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Washington County was one of the nine original counties created when the Minnesota Territory was organized in 1849.
The county was officially established October 27, 1849, named after George Washington.
Early development in the area was on the St. Croix River, which forms the eastern boundary of the county. The river
not only provided a means of transportation to move people upstream, but also move logs downstream. The area was
heavily forested and the early economy was dependent on the logging and lumber industries.
The first settlement and seat was named Dacotah, and was located as early as 1838 in what is now north Stillwater,
where Brown's Creek flows into the St. Croix River. The creek's name is from the founder of this settlement, Joseph
Renshaw Brown. However, a sawmill was built at Marine-on-St.-Croix in 1839, and another was built in the current
location of downtown Stillwater in 1844. The success of these soon attracted the settlers from Dacotah, and Stillwater
became the county seat in 1846.
During this early period, the region was part of the Wisconsin Territory, but Wisconsin became a state in 1848.
Brown and other leaders called together settlers in this now-ungoverned territory to what has become known as the
“Stillwater Convention "on August 26, 1848. Held in John McKusick’s store, the settlers drafted a Memorial
to Congress that a new territory be created with the name “Minnesota,” and elected Henry Hastings Sibley to deliver
this citizen’s petition to the U.S. Congress. Because of this convention, Stillwater calls itself the “Birthplace
After officially becoming a territory, growth continued, with the first Sheriff of Washington County appointed
by Governor Alexander Ramsey in 1849, and the county's school district founded in 1850.
After the forests were depleted, the economy of Washington County became primarily agricultural. With the growth
of neighboring Ramsey County and St. Paul, some of Washington County developed based on tourism and recreation,
as with Mahtomedi and Landfall. Late in the 20th century, the population greatly increased with the suburban expansion
of St. Paul. (wikipedia.org)
CITIES AND TOWNS
Forest Lake Township
Grey Cloud Island Township
New Scandia Township
West Lakeland Township
Hastings (a small section)
Lake St. Croix Beach
Marine on St. Croix
Oak Park Heights
St. Marys Point
St. Paul Park
White Bear Lake (a small section) Woodbury