Pine City, Minnesota facts for kids

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Pine City, Minnesota
Ne-zhingwaakokaag
City
Downtown Pine City
Downtown Pine City
Official logo of Pine City, Minnesota
Logo
Nickname(s): Pine, P.C.
Motto: North. Nice and close.
Location of Pine Citywithin Pine County, Minnesota
Location of Pine City
within Pine County, Minnesota
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Pine
Area
 • Total 3.91 sq mi (10.13 km2)
 • Land 3.44 sq mi (8.91 km2)
 • Water 0.47 sq mi (1.22 km2)
Elevation 951 ft (290 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 3,127
 • Estimate (2013) 3,075
 • Density 907.8/sq mi (350.5/km2)
 • Demonym Pine Citian
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 55063 (pop. 9,348)
Area code(s) 320
FIPS code 27-51064
GNIS feature ID 0649445
Website www.pinecity.govoffice.com
For additional travel information, see Pine City Wikivoyage

Pine City is a city in Pine County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 3,127 at the 2010 census. Pine City is the county seat of, and the largest city in, Pine County. The Initiative Foundation named Pine City "Outstanding Community" of 2009 and the NAMM Foundation identified it as one of the "Best Communities for Music Education in America" for 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Its name is a loose translation of "Chengwatana" (White-Pine Town), originally an Ojibwe village located just east of Pine City, along the Snake River. The Ojibwe name for the city is Ne-zhingwaakokaag (on a land-point full of white pines). A portion of the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation is located within Pine City.

History

Old Pine City Aerial
Historic Pine City Aerial, overlooking the railroad

The Dakota Indians were the first in the area. With the Ojibwa expansion, the area became a mixture of the two. By the early 19th century, the area became predominantly Ojibwa. They trapped and hunted on the land and traded furs at the nearby trading posts. With the Treaty of St. Peters of 1837, dubbed the "White Pine Treaty", lumbering began in the area. Lumbering, though, was limited by access to the available waterways.

In the late 19th century, European settlers came to the Pine City area, which was still heavily forested with thick stands of white pine, some of the largest in the state. When the railroad arrived in Pine City so began a logging expansion. Pine City prospered and grew into a city that had everything needed to serve residents, farmers, and the fast expanding lumber industry. Pine City was platted in 1869. The city was incorporated in 1881.

When Buchanan County was merged with Pine County in 1861, the county seat was consolidated to Pine City because it was already well-established. Because of its location on the far southern edge of Pine County, there have been attempts over the years to move the county seat to more centrally located Hinckley and Sandstone. However, being the most populous city in the county, Pine City always prevailed as the county seat.

In 2005, the city became the first in rural Minnesota with an annual gay pride event, East-Central Minnesota Pride, and one of only two rural communities to hold such an event in the United States. A book capturing Pine City's history in vintage photos was written as part of the Images of America series and became available in 2010.

Christmas trees for the Minnesota Governor's Residence have often come from the Pine City area.

Timeline

  • 1804 – The seasonal living of the Ojibwe changed when Europeans arrived.
  • 1837 – With the Treaty of St. Peters, dubbed “White Pine Treaty", lumbering began in the area.
  • 1848 – The Ojibwe community of Chengwatana forms as an official village.
  • 1856 – Chengwatana became the county seat for Pine County.
  • 1872 – Two years after a fire at the Chengwatana courthouse, by popular vote Pine City became the county seat and a new courthouse was built.
  • 1881 – Pine City incorporated as a village west of Chengwatana due to the railroad’s location west of Cross Lake. Chengwatana declined into a ghost town.
  • 1894 – Pine City’s Robinson Park became a staging area, a “ground zero”, for support and relief from the Great Hinckley Fire.
  • 1903 – Adam Bede speaks at Associated Press annual dinner in New York City.
  • 1939 – Pine City built a plain, yellow brick, two-story rectangle city hall but gave the building to the county after becoming nervous it might lose its county seat status because of the need for better office space. Even so, the words “Pine City village hall” were carved over the east entrance.
  • 1952 –The towered, Romanesque Revival style courthouse building built in 1886 was struck by lightning, causing it to burn.
  • 1954 – In a bond issue, the county raised the money needed for a new courthouse and added it onto the north end of the one-time city hall (which ironically is used in part by city hall today), using the same marble wainscoting and terrazzo floors. The words “court house” were carved over the north entrance.
  • 1967 – Interstate 35 was completed through Pine City and by 1961 it was under construction north of Hinckley.
  • 1978 - First International Polkafest held here.
  • 1980 – Jean Lindig Kessler crowned Princess Kay of the Milky Way.
  • 1992 –30-foot tall voyageur statue erected on the north shore of the Snake River, near downtown.
  • 1993 – Karla Nelson named AAU Ms. America.
  • 2005 – People around the region hosted first annual East-Central Minnesota Pride in Pine City.
  • 2007 – A few years after a failed attempt to split the county in two, a new courthouse was erected on the northern edge of Pine City near the freeway.
  • 2012 – June 5, with H.R.3220 the Pine City post office was renamed the "Master Sergeant Daniel L. Fedder Post Office".

