Originally called Watonwan, Garden City Township lies on the edge of the beautiful Watonwan River. The first settler, S. Titus Mills, arrived in 1854. Mills, along with his family, opened a small hotel that served travelers passing through the township. Being the only place of lodging until Lake Crystal was re-established, he attracted many visitors. He continued to run the inn until his death in 1873.
By Hilda Parks
“The Methodist have stolen and taken our church from Caroline … I say, stolen, and I mean stolen.” Thus wrote T.C. Nason in a letter to the Mankato Weekly Review for April 30, 1889.
The Mankato Winter Carnival was a grand event held in Mankato in 1920 over the course of 5 days, and then never happened again in the city. During the celebration, there were several contest held and the people of the city could cast their votes for the winner. One contest was for the Queen of the Carnival, in which Miss Pauline Koke won the title. The city also held the homeliest man contest in which Pete Ferguson won the title.
Nestled beside Minnesota Lake and wedged between Mapleton and Waldorf lies the Township of Danville. Danville is a small, flat area of land speckled with marshes and lakes. It is a township known for its farming and fishing as well as historical significance.
By Ryan Harren
By Kristin Matzke, BECHS Volunteer
In 1854, Basil Moreland rounded a bend in the Blue Earth River and staked a claim on the land at the top of the east bank. Aware that the land was part of the Winnebago Indian Reservation, but recognizing the potential water power available at the falls, Moreland built a house. However, others, and Moreland, were soon evicted by the government and settlers were barred from settling in the area until 1863, when the government removed the Winnebago Indians from the area, and opened the area for settling.
By Hilda Parks, BECHS Volunteer
Wondering what to buy your loved ones this Christmas? How about a cracker jar or a gold fountain pen. Those are gifts advertised in The Free Press in 1900. A Victorla or a Hoover were suggested gifts in the 1920’s.
Studying the newspaper for Christmas gifts in 1860 would have given you no ideas. But you would learn you could purchase Bragg’s Arctic Liniment [sic] or Wright’s India Vegetable Pills for your mid-winter aches and pains.
Because of the timber and waterways, Cambria is known as one of the most picturesque townships in Blue Earth County. Cambria Township began as a part of Butternut Valley Township, but more settlers came to the area because of the timber, water, and drainage that Cambria became its own township in 1867.
Ceresco became a township on July 8, 1857. Its name was a mistake; one of its residents, Isaac Slocum, had moved to the present town of Lincoln and suggested the name Ceresco for it after his old town of Ceresco, WI. Meanwhile, John and Miles Porter suggested Fox Lake for the township’s new name after Fox Lake, WI, where they had lived before. The County Board decided the townships’ names on April 6, 1858, but there was a mix-up and two names were switched. Nothing was ever done to correct the mistake, so Ceresco stayed Ceresco ever since.