Historical Marker in
Mille Lacs County, Minnesota

The first Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives, which would later become the Big Ten Conference, was held in Minneapolis in 1895.
Mille Lacs County, located in east-central Minnesota, has a rich history that dates back centuries. The region was originally inhabited by the Dakota people, who utilized the abundant natural resources, including the Mille Lacs Lake, for hunting, fishing, and trading. European settlers began arriving in the area in the early 19th century, displacing the Dakota and establishing towns and farms.

The county was officially organized in 1857 and named after the largest and most prominent feature in the area, Mille Lacs Lake. The lake played a crucial role in the early development of the county, serving as a transportation route for fur traders and a source of fish for settlers. The construction of railroads in the late 19th century further boosted the county's growth and supported the agricultural and logging industries.

Mille Lacs County also witnessed tensions between settlers and the Dakota people during the Dakota War of 1862, which resulted in the forced removal of the Dakota from the area. The county experienced further changes in the 20th century, with the decline of the logging industry and the rise of tourism as Mille Lacs Lake became a popular vacation destination.

In recent years, Mille Lacs County's economy has diversified, focusing on tourism, manufacturing, and agriculture. It remains a scenic and vibrant area with a diverse population and a strong connection to its natural surroundings.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Mille Lacs County, Minnesota.

  • 1840s - Mille Lacs County was originally inhabited by the Ojibwe people
  • 1851 - The Treaty of Traverse des Sioux was signed, ceding the land to the United States
  • 1857 - Mille Lacs County was officially established
  • 1866 - The Mille Lacs Indian Reservation was established within the county
  • 1870s - Railroad construction reached Mille Lacs County, boosting its economy
  • 1880 - The town of Milaca was incorporated
  • Early 20th century - Mille Lacs County experienced agricultural growth
  • 1920s - The tourism industry began to develop around Mille Lacs Lake
  • 1930s - The Great Depression brought economic challenges to the county
  • 1960s - Highway infrastructure was improved, enhancing transportation in the area
  • 1980s - The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe started expanding its enterprises in the county
  • 2000s - Mille Lacs County continued to develop as a popular recreational destination