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Cottage Grove, Minnesota
—  City  —
Nickname(s): The "Original" Grove
Motto: "Where Pride And Prosperity Meet"[1]
Location of the city of Cottage Grove
within Washington County, Minnesota
Coordinates: 44°49′40″N 92°56′38″W / 44.82778, -92.94389Coordinates: 44°49′40″N 92°56′38″W / 44.82778, -92.94389
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Washington
Founded 1843
 • Type Mayor-Council
 • Mayor Myron Bailey
 • City 37.48 sq mi (97.07 km2)
 • Land 33.62 sq mi (87.08 km2)
 • Water 3.86 sq mi (10.00 km2)  10.30%
Elevation 814 ft (248 m)
Population (2010)[3]
 • City 34,589
 • Estimate (2013)[4] 35,399
 • Density 1,028.8/sq mi (397.2/km2)
 • Metro 3,459,146
Time zone Central (UTC−6)
 • Summer (DST) Central (UTC−5)
ZIP code 55016
Area code(s) 651
FIPS code 27-13456
GNIS feature ID 0659701[5]
Website City of Cottage Grove

Cottage Grove /ˌkɒtɪ ˈɡrv/ is a city located 10 miles (16 km) south of Saint Paul in Washington County in the State of Minnesota. The city lies on the north bank of the Mississippi River, north of the confluence with the Saint Croix River. Cottage Grove and nearby suburbs form the southeast portion of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, the sixteenth largest metropolitan area in the United States, with about 3.5 million residents. The population of Cottage Grove was 34,589 at the 2010 census.[6]

The city is linked by U.S. Highways 10 and 61 and has is a comfortable commute to both downtowns and the I-494 Strip in Bloomington. Once a rural township known for the state's first creameries and wheat production, the area was served by rail lines, river shipping, and grist mills.[7]


The area was settled in the 1840s with the creation of two villages, Langdon and "Old Cottage Grove." When the early settlers arrived, the land was thick with oaks and prairie grasses. This savannah-like landscape was developed into farmland, with many settlers founding dairy farms.

Formerly containing the railway station village of Langdon, the entire township incorporated into Cottage Grove in 1963. New Englander James Sullivan Norris, an early farmer, called his homestead Cottage Grove which was adopted by the town. Norris was a New Englander who settled in Afton in 1839.


Cottage Grove is approximately ten miles southeast of Minnesota's Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, accessed by U.S. Highway 61.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 37.48 square miles (97.07 km2); 33.62 square miles (87.08 km2) is land and 3.86 square miles (10.00 km2) is water.[2]

The city has more land adjacent to the Mississippi River than any other city in Minnesota. The city is also bordered by Woodbury on the north, Hastings on the south, St. Paul Park on the west and Denmark Township on the east. The city is approximately a half-an-hour at posted speeds from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. It is also approximately 15 minutes from the Wisconsin border. The city has a business park with over 25 businesses located on the southwest part of town.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1970 13,419
1980 18,994 41.5%
1990 22,935 20.7%
2000 30,582 33.3%
2010 34,589 13.1%
Est. 2013 35,399 15.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
2013 Estimate[4]

The median income for a household in the city was $65,825, and the median income for a family was $68,935 (these figures had risen to $79,342 and $84,185 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $45,567 versus $31,232 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,348. About 1.8% of families and 2.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.5% of those under age 18 and 2.6% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census[]

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 34,589 people, 11,719 households, and 9,437 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,028.8 inhabitants per square mile (397.2 /km2). There were 12,102 housing units at an average density of 360.0 per square mile (139.0 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 86.5% White, 3.9% African American, 0.5% Native American, 5.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.4% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.8% of the population.

There were 11,719 households of which 43.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.6% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 19.5% were non-families. 14.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.95 and the average family size was 3.27.

The median age in the city was 35 years. 29% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29% were from 25 to 44; 25.9% were from 45 to 64; and 8.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.9% male and 50.1% female.

2000 census[]

As of the census of 2000, there were 30,582 people, 9,932 households, and 8,462 families residing in the city. The population density was 899.9 people per square mile (347.5/km2). There were 10,024 housing units at an average density of 295.0 per square mile (113.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.54% White, 2.35% African American, 0.41% Native American, 1.43% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.91% from other races, and 1.30% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.53% of the population.

There were 9,932 households out of which 49.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 72.9% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 14.8% were non-families. 11.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.07 and the average family size was 3.32.

In the city the population was spread out with 32.7% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 34.4% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 4.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 99.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.0 males.

