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New York Mills
Downtown New York Mills
Downtown New York Mills
"Small Town, Big Life."
Location of New York Mills, Minnesota
Location of New York Mills, Minnesota
Coordinates: 46°31′10″N 95°22′23″W / 46.51944°N 95.37306°W / 46.51944; -95.37306
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Otter Tail
 • Total 1.46 sq mi (3.77 km2)
 • Land 1.45 sq mi (3.76 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)
1,411 ft (430 m)
 • Total 1,199
 • Estimate 
 • Density 841.71/sq mi (325.08/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 218
FIPS code 27-46060
GNIS feature ID 0648524
Website City of New York Mills

New York Mills is a city in Otter Tail County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 1,199 at the 2010 census.


New York Mills MN from Amtrak
Downtown New York Mills and water tower

New York Mills was platted in 1883. The city was originally built up chiefly by Finns.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.30 square miles (3.37 km2), all of it land.


U.S. Route 10 serves as a main route in the city.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 260
1900 353 35.8%
1910 474 34.3%
1920 700 47.7%
1930 667 −4.7%
1940 771 15.6%
1950 977 26.7%
1960 828 −15.3%
1970 791 −4.5%
1980 972 22.9%
1990 940 −3.3%
2000 1,158 23.2%
2010 1,199 3.5%
2019 (est.) 1,223 2.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,199 people, 533 households, and 287 families living in the city. The population density was 922.3 inhabitants per square mile (356.1/km2). There were 602 housing units at an average density of 463.1 per square mile (178.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.8% White, 0.3% African American, 1.8% Native American, 0.3% from other races, and 2.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.8% of the population.

There were 533 households, of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.4% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 46.2% were non-families. 40.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 22.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.12 and the average family size was 2.84.

The median age in the city was 38.9 years. 23.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22% were from 25 to 44; 22.6% were from 45 to 64; and 22.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.0% male and 54.0% female.

Arts and economic development

The city of New York Mills was founded in 1884 by Finnish immigrants. Major industries include agriculture (row crops, grain and dairy farming), Lund Boat Company fishing boat manufacturers, and a variety of service professions. Located in Otter Tail County, which contains 1,048 of the state's lakes, tourism is an increasingly important economic factor in the area.

New York Mills Regional Cultural Center

New York Mills Regional Cultural Center

Faced with the economic challenges and decreasing population of many rural communities, New York Mills decided to invest in a Regional Arts Center in an attempt to bring tourism to the area. In 1991 the city contributed $35,000 to the Regional Arts Retreat and Cultural Center to convert a downtown mercantile building into a multi-use arts and cultural facility. As a per-capita investment, this expenditure would be the equivalent of Minneapolis giving $13.7 million to an arts facility. The center, remodeled through a community-wide volunteer effort, opened its doors in June, 1992, as a non-profit Arts organization founded by John Davis. Further renovations include a new hardwood maple floor in the main gallery and an outdoor deck completed in 2005. While other communities withered in the face of declining populations and deteriorating main streets, New York Mills has remained stable economically, while the Cultural Center continues to draw people, activity, revenue and national attention to the community.

Mission statement

"The NYMRCC is dedicated to expanding the cultural and creative opportunities of rural Americans by offering innovative, quality arts programming, and demonstrating how the arts can be used as an economic development tool in rural communities across the nation."


  • Artist-In-Residence Program
  • Education/Outreach programs
  • Gallery Exhibits
  • “Great American Think-Off” Annual Philosophical Debate
  • Literary and Theater Events
  • Music Concert Series
  • Sculpture Park

Past exhibiting artists

  • Robin Barcus Slonina
  • Charles Beck
  • Betsy Bowen
  • Duane & Bambi Goodwin
  • Eric Johnson
  • Kent Kapplinger
  • Maxwell MacKenzie
  • David Salmela


Notable people

  • Peter Hayes (born 1976), indie rock guitarist and singer
  • Janet Karvonen, pioneer for girls' basketball
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