruptions. But Guinness World Records personnel did not officiate the event and never made the record official. Students say the idea grew from a plan for a graduation prank into a way to put their small town on the map. A video of the attempt was broadcast on Minnesota NBC News affiliate KARE 11 and edited by a YouTube user named Physics314Nerd.

Princeton is served by the Princeton Municipal Airport.


“Princeton, Minnesota” │,_Minnesota

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