Dakota County (pop. 398,552) is the third most populous county in Minnesota. It occupies the southeastern corner of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metropolitan Area.
The county seat is Hastings (pop. 22,172), located near the confluence of the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers. The old 1871 courthouse is now Hastings City Hall.
The Fasbender Clinic building (1959) in Hastings was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
The city of West St. Paul (pop. 20,160) is actually south of Saint Paul. It got its name because of its location on the “west” bank of the Mississippi River, and because it’s west of South St. Paul.
Gov. Harold Stassen (1907-2001), who ran for president 12 times, was born in West St. Paul.
South St. Paul (pop. 20,160) was formerly a center of meatpacking and the home of the St. Paul Union Stockyards (1886-2008) – at one time the largest stockyard in the world.
Apple Valley (pop. 49.084) is the home of the Minnesota Zoo. Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn was raised in Apple Valley.
The Buck Hill ski area, with eight lifts and 16 runs, is in Burnsville (pop. 60,306).
Mendota (pop. 198) has the Fort Snelling-Mendota Bridge, which was the world’s longest concrete arch bridge (4,113 feet) when it opened in 1926.
Rosemount (pop. 21,874) has hosted the USA Broomball National Championships four times.
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