Plymouth City Hall
Location of Plymouth
within Hennepin County, Minnesota
|Founded||1852 by Pete Scherer|
|• Mayor||Kelli Slavik|
|• City||35.33 sq mi (91.50 km2)|
|• Land||32.68 sq mi (84.64 km2)|
|• Water||2.65 sq mi (6.86 km2)|
|Elevation||971 ft (296 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||72,928|
|• Density||2,159.6/sq mi (833.8/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|ZIP codes||55441, 55442, 55446, 55447|
|GNIS feature ID||0649598|
Plymouth is the seventh largest city in the U.S. state of Minnesota. Located 15 miles (24 km) west of downtown Minneapolis in Hennepin County, the city is the third largest suburb of Minneapolis–Saint Paul, which is the fifteenth largest metropolitan area in the United States, with about 3.4 million residents. The population was 70,576 at the 2010 Census.
Once named for Medicine Lake, the city's name was chosen by Hennepin County Commissioners during the county's inception.
Plymouth's history can be traced back to the pre-Columbian period, 1400–1500 AD. The original inhabitants were the Dakota. Their encampment was at the north end of Medicine Lake. The name Medicine Lake is derived from the Native American word "Mdewakan", meaning "Lake of the Spirit." The Dakota named the lake after a warrior overturned his canoe and his body was never recovered.
Antoine LeCounte, a guide and explorer, was the first settler to this area. He arrived in 1848, but did not settle until 1852. He carried mail from the Red River country to points south, trading goods to Native Americans for horses on the way. LeCounte built the first cabin at what is now East Medicine Lake Boulevard at 29th Avenue North.
Plymouth's beginning as a town occurred in 1855 on the northwest shores of what is now known as Parkers Lake. A gristmill and other structures were built in the area. In the spring of 1857, when Parkers Lake flooded, the mill was taken down and moved to Freeport. Freeport is now named Wayzata.
As new settlers arrived in the area, they decided to organize. The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners named the new settlement Plymouth. On April 19, 1858, a group of townspeople met at the home of Francis Day to open elections for town offices. On May 11, 1858, the group voted to change the town's name to Medicine Lake. This was used once at the town meeting, but for reasons, which were not recorded, it was never used again.
During the Dakota War of 1862 between white settlers and the Dakota at Fort Ridgely, near New Ulm, the settlers of Plymouth formed a militia. When the Civil War started, Plymouth paid its volunteers $25 to enlist. At about this time, Plymouth's growth began to take on a new look. Schools and churches were built and a post office was located in Plymouth. By 1863, hotels were being built.
More changes occurred after the Civil War. By 1880, Plymouth boasted a population of 1,074, and reaped $667 in annual taxes. Farming became the trade of most settlers. Roads were built across Plymouth, making access to other towns possible. Medicine Lake had become a major tourist attraction and resorts were built around its shores.
As the character of the community evolved, so did local government. Plymouth incorporated as a village on May 18, 1955. The city adopted the Council–Manager form of government on August 1, 1968. Plymouth became a statutory city on February 7, 1974. It remained a statutory city until voters opted to make it a home rule charter city by adopting a City Charter on November 3, 1992. The City Charter went into effect on January 1, 1993. The Charter continued the Council–Manager form of government, and increased the size of the City Council. Prior to the adoption of the Charter, the City Council was made up of five members elected at-large. The Charter increased the Council to seven members elected from four wards.
Plymouth was named by Money Magazine the number one city in which to live in the United States in 2008. The magazine gave top honors to Plymouth because of its inclusion of residential areas, industry, parks, schools, and other aspects which make Plymouth a self-contained and essentially autonomous city.
Plymouth has a humid continental climate, typical of the Midwestern United States, with very cold winters, and hot, sometimes humid summers. Summer daytime temperatures average 83°F (28°C), with a low of around 60°F (15°C), while winter temperatures average only 23°F (-5°C) and a low of 3°F (-16°C). The highest recorded temperature in Plymouth was 99°F (37°C) in 1964, and the lowest was -39°F (-39.4°C) in 1977. Rainfall is spread throughout the year, with the most rain being received in the summer months, with June being the wettest, with 120.3 mm of rain.
|Climate data for Plymouth, Minnesota|
|Record high °F (°C)||55
|Average high °F (°C)||23
|Average low °F (°C)||3
|Record low °F (°C)||−39
|Precipitation inches (mm)||0.898
Government and politics
Plymouth is an independent district currently represented by state senators Terri Bonoff (D), Ann Rest (D) and Ron Latz (D). Plymouth's state representatives are Ryan Winkler (D), Lyndon Carlson (D) and sole Republican Sarah Anderson. (Rep. Anderson nearly lost her seat in 2012 to Democrat Audrey Britton, who gained 49 percent of the vote). Plymouth is located in Minnesota's 3rd congressional district, which is represented by Erik Paulsen. Minnesota's Congressional senators are Amy Klobuchar (D) whom Plymouth voted for overwhelmingly, and Al Franken (D). President Obama carried Plymouth in 2008 and 2012. Verify election outcomes at the Minnesota Secretary of State's website.
