Paynesville Township

Member of Minnesota Association of Townships Representing Grassroots Government

Nestled in the heart of central Minnesota, the Paynesville area has used its charms for thousands of years to attract visitors. The first to come were hunting-and-gathering Indians centuries ago, and then white settlers started arriving 150 years ago. These days more and more people are lured to visit the area lakes, farm fields, and small towns and choose to make this community their home.

Paynesville Township has completed the purchase and clean up of 2nd Island, which is located in Lake Koronis.

Paynesville Township is a township in Stearns CountyMinnesota, United States. The population was 1,421 at the 2010 census.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 33.5 square miles (86.8 km2); 29.0 square miles (75.1 km2) is land and 4.5 square miles (11.7 km2), or 13.47%, is water.

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,376 people, 510 households, and 415 families residing in the township. There were 752 housing units at an average density of 25.1/sq mi (9.7/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 98.47% White, 0.15% African American, 0.07% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.22% from other races, and 0.80% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.87% of the population.

In the township the population was spread out with 27.0% under the age of 18, 5.3% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 28.1% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 108.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 103.4 males.

Most common first ancestries reported in Paynesville township:

  • German (60.9%)
  • Norwegian (12.0%)
  • Irish (5.5%)
  • United States or American (5.1%)
  • Swedish (3.1%)
  • Dutch (2.5%)
  • English (1.7%)

Most common places of birth for the foreign-born residents:

Second Island

Second Island

HISTORY OF PROPERTY: The property is one of the three islands on Lake Koronis that were part of a land grant to the railroads at the time of settlement. The railroad company later sold the islands to private parties. Dr. Con and Mary Winther owned the island for many years. In 1965, they decided to donate the land to Camp Courage in hopes that it would be available for future generations to enjoy. A plaque mounted on a stone sits on the south side of the island in remembrance of this gift from the Winther family. Nearly 50 years later, Camp Courage, under financial pressure, decided to sell the island. Prior to Paynesville Township’s purchase of the island, a local resort purchased the island from Camp Courage and attempted to gain approval from Stearns County to zone the property for commercial development. Opposed to such development and with community support, Paynesville Township purchased the island from the resort before any construction took place. As the largest of the three islands on Lake Koronis, this property has the most potential for development and diminishment of the scenic resources on the lake.

PROPERTY USES: The property is currently used as a public park for nature observation, picnicking, fishing, and hiking. The public has access to the property year- round. A boat dock allows the public to easily enter the property. A network of established interior trails can be used to access the interior. In the winter, the public can snow shoe or cross-country ski along the trails of the property. The easement prohibits any industrial, residential or agricultural uses. Forest and habitat management is allowed on the property in accordance with a plan approved by the Land Trust. The property may not be used for more than minimal commercial recreational purposes, which may include, as appropriate, such fees or items as camping fees, facility fees, or low impact recreational equipment rental, in conjunction with the allowed recreational or educational use of the property.

Additional detailed information about Second Island
Lake Koronis (Paynesville Township) Baseline (28 Meg file size PDF)