Minnesota: Dodge County

Dodge County (pop. 20,087) is just west of Olmsted County.

The county seat is Mantorville (pop. 1,197). The Dodge County Courthouse is the oldest working courthouse in Minnesota.

Built in 1865

The Mantorville area has been known since the 19th century for its quarries of “Mantorville limestone.” The courthouse and the Mantorville Opera House (1918) were built from the limestone.

Now home of the Mantorville Theatre Company

Kasson, the largest city in Dodge County (pop. 5,931), has an historic water tower (no longer used for water supply) built of limestone.

Built in 1895

The Kasson Municipal Building (Old City Hall) was built in the Prairie School style in 1917.

Most recently, it housed a printing business.

The Kasson State Theatre (1937) still shows first-run movies.

220 seats

Wasioja Township (pop. 963) has Civil War Days every summer.

Battle of Bull Run (2011)

NEXT: STEELE COUNTY

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3 comments on “Minnesota: Dodge County

  1. Kathy Kasten says:

    Wasioja is an interesting place with an interesting history. You can google Wasioja and find some very interesting information including a video of the parade and an opportunity to buy a two-disc video. Last year being the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the celebration was huge–chosen by the state to be the focal point of Minnesota’s commemoration. I don’t think the celebration is annual, however.

    The tiny recruiting station still stands (about as big as an outhouse). The seminary from which the regiment was recruited also still stands, though in great disrepair. Because many of the young men of the community died in the civil war, the town did not grow. The school has long since closed. Of course, the railroad did not go through and that is another big factor.

    I spent the first 17 years of my life in Dodge County–I lived on the far northern edge of the county near Berne–a small community that was established by Swiss immigrants. My four grandparents were all immigrants from Switzerland. Many descendants of the Swiss still live there. Until a year ago, the Berne UCC church had an August celebration of Swiss heritage that included yodeling, Swiss foods, Swiss activities–flag throwing, stone tossing, Swiss handicrafts–scissor cutting, bobbin lace, wood carving. My family gets together on December 23 each year for Swiss baking. Last year we had about 25 including family from all over Minnesota, Connecticut and Ohio.

  2. Lois says:

    “Prairie School Style”–I hadn’t heard of that. Interesting building. Nice old water tower too.

  3. Mary Schlick says:

    Thank you, Kathy, for telling of the Swiss activities in Berne. It sounds so lively and festive!

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