Mankato HistoryVisit Mankato
In 1880, Mankato was the fourth largest city in Minnesota with a population of 5,500. Today, more than 50,000 people call Mankato and North Mankato home.
Mankato was originally named “Mahkato” (meaning greenish-blue earth) by its early inhabitants, the Dakota. Mankato is located at the confluence of the Minnesota and Blue Earth Rivers. In 1852, Parsons K. Johnson and Henry Jackson staked claims along these banks and founded the town of Mankato. The city was established on land purchased in a treaty between the US government and the Dakota; breaking of this treaty by the government lead to the US-Dakota Conflict of 1862.
North Mankato, which sits just across the river, was established in 1898. The first bridge between North Mankato and Mankato was the Veterans Memorial Bridge constructed in 1880. The bridge represented an interdependence and partnership between the cities that still continues. Today, many memorials and buildings exist to commemorate the diverse and important history that has shaped the greater Mankato area.
Mankato and North Mankato have many historical attractions that are must-sees for visitors.
Customize your Mankato history experience with the online directory below.
The Minnesota River Valley has a national story to tell about the struggles for a home by the Euro-American immigrants and the Dakota people. Museums and historical sites encourage you to discover vivid stories from days gone by. Go>
606 South Broad Street, Mankato | Mankato, MN 56001
The Historic R. D. Hubbard House was built in 1871 by R. D. Hubbard. Built in the French Second Empire style, the Hubbard House is constructed of brick and wood on a basement of cut stone. The main house is two and a half stories with a mansard roof of colored slate, with the 1888 construction adding another one and a half stories to the house. Built in 1890, the carriage house is a brick structure of two stories that was originally located on the far side of Glenwood Creek, but in 1977 was relocated inside the Palmer Centennial Garden area next to the Hubbard House. This structure still houses many antique vehicles.Saving the turn-of-the-century landmark from a wrecker's ball, in 1938 BECHS purchased the Hubbard House from Mary Esther, the youngest of Hubbard's daughters. BECHS deeded the property to the City of Mankato, which assumed all maintenance costs, while BECHS operated the museum and maintained the artifacts from the house. All of the fourteen rooms are open to the public and equipped with handicapped-accessible conveniences.In 1990, the Blue Earth County Historical Society moved to its current location and the Historic R.D. Hubbard House underwent renovations to restore the house to 1905. The Historic R. D. Hubbard House is open seasonally May through September with special hours in December.