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Alexandria, Minnesota

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Alexandria, Minnesota

Alexandria, Minnesota
Nickname(s): Alex, Alec
Location of the city of Alexandriawithin Douglas County, Minnesota
Location of the city of Alexandria
within Douglas County, Minnesota
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Douglas
Settled 1858
Founded 1859
 • Mayor Sara Carlson
 • Total 16.70 sq mi (43.25 km2)
 • Land 15.96 sq mi (41.34 km2)
 • Water 0.74 sq mi (1.92 km2)  4.43%
Elevation 1,404 ft (428 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 11,070
 • Estimate (2013[3]) 11,580
 • Density 693.6/sq mi (267.8/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 56308
Area code(s) 320
FIPS code 27-00928
GNIS feature ID 0639272[4]

Alexandria is a city and the county seat of Douglas County, Minnesota.[5] First settled in 1858, it was named after brothers Alexander and William Kinkead from Maryland. The form of the name alludes to Alexandria, Egypt, a center of learning and civilization.[6]

The village of Alexandria was incorporated February 20, 1877. Its city charter was adopted in 1908, and it was incorporated as a city in 1909. W.E. Hicks was pivotal to the early development of the town. He purchased the townsite in 1868 and established a mill, hotel, newspaper, and store. He donated property for a courthouse, jail, and two churches: Methodist and Congregational.

The population was 11,070 at the 2010 census.[7] Alexandria is located near Interstate 94, along Minnesota State Highways 27 and 29. Lake Carlos State Park is ten miles north of Alexandria. In 2013, Alexandria was picked as a "Top 10 Best Small Town" by the Livability website.[8]


The city is known as a tourism center due to its many lakes and resorts. Tourism events include a Grape Stomp hosted by the Carlos Creek Winery every September, an Apple Fest in October, the Douglas County Fair every August, and Art in the Park every July. The city has a museum housing the controversial Kensington Runestone, which is thought by some to indicate that Vikings had visited the area in the 14th century. Outside the museum stands Big Ole, a 25-foot-tall statue of a Viking which was built for the World's Fair in New York City in 1964.[9] The city hosts the annual Vikingland Band Festival parade marching championship.

Top employers

According to the Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission,[10] the top employers in the area are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Douglas County Hospital 865
2 Douglas Machine 701
3 Alexandria Public Schools 632
4 Alexandria Industries 550
5 Knute Nelson 450
6 Douglas County 355
7 3M 303
8 Tastefully Simple 294
9 Central Specialties 285
10 Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center 280


Most children in Alexandria attend school at Alexandria Public Schools-ISD 206, which consists of six kindergarten–5th grade elementary schools (Lincoln, Voyager, Woodland, Carlos, Miltona, Garfield), one 6th–8th grade junior high school (Discovery Middle School), and one new 9th–12th grade senior high school (Alexandria Area High School). There are also several independent K–8 Christian schools in the area. Alexandria Technical & Community College offers post-secondary education from certificates on up to 2 year associate degrees.


Two Minnesota State Highways 27 and 29. Highway 27 connects Alexandria to Nelson, Osakis and to western Minnesota. Highway 29 connects Alexandria to Glenwood and Parkers Prairie. Interstate 94 passes through the south end of Alexandria, which allows access to Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN and Fargo-Moorhead.

Public transportation within town (and within the surrounding area) is provided by Rainbow Rider.

Alexandria has a public airport named Chandler Field. It is on the southwest edge of town.

Major highways

The following routes are located in the Alexandria area.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.70 square miles (43.25 km2), of which 15.96 square miles (41.34 km2) is land and 0.74 square miles (1.92 km2) is water.[1] A large portion of the people who live in Alexandria are not calculated into the population because they are spread out of the city and living on and around the many lakes. Climate is "four seasons" continental, with cold snowy winters and warm (sometimes hot and humid) summers. Autumn and Spring are generally pleasant. Average annual precipitation (both snow and rain) is about 25 inches.


Statue of Big Ole the Viking, greeting visitors to Alexandria

2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 11,070 people, 5,298 households, and 2,552 families residing in the city. The population density was 693.6 inhabitants per square mile (267.8/km2). There were 5,821 housing units at an average density of 364.7 per square mile (140.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.3% White, 0.8% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.5% of the population.

