Our mission here at Sherburne History Center is to connect people with the county’s past, to foster a sense of community, and to help people understand the present to make informed choices about the future.
Board of Directors:
Marilyn Danielson, President
Susan Dunbar, Vice President
Brian David, Secretary
Dwayne Iverson, Treasurer
About Sherburne County:
Sherburne County is located in central Minnesota, between the Twin Cities and St. Cloud.
Originally the area was contested middle ground between the northern Minnesota Ojibwe people and the southern Minnesota Dakota. A treaty in 1837 opened the area to whites and created a buffer zone between the tribes.
After the treaty, ox cart trains moved goods and people through the area. By the 1860s there were several small communities supporting the farmers who settled. They were drawn by the available prairie land and the proximity to the Mississippi River – Sherburne County’s southern border.
As the local population increased, the railroads came, bringing more settlers, communications, and commerce. An ice harvesting industry sprung up on Big Lake. Big Lake ice was renowned for its clarity and was shipped by rail from Big Lake to cities like Minneapolis and Chicago.
The railroad is still a big part of Sherburne County, but these days most people arrive on one of the major highways. Many Sherburne County residents today work in the Twin Cities or St. Cloud area, but live here for the affordable housing, good schools, and sense of community.
Area attractions include the Sherburne Wildlife Refuge, Sand Dunes State Forest, and the Oliver Kelley Farm.
Sherburne County Facts:
Namesake: Moses Sherburne, an early Minnesota politician
County Seat: Elk River
Incorporated: February, 1856
Population (2022): 100,824
County website: http://www.co.sherburne.mn.us
Facility Use for County Departments
This form is to be used ONLY by Sherburne County departments.
Facility Use for Public & Private Events
Host your next workshop, retreat, or family event at the Sherburne History Center. Our meeting room overlooks picturesque Clitty Lake. It can be divided into two rooms for breakout sessions.