Heather Harren's blog

Mankato’s Harmonia Hall

By Hilda Parks

The Mankato Harmonia Association was formed in the 1870’s as a German singing society.  Its membership included many of the most important businessmen of the community.  Desiring a large and well-ventilated hall for performances, the group undertook the building of Harmonia Hall, located on Second Street, between Hickory and Walnut.

The Golden Years of the Railroad

Excerpt from The Heritage of Blue Earth County by Julie Schrader, Topic 26, available in the Research & Genealogy Center.

"Steamboat service was the main means of transportation for Mankato in 1868 as the Minnesota Valley Railroad and the Winona and St. Peter Railroad inched their ways to the city. The Minnesota Valley Railroad was coming for the Twin Cities and the Winona and St. Peter road was coming from the east. 

The Days of the Stage Coach

Excerpt from The Heritage of Blue Earth County by Julie Schrader, Topic 24, available in the Research & Genealogy Center.

"The stage coach was an important means of transportation in early Blue Earth County. It could travel into areas which had no navigable rivers or where navigation was impossible because of low water or ice in the winter. Because they were the only means available in many areas, they were important in forcing development of a road system and the improvement of the few existing roads.

Minneopa State Park

By: A Blue Earth County Historical Society Volunteer

The word “Minneopa” comes from the Dakota language, and is translated to English to mean “water falling twice”. Why the name was chosen is clear – there are indeed two falls in Minneopa State Park. Beautiful falls, and a lovely park overall. But what about the park’s history? What has happened to bring us the beautiful park we have today?

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.

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