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Gate at the Lake City Marina.
Lake City monument.
Lake City is a city in Goodhuemarker and Wabashamarker counties in the U.S. state of Minnesotamarker. It lies along Lake Pepinmarker, a wide portion of the Mississippi River. The population was 4,950 at the 2000 census. Most of Lake City lies in Wabasha County, with only a small portion of in Goodhue County.


The City of Lake City is located 65 miles South of the Twin Cities at the intersection of highways 61 South and 63 North right on the Mighty Mississippi River at a beautiful spot called Lake Pepin. Lac de Pleurs (Lake of Tears) was the name given to Lake Pepin by Father Louis Hennepin, who camped on the shore of the lake in 1680. He christened the large body of water Lac de Pleurs after observing his Sioux captors weeping near the lake over the death of a chief's son. The war party of Isanti Sioux had captured Hennepin and his two companions several miles south along the Mississippi and were camping near the lake on their return north to their Sioux villages near present day Mille Lacs.

The first known settler was Jacob Boody, who arrived in 1853. In the years to follow, several explorers passed through this area. The town was platted in 1855. The town supervisors were given special powers by the State Legislature in 1864 to create a port market for grain. At Lake City the waters of Lake Pepin were deep enough to allow for such a port. Soon the town became noted as a profitable market with the volume of trade for the year 1866 bringing in a little over a million and a half dollars.

The City of Lake City became incorporated in 1872 and since has continued to thrive in its location on beautiful Lake Pepin. It is widely known for its attractive surroundings and bountiful fishing for every fresh water species.


Lake City is the home of Bluffview Elementary, a K-6 public elementary school, Lincoln High School for grades 7-12, and St. John's, a K-8 Lutheran School. In the past the town also was home to a Catholic School named St. Mary's.

Notable people

The city advertises itself as the birthplace of water skiing, which Ralph Samuelson invented there in 1922. Each year the city celebrates Ralph's invention in a 3 day festival in June. The festival is aptly named "Water Ski Days."

Little Laura Ingalls Wilder ("Little House on the Prairie") and her family spent some time here in 1874, on their way to Walnut Grovemarker.

Randy Breuer, a now retired NBA center, standing a towering 7'3, was born in Lake City, playing basketball for the local Lake City Tigers, and even lead the team to two state championships in 1978 and 1979, from there he went on to play ball at the University of Minnesota, from there he was drafted 10th overall into the NBA playing throughout his career for the Minnesota Timberwolves, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Sacramento Kings. Randy Breuer

Samuel Atkinson Baldwin, American Organist, was born in Lake City, Minnesota on January 25, 1862 and died September 15, 1949.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.3 square miles (11.1 km²), of which, 4.2 square miles (11.0 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (1.40%) is water. U.S. Highways 61 and 63 are two of the main routes in the community.


As of the census of 2000, there were 4,950 people, 2,131 households, and 1,402 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,166.9 people per square mile (450.8/km²). There were 2,347 housing units at an average density of 553.3/sq mi (213.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.81% White, 0.63% African American, 0.40% Native American, 1.11% Asian, 0.28% from other races, and 0.77% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.22% of the population.

There were 2,131 households out of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.0% were married couples living together, 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.2% were non-families. 29.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.83.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.8% under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 19.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,637, and the median income for a family was $47,146. Males had a median income of $35,321 versus $24,799 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,944. About 3.2% of families and 6.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.7% of those under age 18 and 5.1% of those age 65 or over.


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