Present day

Pine City is reached as a day trip for tourists from the Twin Cities who enjoy the downtown's specialty stores and restaurants as well as a nearby casino and recreational opportunities, including the scenic St. Croix River valley. Also, a local historical site situated along the Snake River, the North West Company Post, has become a tourist draw; it was used by French fur traders nearly two centuries ago.

Pine City is also home to two golf courses, the Pine City Country Club, a nine-hole, par 36 public course that opened in 1971, and Pokegema Lake Golf Course, a course located just west of town.

The Pine County Fair takes place in Pine City each year in late July/early August. A highlight of the fair is a two-night demolition derby that is one of Minnesota's largest, drawing several thousand spectators each evening. The five-day event is a free gate fair and also features free on-site parking.

Geography

Southern PC Entrance
Winter scene with native pines in the background

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.91 square miles (10.13 km2), of which 3.44 square miles (8.91 km2) is land and 0.47 square miles (1.22 km2) is water.

Parks

The city has 12 city parks, which include two undeveloped parks (Cross Lake Preserve Park, Fawn Meadows Park); two passive parks, manicured but lacking recreational equipment (Meadow Ridge Park, Thomas Park); and eight active parks, with playgrounds and/or sports facilities, including:

  • a community garden and a public fishing pier (Challeen Park)
  • four ballfields (City Ballfields)
  • three ice rinks (Hilltop Park)
  • a public boat landing (Riverside Park)
  • a performing stage (Robinson Park)
  • a disc golf course (Voyageur Park)
  • a skate park and a public beach (West Side Park)
  • a Gulf War veteran memorial (Woodpecker Ridge Park)

Climate

Below is a table of average high and low temperatures throughout the year in Pine City.

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg high °F (°C) 21 (−6) 27 (−3) 38 (3) 54 (12) 67 (19) 75 (24) 80 (27) 78 (26) 69 (21) 55 (13) 39 (4) 25 (−4)
Avg low temperature °F (°C) 4 (−16) 17 (−8) 30 (−1) 40 (4) 51 (11) 56 (13) 56 (13) 53 (12) 43 (6) 32 (0) 21 (−6) 6 (−14)

Places of interest

Voyageur Stat
Pine City's famous roadside attraction, the Voyageur, in Voyageur Park
Rural School
Rural School Museum, Built 1908
  • Chengwatana State Forest
  • North West Company Post
  • Pine Center for the Arts
  • Pine City Country Club
  • Rural School Dist. 69 Museum
  • Saint Croix State Park
  • Stumne Mounds, Native American burial grounds
  • Voyageur Statue, in Voyageur Park
  • Wednesday flea market, Pine County Fairgrounds

Transportation

Main Street - Old 61
Main Street, formerly U.S. Route 61

Airports

Pine City is served by the Rush City Regional Airport, seven miles south.

Mass transit

Presently, the Rush Line Corridor task force is studying the feasibility of rail service to serve area commuters and the Northern Lights Express passenger line is proposed to serve area residents. For travel within the city, there is local taxi service available.

