City Vision Statement
Medina seeks to provide a safe, healthy and sustainable community
for present and future residents through efficient and effective
service, while retaining its rural heritage and promoting
recreational, residential and business activities.
The complete City Vision Statement and strategies can be read by
History of the City of Medina
was a part of the "Big Woods," a vast
region of hardwood forest, broken only
by lakes, marshes, and streams. Its
Dakota people lived on game, fish,
berries, wild rice, and maple sugar and
traded with other bands in the region.
In 1853, the Traverse de Sioux Treaty
opened up the region to white settlers,
who were attracted by the huge stands of
timber and the availability of land for
The first settlers arrived in
in 1855. On April 10, 1858, County Commissioners gave the City an official designation as
"Hamburg Township." Local residents preferred the
after the Arabian holy City that was in the news that year. On May
11, 1858, 37 residents met in the home of Valorius Chilson and voted
unanimously to change the name.
Medina's early European settlers were chiefly
German, Irish and French-Canadian and had names still common in Medina, like Scherer and
Reiser; Mooney and Crowe; Hamel and Fortin. The first generations
tended to group according to their language ties and to help each
other through the long hard winters.
Townships were always divided into 36 sections, each consisting of a
square mile. This meant that the City of
extended beyond the north shore
of Lake Minnetonka to Medina's southern border.
Excelsior's northern residents tolerated this inconvenience until
1868, when Excelsior's north shore residents voted to become a part
of Medina. This expanded Medina to over 50 square miles.
In 1889, George A. Brackett led a successful drive to carve the City
of Orono out of the southern 11 sections of Medina. Later, the City also ceded away land
to Loretto, when it incorporated in 1940. Loretto had been platted
since 1886 at the time the Minneapolis
& St. Paul and Sault St.
Marie railroad came through.
The Hamel area of Medina was platted
as a City as early as 1879, but its efforts to incorporate failed,
in part, because of the complication of straddling the borders of
The town might have been called Lenz after Leander Lenzen, who built
a mill on Elm Creek and set up a post office in the name of Lenz in
1861. But, when the Lange Hamel family gave land to the railroad for
the train depot in 1884 they asked that it be called "Hamel," and
the name took root. To this day, people call this area of
Built on the road from Minneapolis to Rockford, Hamel was a busy
town. At the turn of the century Hamel boasted a school, two hotels,
the Church of St. Anne's, a hall for the Ancient Order of United
Workman and numerous stores. The town decreased to its present size
after TH 55 bypassed it in the 1950's. As it grew,
graduated from "township" status to become a "village" in 1955; it
incorporated as a City in 1974.
is a prosperous, suburban edge City and, as its population rises
towards 5,000, its residents are eager to preserve its rural