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Alexandria
Alexandria Post Office (historic) .
Alexandria Post Office (historic) .
Official logo of Alexandria
Logo
Nicknames: 
Alex, Alec
Location of the city of Alexandriawithin Douglas County, Minnesota
Location of the city of Alexandria
within Douglas County, Minnesota
Alexandria, Minnesota is located in Minnesota
Alexandria, Minnesota
Alexandria, Minnesota
Location in Minnesota
Alexandria, Minnesota is located in the United States
Alexandria, Minnesota
Alexandria, Minnesota
Location in the United States
Alexandria, Minnesota is located in North America
Alexandria, Minnesota
Alexandria, Minnesota
Location in North America
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Douglas
Colonized 1858
Founded 1859; 163 years ago (1859)
Area
 • Total 17.90 sq mi (46.35 km2)
 • Land 17.18 sq mi (44.50 km2)
 • Water 0.71 sq mi (1.85 km2)  4.43%
Elevation
1,408 ft (429 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 11,070
 • Estimate 
(2019)
13,822
 • Density 804.49/sq mi (310.61/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
56308
Area code(s) 320
FIPS code 27-00928
GNIS feature ID 0639272

Alexandria is a city in, and the county seat of, Douglas County, Minnesota, United States. First settled in 1858, it was named after brothers Alexander and William Kinkead from Maryland. The form of the name alludes to Alexandria, Egypt, a center of learning and civilization.

The village of Alexandria was incorporated February 20, 1877. Its city charter was adopted in 1908, and it was incorporated as a city in 1909. W. E. Hicks was pivotal to the town's early development. He purchased the townsite in 1868 and established a mill, hotel, newspaper, and store. He donated property for a courthouse, jail, and two churches: Methodist and Congregational.

The population was 11,070 as of the 2010 census. Alexandria is near I-94, along Minnesota State Highways 27 and 29. It is ten miles south of Lake Carlos State Park. In 2013, Alexandria was named a "Top 10 Best Small Town" by the Livability website. The city is often abbreviated as "Alex" (pronounced "Alek").

Transportation

County Road 82 SE connects Alexandria to Nelson, Osakis and western Minnesota. Minnesota State Highway 29 connects Alexandria to Glenwood and Parkers Prairie. Interstate 94/U.S. Highway 52 passes through the south end of Alexandria, which allows access to Minneapolis-St. Paul and Fargo-Moorhead.

Public transportation in town (and within the surrounding area) is provided by Rainbow Rider.

Airport

The Alexandria Municipal Airport, also known as Chandler Field, is a city-owned public-use airport two nautical miles (3.7 km) southwest of Alexandria's central business district.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.70 square miles (43.25 km2), of which 15.96 square miles (41.34 km2) is land and 0.74 square miles (1.92 km2) is water. A large portion of the people who live in Alexandria are not calculated into the population because they are spread out of the city and living on and around the many lakes. Climate is "four seasons" continental, with cold snowy winters and warm (sometimes hot and humid) summers. Autumn and Spring are generally pleasant. Average annual precipitation (both snow and rain) is about 25 inches.

Lakes

  • Lake Carlos
  • Lake Le Homme Dieu
  • Lake Mary
  • Lake Agnes
  • Lake Andrew
  • Lake Brophy
  • Cowry Alexandria
  • Lake Darling
  • Lake Geneva
  • Lake Henry
  • Lake Ida
  • Lake Latoka
  • Lake Louise
  • Mill Lake
  • Lake Mina
  • Smith Lake
  • Lake Victoria

Demographics

Big Ole
Statue of Big Ole the Viking, greeting visitors to Alexandria
Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,355
1890 2,118 56.3%
1900 2,681 26.6%
1910 3,001 11.9%
1920 3,388 12.9%
1930 3,876 14.4%
1940 5,051 30.3%
1950 6,319 25.1%
1960 6,713 6.2%
1970 6,973 3.9%
1980 7,608 9.1%
1990 7,838 3.0%
2000 8,820 12.5%
2010 11,070 25.5%
2019 (est.) 13,822 24.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
2018 Estimate>

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 11,070 people, 5,298 households, and 2,552 families living in the city. The population density was 693.6 inhabitants per square mile (267.8/km2). There were 5,821 housing units at an average density of 364.7 per square mile (140.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.3% White, 0.8% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.5% of the population.