Bus

Pine City is served by the Arrowhead Transit intra-county system. An intercity bus service called Jefferson Lines runs from Pine City to St. Paul or Duluth twice daily.

Major highways

Pine City is located along Interstate 35 between the Twin Cities and Duluth. The St. Croix Scenic Byway also passes through Pine City. The major highways include:

  • I-35.svg Interstate 35
  • Pine County Route 7 MN.svg Pine County Road 7
  • Pine County Route 8 MN.svg Pine County Road 8
  • Pine County Route 9 MN.svg Pine County Road 9
  • Pine County Route 11 MN.svg Pine County Road 11
  • Pine County Route 61 MN.svg Pine County Road 61
  • MN-361.svg Minnesota State Highway 361 Decommissioned {Now County Road 61}
  • US 61.svg U.S. Route 61 Decommissioned {Now County Road 61}
  • MN-324.svg Minnesota State Highway 324 Decommissioned {Now County Road 7}

Rail

Pine City is located on rail lines owned by BNSF Railway and leased by St. Croix Valley Railroad.

Trails

There is a planned, non-motorized trail dubbed the Twin Cities-to-Twin Ports Trail that has been awarded federal and state funding to begin to connect the Sunrise Prairie Trail, near North Branch with the Willard Munger State Trail, near Hinckley.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 3,043 residents, 1,222 households, and 734 families in the city. The population density was 1,076.3 people per square mile (415.2/km²). There were 1,275 housing units at an average density of 451.0 per square mile (174.0/km²).

Racial makeup (2010)

95.58% White, 1.54% Native American, 1.22% Hispanic or Latino of any race, 0.74% Asian, 0.26% African American, 0.19% from other races, 0.03% Pacific Islander and 1.67% from two or more races.

Diversity

After the Census 2010 count of same-sex partners in Minnesota, it was discovered that the Greater Pine City area was home to some of the most concentrated same-sex coupled households of any rural area of the state.

Population statistics

The city has continued to grow since it was incorporated. Much of the growth of the area occurs around the lakes in the neighboring townships, in Pokegama, Chengwatana or Pine City Township, and as of the latest census, the Pine City Zip Code (55063) had 9,348 residents.

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 535
1900 993 85.6%
1910 1,258 26.7%
1920 1,303 3.6%
1930 1,343 3.1%
1940 1,708 27.2%
1950 1,937 13.4%
1960 1,972 1.8%
1970 2,143 8.7%
1980 2,489 16.1%
1990 2,613 5.0%
2000 3,043 16.5%
2010 3,127 2.8%
Est. 2015 3,078 −1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

Other demographics

There were 1,222 households out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.8% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.9% were non-families. 34.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the city, the population was spread out with 25.3% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 25.0% from 25 to 44, 17.9% from 45 to 64, and 21.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 88.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,000 and the median income for a family was $37,000. Males had a median income of $30,000 versus $20,000 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,000. About 10.8% of families and 15.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.4% of those under age 18 and 14.1% of those age 65 or over.

Ancestry of Pine City residents is primarily German (36%), Norwegian (17%), Swedish (15%), and Czech (8%).

Religion

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church PC
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church

Pine City is home to several churches, of various denominations, including:

  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
  • First Presbyterian Church
  • Grace Baptist Church
  • Hustletown Community Church
  • Kingdom Hall – Jehovah's Witness
  • Living Hope Christian Center
  • Pine City Church of Christ
  • Trinity Baptist

Arts

Pine City's growing arts community placed it on 2010, 2011 and 2012 lists of "Best Communities for Music Education in America." The high school band and musical theatre program built its reputation under the former direction of Mr. Bradley Mariska, and musical ensembles at Pine City High School give free performances throughout the school year. A major recent development is the Pine Center for the Arts, which opened in downtown Pine City in 2009. The center is a regional arts facility that houses a variety of educational and performance-based programs relating to theatre, music, visual art, literature, and dance. Classes and special events take place throughout the year. Pine City has an active community theater, the Heritage Players, which performs semiannually. The Pine City Arts Council sponsors a variety of annual events, most notably a free Friday night summer concert series held in Robinson Park. An annual concert series is also hosted in an 800-seat auditorium at Pine City Junior/Senior High School. This new performance space opened in 2014.

