Cosmos was originally settled in 1867 and was organized as a township in 1870.

Daniel Hoyt, an early settler and surveyor, proposed the city name. Hoyt, who later was elected the first township clerk, suggested the name because it was a Greek word meaning order and harmony.

Cosmos was incorporated as a village on September 21, 1926. The cosmic theme is carried on in the city streets named for planets and constellations and the rocket decorating the water tower.

The city covers a one-mile-square section of land. The 1990 population was 610 in the city and an additional 269 people living in the surrounding Cosmos Township. The 2010 Census determined the population to be 473 in the city.

The trail will be built through the city park on the south side of Highway 7 and cross to the north side of Highway 7. The trail will then run east of the intersection of Highway 7 and Milky Way Lane.

The average daily traffic count at the intersection with Highway 7 is 2,450 to 2,950 vehicles (1991 figures). The trail will then follow along the Highway 7 right-of-way until it rejoins the railroad right-of-way.

The McLeod County Fairgrounds Association has donated a historic trestle bridge to the DNR. It has been moved to the site one mile east of Cosmos, where it was needed for a missing bridge over the South Fork of the Crow River.

The Luce Line Trail Association donated funding for transporting the bridge. Installation of the bridge approach and abutments took place in 1997.

One mile west of Cosmos is the westernmost trailhead of the Luce Line State Trail at Meeker County’s Thompson Lake Park.

Picnicking, camping, fishing, parking, rest rooms, and play fields are available at this pleasant oak-covered site on the east shore of Thompson Lake. This site, on the east shore of the lake, probably protected the oaks from the prairie fires that once swept the landscape.

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