There were 5,298 households of which 21.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.2% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 51.8% were non-families. 41.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.02 and the average family size was 2.74.

The median age in the city was 38.8 years. 19.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 13.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.6% were from 25 to 44; 22.1% were from 45 to 64; and 22% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.3% male and 51.7% female.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 8,820 people, however the most recent count suggests a population upwards of 13,001, which is displayed on Alexandria's city limits signs. The census lists 4,047 households, and 2,011 families residing in the city. The population density was 992.5 people per square mile (383.1/km²). There were 4,311 housing units at an average density of 485.1 per square mile (187.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.94% White, 0.42% African American, 0.34% Native American, 0.57% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.18% from other races, and 0.50% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.80% of the population.

There were 4,047 households out of which 23.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.5% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 50.3% were non-families. 41.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.06 and the average family size was 2.81.

In the city the population was spread out with 20.0% under the age of 18, 15.7% from 18 to 24, 24.0% from 25 to 44, 16.7% from 45 to 64, and 23.5% who were old. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 87.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,851, and the median income for a family was $38,245. Males had a median income of $27,871 versus $20,254 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,085. About 7.8% of families and 13.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.2% of those under age 18 and 15.7% of those age 65 or over.


Article for media in Alexandria, MN containing lists of local radio stations, television stations, newspapers.


Alexandria Echo Press is Alexandria's twice-weekly newspaper.


From 1958 until 2012, Alexandria had at least one local television station, either KCCO or KSAX, and both still are satellites of Minneapolis, MN television stations. KCCO had a presence, first as KCMT, in 1958, as an NBC and ABC affiliate. It switched to CBS affiliation in 1982. Five years later, KSAX regained ABC's presence as a semi-satellite of KSTP-TV. In that same year, KCCO was bought out and became a semi-satellite of WCCO-TV. In 1992, KCCO became a CBS O&O when CBS acquired WCCO and its two satellites.

During KCCO and KSAX's time as semi-satellites, they broadcast local news, weather, and sports through ten minute cut-in segments during their parent station's newscast. In 2002, KCCO removed its local presence and became a full satellite of WCCO. In June 2012, cost-cutting measures at KSAX resulted in the layoff of all but two employees and the ending of local cut-in broadcasts by any Alexandria television station.[13]

The Alexandria area is also served by free-to-air over standard UHF television frequencies, viewable in any area home without subscription. Selective TV operates under low power television rules of the FCC and as such was not subject to the analog to digital conversion in 2009. Residents still need a converter box to view KCCO and KSAX on the digital band, though KSAX ia still rebroadcast via Selective TV.


Several radio stations serve Alexandria and the surrounding area. There are eight radio stations in Alexandria; three are locally owned by Paradis Broadcasting: KXRA, KXRA-FM, and KXRZ. Hubbard Broadcasting owns two stations: KULO and KIKV-FM. The other three stations (K208EQ, K215BL, and K219FA) are translator radio stations. There are five other stations in the surrounding area including KKOK from Morris, KRVY from Starbuck, KMGK and KRFG under construction permit from Glenwood, and KBHL from Osakis.

Other forms

The city's unofficial mascot "Big Ole" is featured on the cover of the debut album of the National Beekeepers Society.


The Alexandria Blizzard are a Junior A ice hockey team in the North American Hockey League's central division. For the 2005–2006 season, the team was known as the Minnesota Blizzard, one of four expansion teams that started operations that year. The Blizzard play out of the Runestone Community Center.

The Alexandria Blue Anchors are a baseball team that plays in the Northwoods League that play out of Knute Nelson Memorial Park.

Viking Speedway host weekly Saturday night dirt track racing from April–September and also periodic special, weekend events throughout the year. Five WISSOTA classes run there. Street Stocks, Midwest Modifieds, Super Stocks, Modifieds, and Late Models. Viking Speedway was awarded WISSOTA's "2005 Track of the Year".

Notable residents

See also


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Alexandria Picked As Top Ten Small Town In US
  9. ^
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^

External links

  • City of Alexandria Official Website
  • Alexandria Independent School District
  • Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Alexandria Hotel & Hospitality, Convention & Visitor's Bureau
  • Alexandria Tourism Official Website
  • Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission Website
  • Alexandria, Minnesota Real Estate
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