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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.

Photo Courtesy of Blue Earth County Historical Society - Home of Parsons King and Laura Johnson family in 1865. The house was built in 1854. L-R: Laura, Frank, Clarence, Parsons King, Charles and Julia.

Mankato’s Pioneer Women

Mankato's founding included a group of strong, influential women.
laboratory glassware

Louise Abigail Wright Mayo: An Overlooked Part of History

Usually overlooked, a large reason for the success of the Doctors Mayo was wife and mother Louise Abigail Wright Mayo
Submitted Photo - Boy in Blue statue

Living History: The Boy in Blue Memorial

Almost 30 years after the Civil War, a group from Mankato banded together to memorialize those who had fallen. In recent years, another group gathered for the self-same task.
Double Tornado

The Mankato Tornado of 1946

MankatoLIFE author, Carlienne Frisch tells the story around the events of August 17, 1946 and the tornado that wreaked havoc on the fringe of Mankato.
An antique wooden box, decorated with traditional Norwegian Rosemaling design

Keeping Norwegian Folk Art Alive

Joan Hurry, Mary Sherwood, and Nancy Sullivan have been keeping the Norwegian folk art of rosemåling alive in the Mankato area for the better part of fifty years.
Photo by Mike Lagerquist – In April 2017, restoration work began. With the added front porch gone, the house’s original construction was revealed.

ARTchitecture: Little Stone House Receives Preservation Stewardship Award

In his column, ARTchitecture, Mike Lagerquist provides insight into what is likely the oldest building in Mankato, the Little Stone House

The Gift of History:  Maud Hart Lovelace and Laura Ingalls Wilder

Carlienne Frisch offers some insight into the lives of two of southern Minnesota's favorite children's authors.
Photo by Don Lipps - The newly refurbished bell tower atop the Ottawa Little Stone Church.

New life for 160-year-old Little Stone Church

In 1856, two years before Minnesota became a state, the Ottawa (United) Methodist Episcopal Church congregation was organized and built the Little Stone Church in 1859
Submitted Image - Blue Earth County Historical Society History Center and Museum

BECHS: Sharing History in New Ways

The Blue Earth County Historical Society has been the curator of the Mankato area's history for almost 120 years. Learn the history of the history keeper!
Photo from The Mankato Free Press - The Immortal Trio - L-R: Frances Kenney Kirch (Tacy), Maud Hart Lovelace (Betsy), and Marjorie Gerlach Harris (Tib). This photograph was taken outside Lincoln School (now Lincoln Community Center) in October 1961 when the three attended “Betsy-Tacy Days” in Mankato.

A Special Homecoming: Mankato Residents Share Memories of Author Maud Hart Lovelace’s Visit to...

Mankato residents share memories from nearly 60 years ago, when author Maud Hart Lovelace returned to her hometown of Mankato.