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Tour historic downtown New York Mills June 8

To commemorate Otter Tail County's 150th Anniversary, the Otter Tail County Historical Society is sponsoring a tour of historic downtown New York Mills on Friday, June 8, 6 p.m.

When Otter Tail County commissioners held their first official meeting in September 1868, there was no New York Mills. Where the city is now was once a dense forest of white pine, red and white oak, tamarack and ash. This drew the attention of New York entrepreneurs Henry Van Aerman, Olcot Boardman and George Cornwall to form the New York Mills Company headquartered in Olean, New York. Arrangements were made to construct a lumber mill, the materials of which arrived in 1872 on the first rail car to the site. It was not until 1882 that the company had the property surrounding the mill platted and laid out into lots and block. The plat was recorded in 1883 with the name New York Mills.

By the early 20th century New York Mills became a destination for Finnish immigrants. Public saunas and a strong cooperative movement characterized Finnish influence on the community.

Come and explore the history and heritage of New York Mill. The tour begins at 6 p.m. in front of the Regional Cultural Cultural Center. Cost is $5.

For more information, contact the Otter Tail County Historical Society at (218) 736-6038.