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 by Mike Lagerquist - Detail from "Grace" the mosaic on Grace Lutheran Church at the corner of 4th and Main Streets in Mankato, MN

ARTchitecture – Grace Lutheran Church Mosaic

Mike Lagerquist provides some detail for a piece of public art that many of us drive by on a regular basis but few have taken the time to actually see.
Photo courtesy of Bob Kreuzer - The North Mankato Lift Station, nicked named "Gilligan's Island," surrounded by sandbags to hold back Minnesota River flood waters as the waters were beginning to recede.

Gilligan’s Island, Bob Kreuzer, and the Flood of 1965

During the Mankato and North Mankato Flood of 1965, workers manned shifts twenty feet below ground while sandbagging teams above made an island for the Mankato and North Mankato history books.
Photo by Rick Pepper - The Horses of the 2012 Dakota 38+2 riders pastured at the farm of Sylvester "Ken" Ziegler

2012 Dakota 38+2 Arrival – 150th Anniversary Photo Album

Rick Pepper publishes some photos of the Dakota 38+2 riders arriving in Mankato taken on December 26th, 2012, the 150th anniversary of the executions
Yaeger School House, ca. 1900 (Photograph courtesy Cindy Slater).

Mystery of the Yaeger Schoolhouse Ghost

In 1897 the Yeager Schoolhouse just outside of Rapidan had a real mystery on its hands. Could it be a ghost?
Photo courtesy of Julie Schrader - Harmonia Hall, later called the Mankato Opera House.

The Mankato Opera House – 19th Century Cultural Center

Julie Schrader introduces us to Harmonia Hall, later The Mankato Opera House which became Mankato's 19th Century Cultural Center
Photo Courtesy of Julie Schrader - Mankato, MN at the turn of the 20th Century

Theater on Sunday? Mankato at the Turn of the 20th Century

Julie Schrader provides insight into the state of entertainment in Mankato at the turn of the 20th century.
Old Opera House

Florence Macbeth, Minnesota’s Nightingale

Florence Macbeth, born in Mankato in 1889, became a world-renowned opera singer and is buried in Glenwood Cemetery in Mankato.
Photo by Rick Pepper - 2012 Mankato Air Show - The Blue Angels flying in the Echelon formation

Looking Back and Looking Forward to Mankato’s 2019 Airshow!

Rick Pepper looks back at a few of the previous Air Shows hosted in Mankato to help us look forward the the 2019 show.
Greg Duffy Memory Wall - Mankato, MN

Wall of Mankato Music Memorabilia Inspires a Song

There was a collection of Mankato music memorabilia so impressive that local music legend, Paul Durenberger, composed and recorded a song about it.
Photo by Gary Pettis - Kiwanis Lights 2018 - Mankato, MN

A Tale of Two Sibleys

In light of the recent protests demanding that Sibley Park be renamed, Gary Pettis offers some insight into the convergence of people and events that effect Mankato to this day.