Plymouth is a historic city in Minnesota located 15 miles south of Minneapolis in Hennepin County. There are about 75,000 residents of Plymouth. The city covers just over 35 square miles and has a humid continental climate, featuring cold winters and hot, humid summers.
Originally inhabited by the Dakota native American tribe as early as the 1400s, Plymouth saw its first white settler, Antoine LeCounte, in 1848. LeCounte built the first cabin of Plymouth on Medicine Lake in 1852. A grist mill and other industrial centers were built in 1855 on the northwest shores of what is now known as Parkers Lake. The grist mill was short-lived, as it was flooded in 1857 and relocated to what is now Wayzata.
Meanwhile, more settlers began to arrive in the area, prompting the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners to name the new settlement Plymouth. In the spring of 1858 a group of townspeople met at the home of Francis Day to open elections for town offices. The following month the settlers voted to change the town’s name to Medicine Lake to commemorate the Dakota’s historic naming of the lake. For unknown reasons, the name didn’t stick.
The Battle with the Dakota & the Civil War
Unsurprisingly, the Dakota tribe reacted against the settlement in their native home. Rising tensions came to a head in 1862 at Fort Ridgeley when the settlers formed a militia and fought. Shortly thereafter the American Civil War began and the city of Plymouth paid its volunteers $25 to enlist to fight. At this same time, Plymouth was growing and churches, schools, and hotels were being built.
More changes occurred after the Civil War. By 1880, Plymouth boasted a population of 1,074, and reaped $667 in annual taxes. Most settlers were farmers by trade. Roads were built across Plymouth, making access to other towns possible. Medicine Lake had become a major tourist attraction and resorts were built around its shores.
Plymouth was named the number one city to live in the United States by Money Magazine in 2008. The magazine gave top honors to Plymouth because of its inclusion of residential areas, industry, parks, schools, and other aspects which make Plymouth a self-sustaining and pleasant place to live.
Notable figures from Plymouth include the abolitionist of renown and state legislator Jonas H. Howe, NFL linebackers James Laurinaitis and A.J. Tarpley, and NHL stars Blake Wheeler and Mark Parrish.
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