Apple Valley was founded in 1969 and was previously named Lebanon Township. Orin Thompson, a real estate developer, was responsible for the city’s early development. He contracted a company to determine where the next growth in the Twin Cities would be. It was one-half of a mile from County Road 42 and Cedar Avenue. Thompson bought the first houses and streets from the Brobacks, who built the city’s first four houses. The firm that selected this area was in Apple Valley, California, so Thompson took that name for the development. An alternate explanation for the name change exists, however. According to local developer Henry Broback, Lebanon Township was renamed Apple Valley because “…when you drive east on (County Road) 42 and turn to enter Lebanon, it reminded them of Apple Valley, California, which was a nice community.”
Apple Valley municipal building
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.57 square miles (45.51 km2), of which 16.86 square miles (43.67 km2) is land and 0.71 square miles (1.84 km2) is water. The city’s geography is rolling, with elevation from the lowest to the highest points in the city varying by a hundred feet or more. The downtown area and its adjacent residential district (which formed the original core of the city when it was incorporated) are in a shallow valley. A lot of the area around Apple Valley is still undeveloped, or contains large quarries.
There were 18,875 households of which 35.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.7% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 29.1% were non-families. 23.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.07.
The median age in the city was 37.9 years. 25.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.5% were from 25 to 44; 30.2% were from 45 to 64; and 9.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.5% male and 51.5% female.
There were 16,344 households out of which 42.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.7% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.1% were non-families. 19.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.21.
In the city, the population was spread out with 29.7% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 33.1% from 25 to 44, 24.4% from 45 to 64, and 5.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.4 males. For several years, the city’s population was among the fastest growing in Minnesota, but it has virtually exhausted the amount of additional buildable land within city limits, and so its growth has slowed considerably since 1990.
The median income for a household in the city was $69,752, and the median income for a family was $79,335 (these figures had risen to $76,789 and $86,874 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $50,636 versus $33,315 for females. The per capita income for the city was $29,477. About 1.1% of families and 2.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.0% of those under age 18 and 3.8% of those age 65 or over.
The Minnesota Zoo
Apple Valley is home to the Minnesota Zoo, a nationally recognized zoological garden that houses hundreds of animals from several distinct climatological zones. Collections include an indoor Tropics Trail featuring animals from the worlds rain forests and tropical habitats, the Minnesota Trail with native animals from Minnesota including black bears, wolves, wolverines and beaver pond. The Northern Trail features large animals from the worlds cold climates. Highlights of this trail are musk ox, Asian wild horses, Takins from China and animals from remote east coast including brown bears, Amur leopards, and wild boars. The zoo also feathers an aquarium, an exhibit of penguins from South Africa and the popular Japanese snow monkeys,
Apple Valley High School built in the 1970s.
There are six elementary, three middle and three high schools in the city, all operated by Independent School District 196. In addition to the two comprehensive high schools, Apple Valley is home to a magnet school open to 11th and 12th graders, the School of Environmental Studies. In fall 2007, Independent School District 196 opened three elementary-level magnet schools: Cedar Park Elementary, which will become a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) magnet; Diamond Path Elementary, which will have an International Studies theme, and Glacier Hills Elementary, with an Arts and Science theme. Some students attend public schools in other school districts chosen by their families under Minnesota’s open enrollment statute.
David Fischer, is a former American ice hockey defenseman for the Montreal Canadiens
Karl Goehring, a retired professional ice hockey goaltender for the Syracuse Crunch
Tyus Jones, Point guard for the NBA Minnesota Timberwolves. Won the 2015 NCAA Basketball championship with the Duke Blue Devils
Trevor Laws, an American football defensive tackle for the St. Louis Rams
Rhys Lloyd, former kicker for the Carolina Panthers
Derek Rackley, tight end and long snapper for the Seattle Seahawks
Carolyn Jane Rodriguez, Minnesota legislator
Brett Rogers, Mixed Martial Arts fighter
Coleen Rowley, a former FBI agent and 9/11 whistleblower who was named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” in 2002
Nicholas Sadler, an actor who has appeared in the films Scent of a Woman, Disclosure, Mobsters, as well as the TV shows The Cosby Show and ER
Dan Sexton, former ice hockey forward for the Anaheim Ducks
Maria Thayer, an actress who has appeared in sitcoms Strangers with Candy and Will & Grace, as well as in the films Hitch and Accepted
Lindsey Vonn (née Kildow), Olympic skier
Erik Westrum, a former ice hockey center who played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Phoenix Coyotes, Minnesota Wild, and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Julian Rhodes, Kinesiologist.