Pine City is a city in and the county seat of Pine County, in east central Minnesota, United States. The population was 3,130 at the 2020 census. Part of the city is on the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation. Founded as a railway town, it soon became a logging community and the surrounding lakes made it a resort town. Today, it is in part as a commuter town for people working in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area.
The Dakota Indians were the first in the area. With the Ojibwe expansion, the area became a mixture of the two. By the early 19th century, the area became predominantly Ojibwe. They trapped and hunted on the land and traded furs at the nearby trading posts. With the 1837 Treaty of St. Peters, dubbed the "White Pine Treaty", lumbering began in the area, but was limited by access to available waterways.
In the late 19th century, European settlers came to the Pine City area, which was still heavily forested with thick stands of white pine, some of the s