Collinwood Township, organized in 1866, was originally called "New Virginia." It was renamed in 1868 by Canadian settlers, taking its new name from the southern Ontario town of “Collinwood.” The town site began on the north shore of Collinwood Lake with the plan for a railroad to built through town. A landowner held up the planned route and the track was laid one mile further north. Without a railroad depot to bring in new business, Collinwood town soon vanished from existence.
The hamlet of Lamson is located in the southeast corner of the township, named for Nathan Lamson, who killed Chief Little Crow after spotting Crow on his farmland. At one time Lamson had two general stores, a blacksmith shop, a creamery, saw mill, and a grinding mill.