River Route Spotlight

Cottage Grove, Minnesota

Population: 35,399

Nickname: The Original Grove

Motto: Where Pride and Prosperity Meet

 

Cottage Grove, a suburb south of Saint Paul, has a rich history. It was home to Minnesota’s first creameries and known for wheat production, river shipping and grist mills. The expanding community’s economy has evolved to include industry, retail and park land along the Mississippi River.

Cottage Grove hosts Strawberry Fest in June, a four-day, family-focused event that has something for everyone and hosts up to 20,000 people each year. Strawberry Fest also hosts the annual Monster Bash Parade in October.

A variety of businesses call Cottage Grove home including 3M Cottage Grove, which houses more than 35 buildings and multiple divisions. Window and door company Renewal by Anderson is also based in its Cottage Grove corporate headquarters.

 

Thanks to the renovated and beautiful transportation hub Union Depot, Saint Paul is continuing its legacy as a haven for train travel. Light rail lines connect Saint Paul with Minneapolis and the Amtrak Empire Builder has called Union Depot home since early 2014. A variety of projects are currently being developed using Union Depot as a hub. Trains have served Saint Paul thanks to the Milwaukee Road Railroad as far back as 1847 making the city an important part of both passenger and freight rail in the state of Minnesota and the United States.

Early settlers of Cottage Grove were grain farmers from New England who were attracted to the area because of rich soil and convenient access to rivers. Many farmers changed their focus to dairy and Cottage Grove became widely known for creameries and dairy farms. The village of Cottage Grove was platted in 1871 and became home to several German-speaking families. The town went on as a rural township until the 1950s when suburban housing spread to the area and the population jumped from 833 in 1950 to over 4,800 in 1960. In 2000, Cottage Grove was one of Minnesota’s fastest growing communities.

The Milwaukee Road constructed a rail line through western Cottage Grove from Hastings to Saint Paul and the rail stop turned into a trade center and shipping point. The Canadian Pacific Railway also passes through Cottage Grove and is part of a regional transportation planning effort to bring passenger trains to the area.

Cottage Grove is home to several historic places including Cedarhurst Mansion, Schilling Archeological District, Cottage Grove Cemetery, and Hope Glen Farm. Oak Wood Park is also home to a disc golf course.

Education

Famous Residents of Saint Paul include:

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City Spotlights

View a spotlight of some of the great destinations along the proposed River Route.

Cottage Grove

Goodview

Hastings

Lake City

Red Wing

St. Charles

Saint Paul

Saint Paul Park

Wabasha

Winona

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