It was over 125 years ago, on August 27, 1887, that the Village of Winsted was incorporated, but its history began long before that. From the beginning, it was the determination of men and women who wanted to build a better future for themselves and their families, who headed out west to make a living and set new traditions. Men like James Baird, a trader, trapper, hunter, and scout, had been in the area known as the Big Woods as early as 1846. It was Baird who led Eli Lewis further west to explore the 24,000,000 acres of land opened for settlement in 1853 in southern and western Minnesota by a treaty with the Sioux Indians. The Village of Winsted was founded July 30, 1857, when Eli Lewis purchased the land north of Main Avenue from Baptiste Campbell, a half-Sioux Indian, and named the town after his hometown of Winsted, Connecticut.