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Erskine, Minnesota facts for kids

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Downtown Erskine in 2007
Downtown Erskine in 2007
Location of Erskine, Minnesota
Location of Erskine, Minnesota
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Polk
 • Total 0.97 sq mi (2.51 km2)
 • Land 0.65 sq mi (1.67 km2)
 • Water 0.32 sq mi (0.84 km2)
1,191 ft (363 m)
 • Total 403
 • Density 736.43/sq mi (284.30/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 218
FIPS code 27-19700
GNIS feature ID 0643405

Erskine is a city in Polk County, Minnesota. The population was 403 at the time of the 2020 census. It is part of the Greater Grand Forks region.


Erskine was laid out in 1889, and named for John Quincy Erskine, a Minnesota banker. A post office has been in operation at Erskine since 1889.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.01 square miles (2.62 km2), of which 0.68 square miles (1.76 km2) is land and 0.33 square miles (0.85 km2) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 156
1910 324 107.7%
1920 457 41.0%
1930 511 11.8%
1940 581 13.7%
1950 608 4.6%
1960 614 1.0%
1970 571 −7.0%
1980 585 2.5%
1990 424 −27.5%
2000 437 3.1%
2010 503 15.1%
2020 403 −19.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
2020 Census

The population of Erskine was more than 800 in the 1920s. It hovered above 600 until the late 1960s, dipped to 571 (1970) and 585 (1980), and then plunged to 424 (1990), 428 (1995), and 437 (2000).

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 503 people, 234 households, and 131 families residing in the city. The population density was 739.7 inhabitants per square mile (285.6/km2). There were 273 housing units at an average density of 401.5 per square mile (155.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.8% White, 0.4% African American, 2.2% Native American, 0.2% Asian, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.0% of the population.

There were 234 households, of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.6% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 7.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 44.0% were non-families. 41.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 24% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.15 and the average family size was 2.88.

The median age in the city was 38 years. 25.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.4% were from 25 to 44; 18.2% were from 45 to 64; and 23.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.9% male and 50.1% female.


Downtown Erskine, c. 1910 Downtown Erskine, c. 1910

Erskine's town festival is known as the Erskine Water Carnival, and is held in early June. The Erskine Fish, the concrete statue that is the world's largest Northern Pike and the town's principal tourist attraction, is located on a grassy lawn in a small park on the shore of Cameron Lake, just down the street from downtown Erskine. It is the hometown of actress and singer Jamie Foss, winner of 2004's Superstar USA. In addition, it is the center of a community of Russian Old Believers estimated at between 50 and 100 families. The Old Believers began moving to Erskine around 1998 in order to escape a farming crisis and suburban sprawl which threatened their community near Woodburn, Oregon.

Parks, recreation and public facilities

The Rydell National Wildlife Refuge is located along County Road 238 approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) west of Erskine and 2½ miles south of U.S. Highway 2. The Oak Lake Golf Course is located just east of town at the intersection of Highway 2 and U.S. Highway 59. The best local resort and fishing areas are Maple Lake, a lake near Mentor, Minnesota, and Maple Bay, Minnesota, as well as Union Lake and Lake Sarah, located a few miles south of Erskine. Like many other lakes in other towns, Erskine's sewage was dumped into Cameron Lake until the Clean Water Act of 1970 forced the town to redirect its sewage to the new sewer plant near Badger Lake. Former residents and old-timers will recall that the shores of Cameron Lake were littered with dead fish in the old days. Today, the lake is much cleaner, and with the rising costs of lakeshore property in the area, there is an increase in development on the lakeshore.


Roads and highways

Erskine is just west of the intersection of U.S. Highway 59 and four-lane U.S. Highway 2, and approximately 60 miles (97 km) east of Interstate 29 at Grand Forks, North Dakota, and 105 miles (169 km) north of Interstate 94 at Fergus Falls.

Air transport

The nearest airports with commercial service are Bemidji (55 miles (89 km) east), Thief River Falls (35 miles (56 km) north) and Grand Forks (60 miles (97 km) west). An uninstrumented grass airfield known as the Erskine Airport was in operation from 1954 until the early 1970s, but no longer exists. Nearby Fosston (12 miles (19 km) east) and Crookston (20 miles (32 km) west) both have private aviation airfields.

Rail transport

At the historic junction of the Great Northern Railway and the Soo Line Railroad, Erskine used to appear prominently on many national railroad maps and atlases that omitted much larger cities and towns in the vicinity. Both lines are still in place today, with the Great Northern tracks now owned by the BNSF Railway and the Soo Line tracks by the Canadian Pacific Railway. Erskine's freight depot, while still standing, is closed for business, and rail passenger service was discontinued many years ago.

Bus services

Greyhound Bus Lines no longer serves Erskine, but Jefferson Lines has taken over the Fargo-Minneapolis route it previously served. The Tri-Valley Heartland Express Bus provides scheduled weekly or biweekly service to Crookston, Bemidji, Thief River Falls and other destinations for seniors and others on an advance reservation basis.

Notable people

  • Roger Moe, former member of the Minnesota Senate
  • Jan Narveson, professor of philosophy

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Erskine (Minnesota) para niños

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