The first Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives, which would later become the Big Ten Conference, was held in Minneapolis in 1895.
Washington County, Minnesota's history dates back to the Native American Dakota people who inhabited the lush lands along the Mississippi River for thousands of years before European settlers arrived. In the early 1800s, French Canadian fur traders explored the area and established trade routes, setting the stage for further European settlement.

In 1849, Washington County was officially established as one of Minnesota's original nine counties. The county was named after the first President of the United States, George Washington. The area quickly attracted settlers with its fertile soil and proximity to the Mississippi River, which allowed for trade and transportation. The town of Stillwater, located on the St. Croix River, became the county seat and a hub for lumber and milling industries.

During the mid to late 19th century, Washington County experienced significant growth and development as the logging industry boomed. The forests were abundant with timber, and numerous sawmills were established along the rivers, fueling economic growth in the county. However, as the timber resources dwindled, the county transitioned to agriculture, with farming becoming a pivotal part of the local economy.

In the 20th century, Washington County underwent further transformations as industrialization took hold. The construction of railroads in the county allowed for increased trade and connected the area to larger cities like Minneapolis and St. Paul. The county's economic base expanded to include manufacturing and other industries.

Today, Washington County is a vibrant and diverse community that embraces its rich history while looking towards the future. It offers a blend of urban and rural areas, with a strong focus on preserving its natural beauty and providing quality of life for its residents. The county continues to grow and evolve, further cementing its place as a dynamic part of the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Washington County, Minnesota.

  • 1838 - Washington County is established by the Minnesota Territory government.
  • 1851 - The city of Stillwater is founded.
  • 1853 - Washington County's population reaches 4,709.
  • 1862 - The Dakota War of 1862 begins, leading to conflict and displacement in the area.
  • 1870 - The St. Croix Boom Site, used for logging, is opened in Stillwater.
  • 1897 - The Washington County Courthouse is constructed in Stillwater.
  • 1920 - The population of Washington County reaches 27,472.
  • 1951 - Interstate 94 is completed, connecting Washington County to the rest of the state.
  • 1973 - A waterway management plan is established to protect the St. Croix River.
  • 2000 - The population of Washington County surpasses 201,000.