History Stories

Our region has a rich history. Some of it’s fascinating and inspiring, some of it not so much. Here you’ll find Greater Mankato Area history stories so you can judge for yourself.

From History of the Red Jacket Valley by Julie A. Schrader - Panoramic view of the Red Jacket Bridge and Trestle by Mankato photographer, John R. Snow at the dedication of the bridge on August 22, 1911. Snow coaxed the train engineer into backing up so the camera could capture everything. He was credited with the first panoramic photograph taken in the Mankato area. Actually, the photograph is a composite of four photographs snapped from the same spot and then pieced together.

Transportation Advances Through the Red Jacket Valley

Julie Schrader tells the tale of train and automobile advances through the Red Jacket Valley south of Mankato
Stack of books

Storybook Tour — A Literary Journey Along Highway 14

Take a whirlwind tour along Minnesota Highway 14 to explore three of our favorite children's authors: Maud Hart Lovelace, Wanda Gág, and Laura Ingalls Wilder
From History of the Red Jacket Valley by Julie A. Schrader - Post card of the Red Jacket Bridge and Trestle, circa 1912

A Brief History of the Red Jacket Valley

The Red Jacket Valley, located just south of Mankato, is well-known for biking and hiking the Red Jacket Trail system or skiing at Mount...
Photo by Mike Lagerquist - Detail of the Lineman on the Consolidated Communications building in Mankato

ARTchitecture – Telephone Lineman Bas Relief

Mike Lagerquist tells the story of the Lineman bas relief sculpture on the current Consolidated Communications building in Mankato
Photo by Mike Lagerquist - The song Face of Time, was the audience's introduction to Tucker Sweet, the adult character lead who used a group of kids to help him move west in search of gold.

Charades – Once-In-a-Lifetime Original Musical at West High School

40 years ago this month, the faculty, staff and students of Mankato West High School created an original stage musical called Charades.
Photo courtesy Maud Hart Lovelace’s Deep Valley by Julie A. Schrader - The Saulpaugh Hotel was located where the City Center Hotel sits today. This photograph shows the main entrance to the hotel as it faces South Front Street with Main Street in the foreground, circa 1925. Originally there was an entrance on the Union Depot and Minnesota River side of the hotel. At that time most patrons arrived by steamboat or railroad. The image was taken from approximately where the south entrance of the Blue Earth County Library sits today. The current City Center Hotel ramp sits where South Front Street met Main Street.

The Grand Old Saulpaugh Hotel

The Saulpaugh Hotel was, from its construction in 1888 until its close in 1964, one of the grand buildings of old Mankato
Photo by Rick Pepper - Aerial view of Veterans Memorial Bridge looking south

Mankato New Construction – Aerial Photo Album

Rick Pepper offers some aerial photos of new construction in Mankato
Civil War Cannons

The Corn Crib Party – Civil War Heroes from Blue Earth County – Part...

On February 15, 1863, Company H of the 2nd Minnesota Infantry made up of soldiers from the Mankato area found themselves in a difficult situation with the most honorable result! This is the record of the men after the war.
Corn Crib

The Corn Crib Party – Civil War Heroes from Blue Earth County

On February 15, 1863, Company H of the 2nd Minnesota Infantry made up of soldiers from the Mankato area found themselves in a difficult situation with the most honorable result!
Snake Oil

One-Woman Show – Historical Reenactor Susan Hynes

You'll find Susan Hynes at all sorts of southern Minnesota events recreating all sorts of historically accurate characters.