History of Isanti

Excerpt from Preserving a Sense of Heritage: Isanti, Minnesota Centennial 1899-1999 by Maryls Wickstrom and R.W. Dutch Schoenecker

“The name Isanti has its origin in Native American culture. Isanti County and the city of Isanti are named for a nation of Dakota (Sioux) Indians. They lived in the Mille Lacs Lake area and along the Rum River and are sometimes referred to as the Santees. Isanti is a derivative of that name.”

“Originally Isanti was located about three miles north of its present site. Referred to as “Old Isanti” the crossroads community was once a busy settlement which dates back to the 1860’s (Bergstrom, 82). Old Isanti extended to about one-half mile south of the intersection of State Highway 65 and County Road 19. …(N)o trace of the settlement remains...”

“About the time Edward and Albert Norelius moved their first store building into the new townsite in 1899, Wilfred D. Oleson arrived to build a new store. He and his new wife stayed with the Norelius family until the building was completed.”

For more information on our City, please stop by City Hall to review the entire book written on our City.