Sherburne History Center

Sherburne History Center
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Friday, February 22, 2019

Boosters Celebrate Sherburne County

Citizens may celebrate the birthday of Sherburne County, 163 years strong, on Monday 25 February.  Looking back on the original promotion and emigrant recruitment for the county reveals a very proud group of settlers.  

The Saint Paul Pioneer Press newspaper published an unsigned letter from an early settler of Sherburne County. 
Pierre Bottineau's cabin, one of the first
structures built in Sherburne County.
In later years the cabin abutted the
 Riverside Hotel
“At Elk River Station,” an 1868 letter writer suggested, “prosperity is at this time manifest.  A steam saw mill with the usual attachments for furnishing building material, is being built and will soon be in operation.  A new school house to cost two thousand dollars, is to be erected the present season.” 

The letter went on to describe a “people free from all bigotry and have no great partiality for any particular sect.”  The residents of Sherburne County supported education for their children and nearly guaranteed a dramatic growth in population.  Priced between four and eight dollars an acre, promoters promised land guaranteed to provide ample crops. 

As part of the efforts to promote Elk River and Sherburne County, a second letter described Elk river as “growing rapidly.”  The city housed “two first class hotels, at reasonable rates for both day and week board.”  From Elk River, “hundreds of men are to be seen daily, on their way to the pineries on Rum River and the Upper Mississippi.” 

After the legislative birth of Sherburne County, promoters of the community quickly developed a program to sell the county as new and exciting opportunity.  163 years later, Sherburne County continues to deliver exciting and new opportunities.

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