Alexandria, Minnesota

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Alexandria, Minnesota
Alexandria, MN.jpg
Alex, Alec
Location of the city of Alexandria within Douglas County, Minnesota
Location of the city of Alexandria
within Douglas County, Minnesota
Coordinates: 45°53′6.84″N 95°22′38″W / 45.8852333°N 95.37722°W / 45.8852333; -95.37722Coordinates: 45°53′6.84″N 95°22′38″W / 45.8852333°N 95.37722°W / 45.8852333; -95.37722
CountryUnited States
 • MayorSara Carlson
 • Total16.70 sq mi (43.25 km2)
 • Land15.96 sq mi (41.34 km2)
 • Water0.74 sq mi (1.92 km2)  4.43%
1,404 ft (428 m)
 • Total11,070
 • Estimate 
 • Density660/sq mi (260/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)320
FIPS code27-00928
GNIS feature ID0639272[4]

Alexandria is a city in 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 as of 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 often abbreviated as "Alex" (pronounced "Alek").[9]


The city is known as a hot spot for tourism, 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.[10] Extensive repairs to Big Ole were completed in 2016.[11] The city hosts the annual Vikingland Band Festival parade marching championship.

Top employers[edit]

According to the Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission,[12] the top employers in the area are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Douglas County Hospital 900
2 Douglas Machine 650
3 Alexandria Public Schools 584
4 Knute Nelson 609
5 Alexandria Industries 467
6 3M 380
7 Brenton Engineering 320
8 Central Specialties 300
9 Douglas County 231
10 Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center 225


Most children in Alexandria attend school at Alexandria Area Schools, 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) which replaced Jefferson High School built in the late 1950s. There are also several independent K–8 Christian schools in the area. Alexandria Technical & Community College offers post-secondary education, including certificate programs, 2-year associate degrees and transferable credits towards 4 year 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[edit]

The following routes are located in the Alexandria area.


The Alexandria Municipal Airport, also known as Chandler Field, is a city-owned public-use airport located two nautical miles (3.7 km) southwest of the central business district of Alexandria.


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.[citation needed] 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.


  • Lake Carlos
  • Lake Le Homme Dieu
  • Lake Mary
  • Lake Agnes
  • Lake Andrew
  • Lake Brophy
  • Lake Cowdry
  • Lake Darling
  • Lake Geneva
  • Lake Henry
  • Lake Ida
  • Lake Latoka
  • Lake Louise
  • Mill Lake
  • Lake Mina
  • Smith Lake
  • Lobster Lake
  • Lake Burgen
  • Stony Lake
  • Taylor Lake
  • Lake Jessie
  • North Union Lake
  • Lake Charley
  • Union Lake
  • Lake Alvin
  • Laura Lake
  • Lake Winona
  • Lake Victoria[13]
  • Lake Miltona
  • Lake Irene
  • Maple Lake
  • Lake Reno
  • Grant Lake
  • Blackwell Lake
  • Echo Lake
  • Lake Oscar
  • Rachel Lake
  • Cork Lake
  • Mud Lake
  • Vermont Lake
  • Pocket Lake


Statue of Big Ole the Viking, greeting visitors to Alexandria
Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201613,568[3]22.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[14]
2013 Estimate[15]

2010 census[edit]

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[edit]

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 over 66. 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.[16]

The Alexandria area is also served by Selective TV, Inc., a non-profit, viewer-supported organization which transmits several cable channels 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 KBHL from Osakis.

Other forms[edit]

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 Tier III junior ice hockey team in the North American 3 Hockey League and play out of the Runestone Community Center. From 2006 to 2012, the organization had a Tier II team in the North American Hockey League. The NAHL franchise relocated to Brookings, South Dakota and the current NA3HL franchise took its place.

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[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  6. ^ Upham, Warren (1920). Minnesota Geographic Names: Their Origin and Historic Significance. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 175.
  7. ^ "2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  8. ^ "Alexandria Picked As Top Ten Small Town In US". 5 July 2013.
  9. ^ Chaffins, Amy (11 July 2014). "You asked:Why do locals call Alexandria 'Alek?'". Echo Press. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  10. ^ Dougherty, Steve (September 11, 2005). "Highway 61, Visited". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-04.
  11. ^ Edenloff, Celeste (July 27, 2016). "End is near for Big Ole repairs". Echo Press. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  12. ^ "Demographics - Living Alexandria Area - Minnesota".
  13. ^ "Douglas County Minnesota Lakes - Alexandria Lakes Fishing". Retrieved 2017-02-05.
  14. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  15. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-07-14.
  16. ^ "KSAX-TV Alexandria drops local news programming". Retrieved 11 April 2016.

External links[edit]