1. Dakota Settlements
  2. French-Canadian Settlement
  3. Reflecting Anoka County’s Music History
  4. Volunteer Opportunities
  5. Web Site Aids Local Preservation

Before the French-Canadian settlers established the town of Centerville in the mid-1800's, Dakota Indians lived here in the 1600s and 1700s. At that time, this area was covered with dense woodlands and many square miles of marshes, lakes, and waterways.

The natural habitat provided the Dakota with an abundant food supply, including wild rice and a wide variety of game and fish. They travelled the waterways by canoe, reaching the St. Croix River to the east and the Mississippi River to the west.

The Dakota abandoned their settlement in the late 1700's, but returned annually to harvest wild rice. The French-Canadian settlers found burial mounds and artifacts. Many items were excavated and removed from the area before they could be studied.

In the 1940s, archaeologist Harold Kohlepp examined and recorded over a thousand artifacts that still remained in Centerville, including pottery, tools, and arrowheads. He published his findings in an archeology journal, with Centerville featured on the cover.