The city of Long Lake (population 1,768) lies on the south shore of Long Lake, covering less than one square mile.
The city of Orono wraps around Long Lake on all sides, except for the southeastern tip of Long Lake where the Luce Line is the boundary between Long Lake and Wayzata for about one-quarter mile. Long Lake is part of the Orono School District, and the two communities have cooperative agreements for some services, such as police and fire protection.
Willow, Brown, and Orono Orchard Road all lead across the city of Orono into Long Lake, three to eight blocks north of the Luce Line.
The housing pattern of Long Lake is more dense than most of the surrounding suburban and exurban communities, giving it a “small town” feeling. Long Lake also has commercial and retail enterprises in its downtown area along busy Highway 12, which bisects the town from east to west.
Long Lake was incorporated in 1906 in order to prevent the Great Northern Railway from moving its depot out of town.
The railroad wanted to relocate the depot a mile west of the town to avoid having to back out of town to get up speed to climb a hill. The laws of that time required railroads to provide stops in incorporated towns.
Long Lake was originally part of Medina Township. Milling and barrel factories were early enterprises there. Artifacts of these early days can be seen at the West Hennepin Pioneer Museum.
Long Lake has four city parks. The largest is Nelson Lakeside Park, which includes a public swimming beach on Long Lake.
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