"A City That Works"
|• Total||6.18 sq mi (16.00 km2)|
|• Land||5.95 sq mi (15.42 km2)|
|• Water||0.22 sq mi (0.58 km2)|
|Elevation||863 ft (263 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||1,242.02/sq mi (479.58/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||2394113|
Minnesota Territorial Supreme Court Judge Andrew G. Chatfield selected the townsite of Belle Plaine in 1853 while traveling from Mendota to Traverse des Sioux to hold court, as it was a halfway marker on his usual path of travel. Judge Chatfield chose to name the townsite Belle Plaine, which is French for "Beautiful Prairie."
In 1870, the Minnesota State Legislature passed "An act to aid in the development of the salt springs at Belle Plaine", which donated six pieces of state-owned salt land to a holding company under certain conditions, notably that a well was to be drilled at Belle Plaine. The public funds put the company under great public scrutiny. A year later "An act to further aid the Belle Plaine Salt Company in the development of Salt Springs at Belle Plaine" passed.
U.S. Highway 169 and Minnesota State Highway 25 are two of the main routes in the community. The U.S. Highway 169 corridor travels from the city of Virginia along the western edge of Mille Lacs Lake, through the western suburbs of Minneapolis and continues south through Belle Plaine, Mankato, and then into Iowa. It is a central route of travel and provides easy access to the Twin Cities and southern Minnesota.
Belle Plaine is located along the Minnesota River, which flows northeast through the town. A fairly newly constructed bridge crosses on the north side of town via Minnesota State Highway 25.
Belle Plaine is located within the Minnesota River Valley, an area of considerable width in which a great river once ran after the receding of the glaciers that left Minnesota with so many lakes. The ancient river's banks are discernible as the slopes of the valley rise up on either side of the town.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 6,661 people, 2,362 households, and 1,680 families living in the city. The population density was 1,127.1 inhabitants per square mile (435.2/km2). There were 2,501 housing units at an average density of 423.2 per square mile (163.4/km2). The city's racial makeup was 94.2% White, 1.1% African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.4% Asian, 1.2% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.1% of the population.
There were 2,362 households, of which 43.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.9% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 28.9% were non-families. 22.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.22.
The median age in the city was 32.5 years. 30% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 34.1% were from 25 to 44; 18.8% were from 45 to 64; and 10.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.6% male and 50.4% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,789 people, 1,396 homes and 949 families living in the city. The population density was 932.7 inhabitants per square mile (360.1/km2). There were 1,424 housing units at an average density of 350.5 per square mile (135.3/km2). The city's racial makeup was 97.39% White, 0.13% African American, 0.40% Native American, 0.71% Asian, 0.45% from other races, and 0.92% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.13% of the population.
There were 1,396 households, of which 38.6% had children, 53.4% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present. 26.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.13.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 28.1% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 31.3% from 25 to 44, 17.1% from 45 to 64, and 16.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.1 males.
Belle Plaine Public Schools are part of the Belle Plaine Public School District. The district educates nearly 1500 students in grades Kindergarten through 12. There are two elementary schools, with Chatfield Elementary holding preschool and kindergarten through second grade, and Oakcrest Elementary holding third through sixth grade. Seventh through 12th grades are held in Belle Plaine Junior/Senior High School. Graduating classes from BPHS usually range from 100 to 120 students.
- Ryan Dungey, four-time AMA Supercross and four-time AMA Motocross Champion
- Arthur A. Hahn, Minnesota state senator and businessman
- Beth Riesgraf, television actress
- Peter Roy, Minnesota state and territorial legislator and farmer
- "The City of Belle Plaine Minnesota". The City of Belle Plaine Minnesota. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Belle Plaine, Minnesota
- "Explore Census Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 8, 2022.
- "City and Town Population Totals: 2020-2021". United States Census Bureau. August 8, 2022. Retrieved August 8, 2022.
- "Minnesota Pronunciation Guide". Associated Press. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved July 4, 2011.
- Chicago and North Western Railway Company (1908). A History of the Origin of the Place Names Connected with the Chicago & North Western and Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railways. p. 168.
- "Profile for Belle Plaine, Minnesota, MN". ePodunk. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- ""Belle Plaine Trivia," City of Belle Plaine". Archived from the original on July 24, 2021. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
- N. H. Winchell and Warren Upham. "The Geological and Natural History Survey of Minnesota 1872-1882" vol. 1. Minneapolis: Johnson, Smith & Harrison, State Printers, 1884. pg. 104
- William E. Lass (1990). "Minnesota's Quest for Salt".
- Alexander Winchell. "Report of a geological survey of the vicinity of Belle Plaine, Scott County". St. Paul: D. Ramaly, 1872.
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 12, 2012. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
- United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved February 12, 2014.
- "Belle Plaine Public School District". Belle Plaine Public School District. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
- "Trinity Lutheran School".
- City of Belle Plaine Minnesota – Official City Website
- Belle Plaine Public Schools – website
- ePodunk: Profile for Belle Plaine, Minnesota
- List of Belle Plaine Businesses
- Our Lady of the Prairie Catholic Church and School