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Sauk Centre City

Sauk Centre City Hall is located at 320 Oak Street South, Sauk Centre, MN 56378; phone: 320-352-2203.

Charles W. Schneider House, ca. 1887, 1750 Ames Place East, Hazel Park neighborhood, Saint Paul, MN, National Register

Photo: Sinclair Lewis' Boyhood Home, ca. 1889, 812 Sinclair Lewis Avenue, Sauk Centre, MN. National Historic Landmark, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1968. Photographed by user:McGhiever (own work), 2013, [cc-by-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons, accessed May, 2013.

Sauk Centre [1] was settled by the Dakota and Ojibwe hundreds of years ago as the narrows north of the City burgeoned into a popular encampment. The area was also the site of several battles between the tribes. Eventually, Sauk Lake became the dividing line between the two Native American nations. The first white settlers reached Sauk Centre in the late 1850's and the City soon became a trading center for those using the Red River Tails to reach the Red River Valley. By the 1870's, the railroad had arrived and Sauk Centre became the meeting terminal for the Northern Pacific and Great Northern rail lines.

Industry and agriculture thrived during the latter half of the nineteenth century as lumber mills and flourmills, steam plants, foundries and manufacturers flourished. After the turn of the century, farming turned from wheat to dairy and produce. In 1920, native son Sinclair Lewis immortalized Sauk Centre in his novel Main Street. The novel described turn-of-the-century Sauk Centre and became a classic story about small-town America. The City remains noted for dairy and agricultural produce.

Full of natural distinctions, Sauk Centre features access to Big Sauk Lake, a general development public waterway; the Sauk River, an agricultural watercourse that winds through the City; and close proximity to the Fairy and Guernsey Chains of Lakes. In addition to rich soils and waterways, the City also features several historical sites. The boyhood home of Nobel Prize winning author Sinclair Lewis, the Palmer House Hotel, the Original Main Street Historic District (Main Street between South Eighth and North Third Streets) and the former Minnesota Home School for Girls Historic District (MN 302) are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Overall, the physical features of the City clearly provide a unique character, adding substantially to the existing desirable qualities of Sauk Centre. Additionally, the City's topographical features include very mild variations in elevation and soil content, creating an area conducive to urban development.

  1. David Drown Associates for the City of Sauk Centre, City of Sauk Centre, Minnesota, Comprehensive Plan, 2000,, accessed July, 2016.
**Information is curated from a variety of sources and, while deemed reliable, is not guaranteed.
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