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Blue Earth County's Hemp History

By a Blue Earth County Historical Society Volunteer

A plant that can make paper, rot-resistant rope, lotions, food and even fuel for a vehicle was once grown in Blue Earth County during the 1930’s and 1940’s.  The plant I’m talking about is hemp.  Hemp has been around throughout history.  The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper.  Hemp paper acid-free can last a millennium, while wood paper last for around 25-100 years.  The hemp industry is one that showed promise during the first part of the 20th century.

Agriculture - "Our Bread and Butter"

Excerpt from The Heritage of Blue Earth County by Julie Schrader, Topic 18, available in the Research & Genealogy Center. 

"Harvesting in the early years was done by hand also. Corn was cut with a knife or sickle and shocked. It was husked, again by hand, and the ear put in a crib and the stalks used for fodder. Some picked the corn in the field and husked there, using the husking peg that fir around the finger. 

A Brief History of Lime Township

Lime Township was officially established in 1858. The township was named after lime kilns, large outdoor furnaces with chimneys used to burn limestone. The name accurately conveys Lime Townships strong ties to quarrying. In fact, the township is remembered for containing the best and largest stone quarries in Blue Earth County. Its success is largely due to its situation near malleable stone and fertile land.

A Brief History of Medo Township

Medo Township was first part of the Winnebago Indian reservation that was established in 1855. Medo is a Winnebago word meaning small potatoes. After the Winnebago were relocated white settlers moved in and created a settlement. Lars Sersen was among the first. A majority of the settlers were of Norwegian descent. Four distinct settlements arose from Medo Township: Medo, Little Cobb, Pemberton, and Cream. Medo, Little Cobb, and Cream have since faded from existence while only Pemberton remains. Not much is known about the Medo and Little Cobb town sites.

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