The Boom Town of Nininger

Nininger, a small town built quickly in 1856 and abandoned only a few years later, was located twenty-five miles south of St. Paul near present-day Hastings. The story of its rise and fall is typical of many of the boom towns that sprang up in places like Minnesota Territory during the mid-nineteenth century. It shows both the high hopes of the area’s newcomers and the despair they felt when their communities failed.

Black and white photograph of the Goodhue County Courthouse, 1972.

Goodhue County Courthouse

The Goodhue County Courthouse, 1972. Governor Floyd B. Olson officiated at the opening of the new Goodhue County Courthouse in January 1932. It is still in use today.

Black and white photograph of The record Mississippi River flood at Red Wing, 1965.

The record-breaking Mississippi River flood at Red Wing

The record-breaking Mississippi River flood covers the Red Wing riverfront, 1965. Floodwaters covered the railroad tracks and blocked access to the bridge to Wisconsin.

Black and white photograph of Zumbrota's Main Street, c.1925.

Main Street, Zumbrota

Zumbrota's Main Street, c.1925. The community was founded in 1856 during Minnesota territorial period by a New England emigration society.

Black and white photograph of Sogn, Goodhue County, c.1910.

View of Sogn, Goodhue County

A view of Sogn and Sogn Valley south of Cannon Falls, shows the small trading point, c.1910. Farmers formed the Sogn Cooperative Dairy Association here, one of the county's most successful cooperatives, in 1899.

Color image of Kenyon's Farmers State Bank and City Hall, c.1910.

Farmers State Bank and City Hall, Kenyon

Kenyon's Farmers State Bank and City Hall, c.1910. Kenyon, in Goodhue County's southwest corner, is located in became a center for Norwegian settlement.

Black and white photograph of Red Wing's crowded riverfront with Barn Bluff in the background, c. 1910

Red Wing's crowded riverfront with Barn Bluff in the background, c. 1910

A view of Red Wing's crowded riverfront with Barn Bluff in the background, c. 1910. Levee Park, completed in 1905, occupies this space today.

Black and white photograph of Red Wing, c.1870.

Red Wing

The Mississippi River location of Red Wing, the Goodhue County seat, made it an early shipping point for Minnesota wheat. This photo of the city riverfront shows grain barges at anchorage, c.1870.

Color image of Red Wing and the Mississippi River, 2007.

Red Wing and the Mississippi River, 2007

This view of Red Wing and the Mississippi was taken the year of its sesquicentennial, in 2007.

An Overview of Goodhue County History

In March 1853 Goodhue County was created by Minnesota's territorial legislature. It was formed from the original Wabasha County, which lay between the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.

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