There were 5,298 households, of which 21.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.2% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 51.8% were non-families. 41.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 18.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.02 and the average family size was 2.74.

The median age in the city was 38.8 years. 19.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 13.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.6% were from 25 to 44; 22.1% were from 45 to 64; and 22% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.3% male and 51.7% female.

Economy

The city is known as a hot spot for tourism, due to its many lakes and resorts. Tourism events include a Grape Stomp hosted by the Carlos Creek Winery every September, an Apple Fest in October, the Douglas County Fair every August, and Art in the Park every July. The city has a museum housing the Kensington Runestone. Outside the museum stands Big Ole, a 25-foot-tall statue of a Viking built for the 1965 World's Fair in New York City. Extensive repairs to Big Ole were completed in 2016. The city hosts the annual Vikingland Band Festival parade marching championship.

Top employers

According to the Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission, the area's top employers are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Alomere Health 950
2 Douglas Machine 700
3 Alexandria Public Schools 606
4 Knute Nelson 493
5 Alexandria Industries 446
6 3M 400
7 Douglas County 324
8 Central Specialties 300
9 Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center 285
10 Brenton Engineering 280

Sports

The Alexandria Blizzard is a Tier III junior ice hockey team in the North American 3 Hockey League and play out of the Runestone Community Center. From 2006 to 2012, the organization had a Tier II team in the North American Hockey League. The NAHL franchise relocated to Brookings, South Dakota and the current NA3HL franchise took its place.

Viking Speedway hosts weekly Saturday night dirt track racing from April–September and also periodic special, weekend events throughout the year. Five WISSOTA classes run there: Street Stocks, Midwest Modifieds, Super Stocks, Modifieds, and Late Models. Viking Speedway was awarded WISSOTA's "2005 Track of the Year".

One night per summer, a Northwoods League baseball game is held at Knute Nelson Memorial Park. The Willmar Stingers become the Alexandria Beetles to pay homage to the time when Alexandria had its own team. The Beetles were in operation from 2001 to 2012 and were renamed the Alexandria Blue Anchors in 2013. The team folded after the 2015 season.

Education

Alexandria Technical and Community College
Alexandria Technical & Community College

Most children in Alexandria attend school at Alexandria Public Schools, which consists of six kindergarten–5th grade elementary schools (Lincoln, Voyager, Woodland, Carlos, Miltona, Garfield), one 6th–8th grade junior high school (Discovery Middle School), and one new 9th–12th grade senior high school (Alexandria Area High School), which replaced Jefferson High School, which was built in the late 1950s. There are also several independent K–8 Christian schools in the area. Alexandria Technical & Community College offers post-secondary education, including certificate programs, 2-year associate degrees and transferable credits towards 4-year degrees.

Notable people

  • Lars K. Aaker, state legislator
  • Richard Battey, judge
  • Dave Dalby, center for the Oakland Raiders
  • John Hammergren, CEO of McKesson Corporation
  • Duane Hanson, sculptor
  • Edward Hanson, 28th governor of American Samoa
  • Hal Haskins, professional basketball player
  • John Hawkes, actor
  • Todd Hendricks, professional football player
  • Jed Johnson, interior designer and film director
  • Peter Krause, actor
  • Tom Lehman, PGA golfer
  • Brock Lesnar, professional wrestler and former mixed martial artist
  • Knute Nelson, U.S. Senator
  • Walter Roth, farmer and state legislator
  • Gary Serum, pitcher for the Minnesota Twins
  • Henrik Shipstead, U.S. Senator
  • Cliff Sterrett, cartoonist
  • Bruce P. Smith, halfback for the Green Bay Packers from 1945 to 1948, and for the Los Angeles Rams in 1948. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1941.
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