When the Soo Line Railroad decided to purchase land in a wooded area along the Middle River in 1903 for the establishment of a station and village, the decision provoked a bit of controversery among settlers who thought the station should be located in their little village of New Folden located two miles south - the settlement was in the center of New Folden township, had a post office and store and was popular meeting place for area residents.
The river and woods of the new site did, however, provide a more attractive spot for a village, and because the future townsite had been too wet for farming, the Soo Line could purchase it cheaply.
The Soo Line officially named most of its town sites and decided to name the new village "Baltic" in honor of the Baltic Elevators which were built along the Soo Line. The "foreign" name, however, was unacceptable to the Scandinavian community. Moving the post office to the new site, the village was named Newfolden - a shortened version of the often misspelled New Folden.
In 1904, the Soo Line purchased the swampy 160-acre homestead of Olaus (Oliver) Larson for $4,800. The purchase of an additional forty acres from Lewis Ekman was enough to complete the planned townsite.
In 1905, a Soo Line advertisement for the new town of Newfolden boasted a population of 180 and a number of businesses - a milling company, three merchandise stores, a lumber company, a livestock shipper, an implement dealer, two hotels, a restaurant, a "hard and soft drinks" establishment, a grist mill, a drug, confectionary and tobacco store and a bank.
Some of the new businessmen in Newfolden were outsiders, but many were area farmers who saw a business opportunity and took advantage of it. Within a year, the second Soo station north of Thief River Falls was surrounded by a thriving village. After the initial boom, the little community of Newfolden experienced a more gradual expansion.
Today's Newfolden has a population of approximately 345 people, and a number of businesses line its streets - gas stations, a hardware store, bar, cafe, a roofing company, grocery store, an insurance agency, bank, car wash and others. An elevator stands beside the railroad tracks. Several governmental offices are located within the city.
At the heart of the community is a Community Center which houses City offices and is attached to the fire hall of the volunteer fire department. Several churches, an elementary school, a new high school and streets lined with homes complete Newfolden's scenic picture.
Calling itself the "Rolling Pin Capital of Minnesota," Newfolden is home of the Lokstad rolling pin.