Major annual events

Old County Fair
Historic photo of the Pine County Fair

The following community and regional events are held in and around Pine City.

Spring, summer, and fall

  • Citywide Garage Sale - May 14, 2016
  • Memorial Day Parade - May 30, 2016
  • East-Central Minnesota Pride – June 5, 2016 (12th Annual)
  • Freedom Fest – June 23-26, 2016
  • Art Fest in Robinson Park – July 16, 2016 (39th Annual)
  • National Night Out – Aug. 2, 2016
  • Pine County Fair – Aug. 3-7, 2016 (124th Annual)
  • Czech Booyah (stew) Festival, at Sokol Camp – Aug. 14, 2016 (85th Annual)
  • Pine City PRCA Championship Rodeo, Labor Day Weekend, 2016 (10th Annual)
  • Andersons Rock Creek Relics Threshing and Sawing Show - Sept. 10-11, 2016
  • North West Company Post's "Rendezvous" Fall Gathering – Sept. 17-18, 2015 (38th Annual)
  • Highway 61 Film Festival – Oct. 7-9, 2016 (6th Annual)
  • Mystery at the Fur Post - Oct. 14-15, 2016

Winter

  • Winter Frolic - Jan. 23, 2016
  • (Ice) Fishing Derby, Pokegama Lake – Jan. 17, 2016 (47th Annual)
  • Lawn Mower Races, Pokegama Lake - Feb., 2016 (TBD)
  • Queen Charlotte's Ball - Feb. 13, 2016
  • Pine Pond Hockey Classic, West Side Park - Canceled(5th Annual)
  • Holiday Madness and lighted parade – Dec. 3, 2016

Fictional references

  • In the motion picture Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999), starring Kirsten Dunst, there was a fictitious "Miss Pine City" character, portrayed by an actual Pine Citian, Amy Olson.
  • Craig Wright, best known as the writer of HBO's Six Feet Under, set a series of plays in fictitious "Pine City, Minnesota." These have been performed across the United States: The Pavilion, Orange Flower Water, Molly's Delicious, Melissa Arctic and Grace, which takes place in Florida, but is about people who come from "Pine City."
  • Author Dean Hovey wrote three fictional mystery novels that are set in Pine City: Where Evil Hides, Hooker and Unforgettable: A Pine County Mystery.
  • Author Richie Ryan wrote "What We Are: Richie's Story" and "What We Are II: Summer Heat", adult fiction, both set in Pine City.
  • In the film Tommy Boy, a deer is hit near Pine City on Tommy Boy's sales trip.
  • The Larry Millett book "Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon" is set against the backdrop of the devastating Hinckley Fire and in the Pine City area.

Pine City in pop culture

  • Missing child Aaron Mitchell Anderson, of rural Pine City, appeared in the music video for Runaway Train (Soul Asylum song). After his picture was shown, his full name appeared in large capital letters on the screen along with the words "missing since April 7, 1989".
  • During a battle with a rare form of Leukemia, Pine City resident and U.S. Air Force Cadet Brian Bauman appeared in the March 4, 1996 issue of People (magazine) after receiving a bone marrow match from his Korean homeland.
  • In 2011, a Guinness World Record was set at the Frisbee golf course in Voyageur Park for most holes of disc golf played in a 24-hour period. Dan Schnabel beat the previous record set by over 100 holes and finished with 1,305 holes played including three aces during that time period.
  • Jack Schultz, founder of a Midwestern economic development firm and author of the book “Boomtown USA” (Published February 1, 2004), said 12 small cities in Minnesota (including Pine City) that he coined "agurbs" were among a group of 397 nationwide to outperform major metropolitan areas and were poised to boom.