Five school districts serve Plymouth – Wayzata Public Schools ISD 284, Robbinsdale Area Schools 281, Osseo School District 279,West Metro Education Project District 6069 and Hopkins School District 270. The majority of the city (western and southern areas) is served by Wayzata Public Schools. Robbinsdale Area Schools serves the east-central area of Plymouth. The Osseo District includes the northeast area and Hopkins includes the southeast corner of Plymouth. Some students attend public schools in other school districts chosen by their families under Minnesota's open enrollment statute.
- Birchview Elementary School
- Gleason Lake Elementary School (Plymouth / Wayzata, MN)
- Greenwood Elementary School
- Kimberly Lane Elementary School
- Oakwood Elementary School
- Plymouth Creek Elementary School
- Sunset Hill Elementary School
- Wayzata East Middle School
- Wayzata Central Middle School
- Wayzata West Middle School
- Wayzata High School
Wayzata High School is located in Plymouth, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis–Saint Paul. The high school, operated by the Wayzata School District, has approximately 3500 students in grades 9 to 12 (2011), making it the largest secondary school by enrollment in Minnesota. Projected enrollment for the 2012-2013 School Year is 3617. It is also the largest Minnesota secondary school by structural size, with an interior of 487,000 square feet (45,200 m2). The school is part of the Lake Conference, an athletic conference that also includes Minnetonka High School, Eden Prairie High School, Edina High School, and Hopkins High School. Its current principal is Mike Trewick. In 2008, Newsweek ranked the school #940 "List of the 1300 Top High Schools in America."
- Robbinsdale Armstrong High School
- Robbinsdale Plymouth Middle School
- Zachary Lane Elementary School
West Metro Education Project (WMEP) District 6069
- The InterDistrict Downtown School (IDDS)
- FAIR (Fine Arts Interdisciplinary Resource) School
Private schools and colleges
- Association Free Lutheran Bible School and Seminary
- Fourth Baptist Christian School
- Central Baptist Theological Seminary
- Globe University/Minnesota School of Business, offering degrees in business, health science, information technology and legal science
- Providence Academy 
- West Lutheran High School 
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 35.33 square miles (91.50 km2), of which 32.68 square miles (84.64 km2) is land and 2.65 square miles (6.86 km2) is water.
According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $80,949, and the median income for a family was $101,630.
As of the census of 2000, there were 65,894 people, 24,820 households, and 17,647 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,002.0 persons per square mile (773.1/km²). There were 25,258 housing units at an average density of 767.4 per square mile (296.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.36% White, 2.71% African American, 0.33% Native American, 3.79% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.50% from other races, and 1.31% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.64% of the population. 27.0% were of German, 13.1% Norwegian, 7.8% Irish and 7.5% Swedish ancestry.
There were 24,820 households out of which 37.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.2% were married couples living together, 7.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.9% were non-families. 21.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the city the population was spread out with 27.1% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 33.0% from 25 to 44, 25.0% from 45 to 64, and 7.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 97.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $77,008, and the median income for a family was $90,134. Males had a median income of $59,751 versus $38,111 for females. The per capita income for the city was $36,309. About 1.5% of families and 2.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.0% of those under age 18 and 1.5% of those age 65 or over.
As of the census of 2010, there were 70,576 people, 28,663 households, and 19,230 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,159.6 inhabitants per square mile (833.8 /km2). There were 29,982 housing units at an average density of 917.4 per square mile (354.2 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.2% White, 5.2% African American, 0.3% Native American, 6.9% Asian, 1.0% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.0% of the population.
There were 28,663 households of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.6% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 32.9% were non-families. 26.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.96.
The median age in the city was 39.5 years. 23.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.1% were from 25 to 44; 30.1% were from 45 to 64; and 12.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.4% male and 51.6% female.
- Amy Klobuchar – U.S. Senator
- Marion Barber III – Former NFL running back
- Jonas H. Howe – abolitionist, artist and state legislator
- Blake Wheeler – ice hockey player
- Jeff Johnson – Hennepin County Commissioner
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
- America's Best Places to Live 2008
- America's Best Places to Live 2010
- City of Plymouth, Minnesota
- "Open Enrollment". Minnesota Department of Education. Archived from the original on 26 August 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2010.
- United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 15, 2013.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved June 15, 2013.
- City website
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Plymouth
- Movies and television shows filmed in Plymouth