A Tale of Three Villages  

Chisago City

Original 1857 Chisago City Plat

Chisago City Plat 1857 full

Original 1857 Chisago City Plat

The Village of Chisago City was platted by Isaac Bernheimer on June 20, 1857. The original survey map included some 58 blocks and stretched between Green Lake and Chisago Lake.

On the above survey map, Simon Arnold and Isaac Bernheimer, referring to themselves as "proprietors and owners", officially turned over the streets and alleys for public use.

Chisago City - est 1855

1888 Foote Plat - Chisago City

From the 1888 Foote plat book

However, within a year the bulk of the original plan was abandonded, leaving only this core 15 block section platted.

The publication of the 1888 plat book reveals the remaining area was sparsely populated with houses and businesses, with the Swedish Lutheran Church at its center

The railroad's decision to build to the north in 1880 changed the dynamics of the community. Before the tracks were laid, a road had connected Wyoming and Taylors Falls; the road ran across a bridge spanning Big and Little Green Lakes, through Chisago City, and then south of Chisago Lake, before heading east to the St. Croix River. In order to keep up with the commerce brought by the railroad  businesses quickly moved from their original sites along the road to their current positions along the northern railroad route. This area in now known as Old Towne.


Chisago - est 1882

Chisago 1888 plat

From the 1888 Foote plat book

In response to the railroad the Village of Chisago was platted on October 17, 1882 by Isaac Bernheimer. 

This was a 2 block area providing warehouses, retail establishments and some residential houses. This was also center of the city when it incorporated in 1906. It now forms the southern and westernmost part of the present business district on Highway 8.

Although the railroad started operations in 1880, it was not until 1892 that a small depot, not much more than a ticket counter, was built in Chisago. Due to a further increase in railroad activity in 1895 a boxcar was added off the tracks and to the side for baggage and freight. In 1902 the depot received an addition of 800 sq ft and in 1912, the depot received its final makeover (shown at left).

Deer Garden

Deer Garden - est 1857

1888 Foote Plat - Deer Garden

From the 1888 Foote plat book

Platted in 1857 by Robert O. Sweeny and Erastus Edgerton (as St. Paul banker & who Edgerton St is named after, the Deer Garden area lies north of Green Lake, and is in Lent Township.  

Becoming part of the city somtime after incorporation in 1906, this area was the northwestern most part of Chisago City until 2008, when Chisago City annexed a large portion of Wyoming township both west and north of this location.

Chisago Lakes Township

Chisago Lakes Township

1888 Foote Plat - Chisago Lakes

From the 1888 Foote plat book

When the original settlers explored west from the St, Croix River, which was the original transportation route along with the government road that ran alongside it, they found a very large lake along with many smaller ones. Originally called simply "Big Lake" or "Swede Lake", Chisago Lake was the most outstanding feature the settlers had found and provided an anglised version of its Ojibwe name to the new county

The Chisasgo Lakes Area was attractive to early setlers for its abundance of hardwood, fish and game found in and around the lakes and the St. Croix river. The original 12 towships in Chisago County were: Chisago Lakes, Rusheba, Nessel, Harris, Sunrise, Fish Lake, Branch, Amador, Franconia, Shafer, Wyoming, and Lent. Chisago Lakes was the fastest growing township in part becasue it had largest number of lakes also it was the southern most township making them the closest to the state's capitol in St. Paul.

Chisago Lakes Township was home to the local community’s school District 8. This was in later years refered to as 8E due to the construction of a satellite to the west in Wyoming Township. School District #38, known as Lindbloom, was also part of this township and would later consolidate with Chisago City’s District #8.

Wyoming Township

Wyoming Township

1888 Foote Plat Wyoming Twp.jpg

From the 1888 Foote plat book

While not part of the original Chisago City, Wyoming township and its residents have always been a part of the community as workers, customers or church members. Deer Garden area was part of this township.

Wyoming township and the city of Wyoming were named after the the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania. In fact the people who settled to the west of Chisago City first called their settlement Philadelphia.

The most famous resident of the township was Dr. Comfort who practiced medcine with an empasis on patent cures and homeopathy in the latter part of the 1800s. Today lakes on the southwest edge of Chisago City bear his name.

Chisago City's Zion Lutheran church has a cemetarty here and a western expansion of Chisago City's School District 8, known as Bonnie Glen, was constructed when the road bridge that was used to go east failed. On the south end of Green Lake was School District 40, also known as South Green Lake, which would eventually consolidate with Chisago City's District 8.

The western portion of this township was annexed into Chisago City in 2008 and the balance went to the city of Wyoming. 

Lent Township

Lent Township

1888 Foote Plat - Lent Twp.jpg

From the 1888 Foote plat book

Lent township was also not part of the original Chisago City, however today parts of the  southeast corner are.

Like Wyoming township residents those living in areas adjacent to Chisago City looked to the cty for community and the railroad for transport. 

Oak Terrace or Stohl, School District 34, would consolidate with District 8 as well.