The Central Minnesota
Sustainable Development Plan



Our Story

Population:  1,242                   

Median Age:  34

Median Income:  $47,292

Area:  1.99 square miles

Most Common Industry:  Retail trade, Manufacturing, Other services, except public administration



In 1853 R.D. Kinney, a native of Vermont, came west into this territory as a missionary among the Indians.  Travel from St. Paul north at that time was by stage coach and dog trains on the military road to Fort Ripley.  Settlers in this part of the country were few and far between and Indians roamed the land.  Mr. Kinney claimed a quarter section of land and erected a house.  The government appointed him postmaster in 1854 and asked him to suggest a name.  Royalton, Vermont was his city of birth, he submitted that name.

The first settlers built homes and farmed, many have wondered why this location was chosen when heavier and better land was available.  In the early day the prairie soil was very productive and could be cultivated without the labor of removing brush and trees.  The prairie soil produced good crops; stock grazed on the uncultivated part of the prairie where grass was abundant and hay was there for the cutting on the unsettled meadow land to the north. 

School was first held in the home of Jasper Hill in 1857 with Mrs. Hill being the teacher.  Later, the Royalton district organized and in 1882 a proper school facility was constructed.

Religious services were held as early as 1855 by Father Pierz, an early missionary to whites and Indians alike.  Services were held mostly in school houses until the village incorporated. A Methodist Church was erected in 1886 and Holy Trinity Church was organized in 1896. 

The first train was run from Sauk Rapids to Brainerd on November 1, 1877.  When the word got out settlers from miles around flocked to witness the passing of the first train into what is now Royalton. The train replaced the St. Paul, Sauk Rapids & Fort Ripley Stage Line which advertised “only three days” travel time from St. Paul to Fort Ripley”. 

In early times Royalton was a leading market for wood products.  Wood for railroad ties made of clear white oak, cordwood and maple used for constructing buildings were all staged and processed here.  The wood was harvested on the west side of the Mississippi River and shipped to St. Paul and to the prairie country to the west.  Logs were also floated down the Platte River in the summer to be processed in Royalton during the cold season.  A flour mill and saw mill were erected in the late 1800’s and brought good times to Royalton; the place prospered as never before. 

In 1886 the village of Royalton incorporated and city governing separated from Bellevue Township.  Two years later a fire department was formed and many other improvements were approved by the city council including widening streets, construction of sidewalks and building the first city park.

In 1885 C.C. Brown founded the Royalton Banner, the first newspaper in Royalton.  By all accounts he was an expert printer and brilliant writer.  He delighted in a battle of words and wrote many scathing and infuriating articles.  Citizens would storm his office and leave content, such was Browns’ personality that they would see the humor or common sense in the article they objected to. 



Royalton today is a quiet community where neighbors know and watch out for each other and you can still ride around town on a bike and be safe.  Community members want you to know there is more to Royalton than what can be seen traveling through town on Highway 10. They are proud of the many recent civic accomplishments, their high school sports teams and volunteer fire department.  There is a nice mix of newer homes and well-kept older homes with lots of character. Due to the proximity and easy commute to St. Cloud, 20 miles to the south, many workers and shoppers alike leave town to access the many opportunities found there.   

The school is growing as open enrollment and people moving into the community will soon double the enrollment of the school.  The whole town supports the Royalton “Royals”.  In 2008-2009 the football team went to the state tournament and came in second in their division.  The baseball and wrestling teams have also placed high in state meets.  This sparked an up swell and revitalized school spirit in the entire community.  A Royalton Hall of Fame was recently created, a new sign in front of the high school was purchased and a new banner hangs in the gym. 

The city has an active, energetic mayor and cautiously progressive city council; they get things done.  Solar panels were recently placed on the roof of the city hall, cutting operating costs for the city and residents.  

A community supported Splash Park opened this summer.  The elementary school assisted with a “cash for splash” fund raiser.  The Otto Bremer Foundation contributed to the project.  Mayor Andrea Lauer says “the people in Royalton have a willingness to work together to make things happen”. 

A Skate Park is also new and was funded by the Lion’s Club, businesses, city, Legion and Tony Hawk Foundation.  The land was donated by a local family and local volunteers and students did most of the physical labor. Newman’s Industries, a local company, also assisted in the construction. 

City leaders would like to see more jobs come to town.  They would prefer heavy industrial but are willing to look at all opportunities.  Renewable energy projects would be a good fit for Royalton; they embrace renewable energy and the environment is important to their future plans.  After completing several renewable energy projects and assessing the merit, Royalton would be thrilled to bring an energy company to town.  New industries are being sought to occupy the west side of Highway 10, attracted possibly by its proximity to rail access.  The city council is in the planning stage of the future Highway 10 by-pass around the city.  

Local foods - Mayor, Andrea Lauer would love to see the Prairie Bay catering truck come to Royalton to show off local foods.  She would also like to see a partnership between the school & community using high tunnels and solar thermal to grow produce for local consumption. 

Residents identified these specific assets in ROYALTON

Natural Assets:

Platte River


Potato farms

Farm land


Cultural Assets:

German /Polish

Youth involvement



Young to old



Human Assets:


People willing to help the community


Fire fighters

Middle class working families



Jim Langer-Football Hall of Fame


Social Assets:

Platte River Day

Legion Club

Catholic church

Community center

Lion’s Club

Sports teams

Social networking/texting

Sporting events


Legion baseball league


Political Assets:


Other cities in Morrison County

Cautiously progressive City council


County Commissioners



Financial Assets:


Fire fighters


Local scholarships

Royalton Lions



Bush Foundation


Built Assets:


McDougal Farm

Riverview Terrace

Soo Line Trail

McGonagle Park

Sportsmen’s Club


Pow Wow Grounds

Crane Meadows

Riverside Assisted Living


Hwy 10

Treasure City

Hockey rink

Skate Park

Frisbee golf


Ball fields-6

Splash Park

Tennis court



Community Goals

1. Grow the industrial park, add or expand manufacturing and create jobs, generating additional taxes.  Establish a quiet zone around the railroad and improve the appearance of the Highway 10 corridor through town.

2. Designated main-street should be business not mixed with residential, grow retail trade targeting a grocery store/restaurant/café and focus on local foods. 

3. Enhance and feature the walking/bicycle trail connecting to Soo Line Trail, clean up town’s appearance for visitors, add bathroom facilities close to the trail. 2000 bicyclers come from Rice alone.

4. Move power lines into alleys /do long range planning.


For more information on the City of Royalton and all it has to offer, visit: