Minnesota: Carver County

Carver County (pop. 91,042), northwest of Scott County, was named for Jonathan Carver, who explored Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa in the 1760s.

The German heritage of the early settlers of Carver County is reflected in the names of its towns: Cologne, Hamburg, New Germany.

The county seat of Carver County is Chaska (pop. 23,770). “Chaska” was derived from a Dakota word that was often given as the name of a first-born male child.

Chaska History Center (1875) 

The city of Chanhassen (pop. 22,952) is well-known for the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres (1968), with three Equity theaters under one roof.

Billed as the largest dinner theater in the U.S. 

Chanhassen is also the headquarters of the religious movement Eckankar, as well as home of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (1958).

The largest horticultural site in Minnesota 

The city of Norwood Young America (pop. 3,549) was formed in 1997 by the merger of Young America and Norwood. Young America got its name from the Young America Movement, a 19th-century political organization.

There are also Young Americas in Indiana and WIsconsin. 

The Young America Corporation, headquartered in Norwood Young America, handles a variety of mail-in coupons, rebates, and contests.

The firm took the town’s name when it moved there.

Carver County’s Lake Waconia once had a resort called Coney Island of the West; it opened in 1886 and closed many years ago.

The island is now privately owned. 

Legend has it that Jimmy “Mr. Jimmy” Hutmaker, a native of New Germany (pop. 372), inspired Mick Jagger to write the lyrics of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” when he met Jagger at the time of a 1964 Rolling Stones concert in Excelsior, Minnesota.

“I was standin’ in line with Mr. Jimmy” 


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