Located along U.S. Highway 61- the Great River Road - Minnesota City, is a city that has a historical past that is being preserved for its future.
The City of Minnesota City is located on the backwaters of the upper Mississippi River on Minnesota's eastern border. It is only 105 miles south of Minneapolis/St. Paul, 45 miles east of Rochester, and 4 miles north of the city of Winona, Minnesota. To the west are the limestone and sandstone bluffs that overlook the River. To the east are the sloughs that make up the backwaters of the River. The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge are within walking distance of the city. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lock and Dam # 5 is located off of the highway north of the city.
The city was settled by members of the Western Farm and Village Association. The immigrants arrived from the state of New York in the spring of 1852 on the steamboats Nominee, Dr. Franklin, and Caleb Cope. The city received its name on Sunday, May 9, 1852, anticipating that it might be chosen as the state capital. It had over 500 residents at the time. Currently the population is 230.
There are many historic firsts in Winona County that took place in the city. They include:
- The oldest city in the county est. in 1852
- The first school (subscription)
- The first public school (1852)
- The first school district (1852)
- The first church (First Baptist, 1852)
- The first Post Office (1852)
- The first bridge
- The first horticulture experiment in the state (apples)
- The first general merchandise store
- The first sawmill
- The first blacksmith shop
- The first horse shoeing
- The first justice of the peace
- The first representative to the legislature
- The first wheat crop