Arts and culture[]

Annual cultural events[]

Cottage Grove's annual Strawberry Fest draws thousands of residents together to celebrate. This event is held at Kingston Park usually in the second week of June. There is a parade which occurs the Saturday of the festival where many organizations or businesses can have a float and throw out candy and advertise their organization. On the Saturday of the festival, usually after the parade, there are booths of organizations or businesses that advertise their company in the soccer fields of Kingston Park. They hand out free things and talk to the residents of Cottage Grove about their business in order for them to try it out or stop by. There are fireworks on the Saturday of the festival which occur around ten at night. There are many carnival games the people can take part of, along with the rides and food. Every night of the festival, excluding the Sunday night, there are many types of bands that play in the Kingston parking lot at night and put on a great show for the people of Cottage Grove. Alcohol is allowed but only in a designated area.[9]

Museums and other points of interest[]

Historic places include: Historic Cedarhurst Mansion, Schilling Archeological District, Atkinson Cemetery, Cottage Grove Town Hall, Old People's Home of the Northwest Cemetery, Grey Cloud Lime Kiln, Historic John P. Furber House, Historic Dr. Arthur H. Steen House, Historic First Congregational Church (Accacia Lodge No. 51), Historic William W. Furber House, Cottage Grove Cemetery, Historic Harry Roberts House, Lamar Avenue Larch Trees, and Hope Glen Farm.

Cottage Grove recently opened in 2012 a splash pad at Highland Park off of 70th street. The splash pad is a smaller water attraction intended for smaller children. It has many fun sprinklers that shoot water out of it. They are expected to open up several other splash pads in the Cottage Grove area at other parks.

Cottage Grove also has an entire 18 hole Disc Golf course located at Oak Wood park behind Ruby Tuesdays. The course contains a variety of different length holes and also has women tees as well so it is perfect for people of all skill and age types.

Cottage Grove had one of the two remaining drive-in theaters in operation in the Twin Cities area, the Cottage View Drive-In. It was located near the Innovation Road exit of Highway 61. The Drive-In closed after the 2012 season and was torn down. The land has now been replaced by a Wal-Mart, which opened in March 2014.


The North Bank Bulls of the NEFL are a semi-pro football team who play in Cottage Grove.


Cottage Grove is located in Minnesota's 2nd congressional district, represented by John Kline, a Republican, scoring 2.8% progressive on a range of issues[10] and 88% conservative based on 2006 House votes.[11]

Cottage Grove's public buildings include the City Hall, a three sheet ice arena, four fire stations, A Public Works building and an 18-hole championship golf course known as River Oaks Golf Course. Washington County also has two buildings in town, the Library and the South Washington County Service Center.


Cottage Grove is part of the South Washington County School District (Independent School District 833). In that school district, there are four high schools (Park High, Woodbury High, East Ridge High, and Alternative Learning Center). Cottage Grove consists of Park High School and Alternative Learning Center, more commonly known as ALC. Within that district there are also four middle schools (Cottage Grove Middle School, Oltman Middle School, Lake Middle School, Woodbury Middle School). Cottage Grove consists of only Cottage Grove Middle School. There are also 16 elementary schools throughout the school district. Cottage Grove has six of the elementary schools including: Armstrong Elementary, Cottage Grove Elementary, Crestview Elementary, Grey Cloud Elementary, Hillside Elementary, and Pine Hill Elementary. East Ridge High School is the newer of the High Schools which opened in the fall of 2009 serving students in grades nine through eleven. East Ridge opened to twelfth graders in 2010. Students from Woodbury and Cottage Grove that live in the designated area go to East Ridge instead of their older High School.

The Park High mascot was once the Indians; however, in 1993 the school's mascot was changed to the Wolfpack. Cottage Grove Junior High was constructed in 1995 and renamed Cottage Grove Middle School in the summer of 2009; its mascot is now a cougar.



The Canadian Pacific Railway passes through Cottage Grove and is part of a regional transportation planning effort to bring passenger trains to Cottage Grove.

Notable people[]

  • Walter R. Hanson, Minnesota state legislator
  • Sam Jacobson, former NBA player; born in Cottage Grove.[12]
  • Kerry Ligtenberg, former MLB pitcher; attended high school in Cottage Grove.[13]
  • Manila Luzon, entertainer and runner-up on the third season of RuPaul's Drag Race
  • Seann William Scott, actor


  1. ^ "City of Cottage Grove Minnesota". City of Cottage Grove Minnesota. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  4. ^ a b "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  7. ^ "Cottage Grove History". Washington County Historical Society. 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  8. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved September 12, 2013. 
  9. ^ Cottage Grove Strawberry Fest 2014
  10. ^ Grossman, Joshua. "ProgressivePunch Leading with the Left". All Issues. ProgressivePunch. Retrieved 2007-09-08. 
  11. ^ "ACU Ratings of Congress, 2006". American Conservative Union. 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-09-03. Retrieved 2007-09-08. 
  12. ^ "Sam Jacobson". Basketball-Reference.Com. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Kerry Ligtenberg". Basketball-Reference.Com. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 

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