History & Heritage
In the month of April in 1870, Daniel Mckay and George Osborne located on section 36 on what later became the Jonas Erickson farm. They eventually left the area, but other families began to settle the area soon after that.
Previous to settlement of the area, the Lake Park area was a Garden of Eden, a park Region covered with grass, flowers, trees and lakes and teeming with wildlife. Elk used to roam all over the country. In fact they were the principal source of food for the the Indians in northwestern Minnesota. The wolf was very common in the heavily forested sections of the county but they also had to be contended with near Lake Park.
Many of the original founders and settlers of Lake Park were from Norway. They were attracted to this area because of the fertile fields for farming and the similar environment to their native homeland of Norway.
The first township election was held at the house of M.L. Devereaux in section 10 on September 19, 1871. John Cromb was elected moderator, M.L. Devereaux, clerk, and Martin Olson and Louis Johnson, judges of election. the first officials of the new township were....
Jonas Erickson ~ Supervisor, W.H. chamberlain and G.F. Johnson ~ Chairmen, M.L. Devereaux ~ Town Clerk, Charles Smith ~ Treasurer, John Cromb and Jonas Erickson ~ Justices of the Peace and Frank Higley and Louis Johnson ~ Constables.
The site where the village of Lake Park is situated was chosen by Thomas Canfield while he was scouting the area for the best route for the railroad. The Lake Superior and Puget Sound Land Co. requested to purchase land from Jonas Erickson. Erickson had only recently acquired this particular quarter of land. Jonas had decided he would ask a great deal for the land to sell it, when he asked for $3000 dollars for the land from the Lake Superior and Puget Sound Land Co., he was surprised when they took the offer. Once the railroad station came, it was only a short period of time before the town began to be built around it.
On February 25, 1881, nine years after the first building had been erected on the present townsite the Minnesota legislature passed an act incorporating the village of Lake Park. The rest really is "History!"