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Where is Lake Wobegone

Minnesota Heartland Railroad

FAQ's - Lake Wobegone

 Lake Wobegone Scale Gauge vs Scale Switch vs Turnout Vehicle Size

Question:    Why can't I find Lake Wobegone on the Minnesota map?

Answer:    When Minnesota was surveyed, errors were made due to the many lakes and swamps that the surveyors had to work around..  The error that produced the Northwest Angle (the northern most point in the lower 48 states) is probably the most famous.

Lake Wobegone's absence from Minnesota maps is due to another lesser known error, but one that is well known to listeners of Garrison Keillor's "The Prairie Home Companion", a weekly radio variety show which is broadcast live, Saturdays, at 5:00 PM Central Time by Minnesota Public Radio.  When the first surveyors reached Minnesota's western border, they were appalled to discover that their survey of the state was one mile too wide.  For expediency, their solution for this "problem" was simple, they folded their survey map in the middle to eliminate one mile and made the size of the state come out correctly.  Lake Wobegone is "in the fold", and it therefore does not appear on any Minnesota map.