Originally, the city was built as a retirement community for Civil War Union veterans who paid $50 for five-acre lots. Because of these roots, founders first named the downtown streets, running north and south across numbered streets, for states who participated in the War on the Union side. Later, as St. Cloud spread more to the east and west, former states in the Confederacy were used as well. The city’s original grid pattern is still a main residential area for the city.