Awards and nominations

Year Award Description Nominator(s) Result
1983 Star City Award The City was recognized in 1983 by then-DEEDS Commissioner Mark Dayton for its leadership in working with local businesses to ensure continued growth. John Sparling, Small Business Development Consultant Won
2008 C.C. Ludwig Award – Mayor Jane Robbins The League of Minnesota Cities' highest honor for an elected official, the C.C. Ludwig Award, was presented to the mayor for going the extra mile; for her contributions to improved municipal government, for the admiration and respect of the general public toward her, and for her selfless conduct focused on the greater good of the community. Nathan Johnson, City Planner Won
2009 Initiative Foundation "Outstanding Community" The foundation chose Pine City to receive the award because of an uncommon spirit of citizen volunteerism and significant progress toward business, technology, environmental and early childhood issues. The award highlighted efforts to revitalize downtown, attract high-tech companies, preserve local lakes, promote early childhood education and restore community pride. Nathan Johnson, City Planner Won
2010 Minnesota Star Lake - Cross Lake The Cross Lake Association was awarded this honor because of its care for Cross Lake, and managing local natural resources and protecting the environment. Cross Lake Association Won
2010 Horizons Community Pine City successfully completed the Northwest Area Foundation's Horizons Program, an 18-month leadership development program for rural towns with populations of 5,000 or fewer and with poverty rates of at least 10 percent. The program aimed to help the community understand and alleviate symptoms of poverty, and build social capital and prosperity. Nathan Johnson, City Planner, and Lezlie (Ballis) Sauter, Community Action Council Rep. Won
2010 “Best Community for Music Education” in America The award highlighted the community’s support of the arts and music and education, all in one. Bradley Mariska, Pine City High School Band Director Won
2010 Women in City Government Leadership Award - Mayor Jane Robbins The mayor was awarded the award for her unique, individual achievements in Pine City, as well as her leadership and mentoring roles both inside and outside of the community. Nathan Johnson, City Planner Won
2011 Minnesota Community Pride! Showcase Award This award highlights the celebration of diversity and culture in the community, particularly with East-Central Minnesota Pride and Pine City’s embracing of its people, as well as its courage and the fact that it is a welcoming community. Nathan Johnson, City Planner Won
2011 “Best Community for Music Education” in America The award highlighted the community’s support of the arts and music and education, all in one. Bradley Mariska, Pine City High School Band Director Won
2011 Yellow Ribbon Community The City was officially proclaimed a Yellow Ribbon Community by Governor Mark Dayton. To earn the status, Pine City developed a sustainable action plan demonstrating its commitment to service members and military families. In the plan, the community identified and connected leaders in key areas across the community, leveraging existing support activities, building awareness throughout the community and identifying ways of taking action. Jessica Paulson, Yellow Ribbon Chair, and Cynthia Foster, Committee Member Won
2012 “Best Community for Music Education” in America The award highlighted the community’s support of the arts and music and education, all in one. Bradley Mariska, Pine City High School Band Director Won
2012 “Outstanding Conservationist" The award highlighted the community’s consideration for the environment, particularly with a large-scale rainwater garden projects in the Woodpecker Ridge Neighborhood, the largest project of its kind in Greater Minnesota. Pine County Soil & Water Conservation District Won
2013 ArtPlace Nominated for support from ArtPlace, an unprecedented private-public collaboration of nine of the nation’s top foundations, eight federal agencies including the National Endowment for the Arts, and six of the nation’s largest banks. ArtPlace supports creative placemaking with grants and loans, research and advocacy. Finalists will be chosen for their potential to have a transformative impact on community vibrancy. John Nuechterlein of the American Composers Forum Nominated
2014 “Outstanding Small Town and Rural Planner" - Nathan Johnson Given to an individual in public service, academia or the private sector that has made an outstanding contribution to planning in their community. American Planning Association STaR Division Won
2014 “Outstanding Community" - Pine City Area Early Childhood Coalition Recognized for its strong commitment to early childhood initiatives—from literacy campaigns to a focus on social and emotional well-being to school readiness programs. One of the hallmarks of the Pine City program is the “Dragon Wagon”, a mobile preschool that delivers books and other learning tools to remote areas to foster reading, literacy and learning. Initiative Foundation Won

Coordinates: 45°49′34″N 92°58′07″W / 45.82611°N 92.96861°W / 45.82611; -92.96861

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