Old Historical State, County and City Maps of Minnesota

Maps of Minnesota

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The map collection of the Minnesota Historical Society consists of over 35,000 individual Minnesota maps and 1,300 atlases, the majority of these for Minnesota and the Midwest. The society is a five-state regional depository for the U.S. Geological Survey maps. It has extensive collections of Minnesota territory and state maps, county and city maps, and fire insurance maps of over 950 Minnesota towns and cities.

There are random maps and plat maps in the county records at the Minnesota Historical Society Research Center. The map library of the Wilson Library at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, is an outstanding cartographic repository, not restricted to Minnesota. It includes worldwide maps and associated material.

County atlases for Minnesota include maps for the respective county and for townships within that county. The names of property owners are frequently included on these maps. The Minnesota Historical Society has microfilmed many of these atlases, which makes them accessible on inter-library loan. Most historical maps of Minnesota were published in atlases.

Library of Congress Fire Insurance Maps in the Library of Congress; Plans of North American Cities and Towns Produced by the Sanborn Map Company states that the earliest map of this type for Minnesota is for 1884. There is, however, a Sanborn map for the city of St. Paul for 1875; this map is located at the map library of the Minnesota Historical Society.

In 1679, after the region was visited by Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, Jacques Marquette Louis Joliet, and other French explorers, Daniel Greysolon, Sieur Duluth claimed the area for Louis XIV.

When the Revolutionary War came to an end, the USA gained possession of what is now eastern Minnesota from Great Britain. Two decades later, in 1803, the USA received what is now western Minnesota from France as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Britain ceded the northern strip of Minnesota to the United States in 1818, but the area was thoroughly explored by Zebulon M. Pike, a U.S. Army lieutenant, prior to that.

The Minnesota Territory was created on March 3, 1849. The State of Minnesota was created as the 32nd state on May 11, 1858.

States bordering Minnesota are IowaMichiganNorth DakotaSouth DakotaWisconsin and Canada. The 10 largest cities in Minnesota are MinneapolisSt. PaulRochesterDuluthBloomingtonBrooklyn ParkPlymouthSt. CloudEaganWoodbury.

Map of Minnesota County Formations 1801-1937

Minnesota County Map of Boundaries and County Seats

Minnesota County Map of Boundaries and County Seats

This Interactive Minnesota County Maps show the historical boundaries, names, organization, and attachments of every county, extinct county and unsuccessful county proposal from 1801 to 1937.

Minnesota contains 87 counties. In 1849 the first Minnesota counties were formed.

They were BentonDakotaItascaRamseyWabasha, and Washington Counties.

The last county to be formed was Lake of the Woods County in 1922.

Minnesota County Map Formation by Year

Minnesota County Map Abbreviations

  1. unorg. = unorganized
  2. g. = gained
  3. w. = with
  4. fr. = from
  5. atmt. = attachment
  6. exch = exchanged
  7. nca.= non county area
  8. ch. = changed
  9. Ait – Aitkin
  10. An – Anoka
  11. BE – Blue Earth
  12. Bec – Becker
  13. Bel – Beltrami
  14. Ben – Benton
  15. Bro – Brown
  16. BSt – Big Stone
  17. Chp – Chippewa
  18. Chs – Chisago
  19. Cly – Clay
  20. Coo – Cook
  21. Cot – Cottonwood
  22. Css – Cass
  23. Ctn – Carlton
  24. Ctr – Clearwater
  25. Cvr – Carver
  26. CW – Crow Wing
  27. Dak – Dakota
  28. Dod – Dodge
  29. Dou – Douglas
  30. Fa – Faribault
  31. Fi – Fillmore
  1. Fr – Freeborn
  2. Go – Goodhue
  3. Gr – Grant
  4. He – Hennepin
  5. Ho – Houston
  6. Hu – Hubbard
  7. Is – Isanti
  8. It – Itasca
  9. Ja – Jackson
  10. Kbc – Kanabec
  11. Kdy – Kandiyohi
  12. Ki – Kittson
  13. Ko – Koochiching
  14. Li – Lincoln
  15. LoW – Lake of the Woods
  16. LqP – Lac qui Parle
  17. LS – Le Sueur
  18. Ly – Lyon
  19. McL – McLeod
  20. Me – Meeker
  21. Mhn – Mahnomen
  22. ML – Mille Lacs
  23. Mor – Morrison
  24. Mow – Mower
  25. Msl – Marshall
  26. Mtn – Martin
  27. Mu – Murray
  28. Ni – Nicollet
  29. Nob – Nobles
  30. Nor – Norman
  31. Ol – Olmstead
  1. OT – Otter Tail
  2. Pen – Pennington
  3. Pin – Pine
  4. Pip – Pipestone
  5. Pol – Polk
  6. Pop – Pope
  7. Ra – Ramsey
  8. Red – Redwood
  9. Ren – Renville
  10. Ri – Rice
  11. RL – Red Lake
  12. Roc – Rock
  13. Ros – Roseau
  14. Sc – Scott
  15. Sh – Sherburne
  16. Si – Sibley
  17. SL – St. Louis
  18. Srn – Stearns
  19. Stl – Steele
  20. Svn – Stevens
  21. Sw – Swift
  22. Tod – Todd
  23. Tr – Traverse
  24. Wab – Wabasha
  25. Wad – Wadena
  26. Wil – Wilkin
  27. Win – Winona
  28. Wr – Wright
  29. Wsc – Waseca
  30. Wsh – Washington
  31. Wwn – Watonwan
  32. YM – Yellow Medicine

Old Historical Atlas Maps of Minnesota

This Historical Minnesota Map Collection are from original copies so you can see Minnesota as our ancestors saw them over a hundred years ago. Some Minnesota map years (not all) have cities, railroads, P.O. locations, township outlines and other features useful to the Minnesota researcher.

External Minnesota Map Links

Minnesota County Map of Road and Highway's

The Minnesota D.O.T. Highway Department has prepared a series of 2015 county road maps. These maps contain more detailed information about man-made features than the geological survey maps. In addition to roads and boundaries, these maps include rural communities, churches, and cemeteries.

These maps are downloadable and are in PDF format. The main use of these are the locations of all known cemeteries in a county and of course the various roads and church locations. These Maps are Free to Download

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