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Sleepy Eye is named for the Sisseton Chief Ishtakhaba, who lived near Sleepy Eye Lake, which they called Minnewashte Chanhatonka (Pretty Water by the Big Trees) with his band. Euro-American settlement at the lake began when a trading post opened around 1829. The town grew in 1872, when the Winona and St. Peter Railroad built a station near the Lake. In 1878, Sleepy Eye Lake incorporated as a village. In 1879, the town changed its to Loreno, but in 1881 the name was reverted to Sleepy Eye Lake. Gradually, use of “Lake” in the name dropped and when the village became a city in 1903, it was the “City of Sleepy Eye.”
Fourth of July Parade, 1908