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Harmony, MN


Fri, Jun 29th, 2001
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Like many small towns a hundred years ago, Harmony grew up near the railroad and was peopled by immigrants from Norway, Germany and Ireland. Local legend says that the settlers decided to make their community an incorporated "village" and met to choose a name. Each group wanted the town named for its leader, and the bickering became louder. Finally the chairman banged his gavel on the table and said, "Let's have Harmony here!"

That pioneer spirit has survived in the descendants of those hardy settlers as Harmony continues to serve the farming and business community. The trains have disappeared but the old rail bed has been developed into a hiking and biking trail.

The Harmony-Preston Valley State Trail connects Harmony to the Root River Trail System. The 54 miles of recreational trail allows one to bike, ski, hike or roller blade through lively country and observe the wildlife.

The symbolism of the name has taken on new meaning with the arrival of nearly 100 Amish families to the area since 1974. With their old-world farming methods, the Amish offer a stark contrast to the modern machinery and tall silos of their neighbors, while reminding tourists and residents alike of the lifestyle of our ancestors.

Today we live "In Harmony"...with our Amish neighbors. A number of Amish families accept visitors and two businesses, Michel's Amish Tours and Amish Country Tours, offer car and group tours of the Amish settlement. You may visit a basket maker, candy maker or baker, and/or a furniture shop. As you travel the back roads you'll see buggies and horse-drawn farm equipment.


The area is blessed with rolling hills and valleys, fertile soil for growing crops, and plenty of water in springs and brooks. The bluff country is also known for the "driftless area," being the only part of Minnesota untouched by glaciers thousands of years ago.

The Karst geologic formations and underground rivers created sinkholes and caves. The area's best known-- Niagara Cave has been in continuous development and operation for over 60 years! One-hour guided tours offer a chance to thrill at nature's beauties including a 60-foot waterfall, the crystal wedding chapel, huge stalactites and rock formations millions of years in the making, all .....
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Fountain, MN

Fri, Jun 29th, 2001
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Fountain, the western gateway to the Root River State Trail, is also the home of the Fillmore County Historical Center. The Historical Center houses a complete museum of antiques, collectibles, and memorabilia from the past, either lent or donated by ..... 
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Chatfield, MN

Fri, Jun 29th, 2001
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Chatfield is one of those places that everyone needs to experience from time to time. Oh sure, there are supermarkets and a few convenience stores in town, like everywhere else, but this place is full of history. The downtown is filled with turn-of-t ..... 
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Canton, MN

Fri, Jun 29th, 2001
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Canton, Minnesota, located along U.S. Highway 52 is the first city in Minnesota along this major north-south route.

Canton was originally founded in 1879 as a stopping point for the railroad. At first its legal name was "Boomer," depicting ho ..... 
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Caledonia, MN

Fri, Jun 29th, 2001
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Caledonia was named for the ancient name of Scotland. Caledonians celebrate their founding with an annual Founder's Day celebration in June. The hardwood forests and terrain are unique to this area. Torrents of meltwater carved out deep valleys and l ..... 
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Preston, MN

Fri, Jun 29th, 2001
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The city of Preston became situated on the south branch of the Root River in 1853. The location of the town was most desirable as the river afforded opportunities for a dam, land for houses and access to abundant supplies of timber, water power, ..... 
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Remembering Gene Larson

Fri, Jun 29th, 2001
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Monday, June 25, 2001

Writing is a solitary job. Most of the time I work alone, but that changed recently for a few weeks when I had the good fortune to work with Gene Larson. Our relationship began right after I bought an old house in Lanesbo ..... 
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One of a Kind

Fri, Jun 29th, 2001
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Monday, July 2, 2001

What this country needs today are strong, forthright and honest people in our government. What we really need are more men like Al Capone. When Al was around, people knew just where he stood. Whenever a problem arose, he t ..... 
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The Commute

Fri, Jun 29th, 2001
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Monday, June 18, 2001

People who commute to the big city, in my case Rochester, often have the opportunity to run big city errands for the ones they love. I recently had the chance to pick up a canary and canary equipment at a pet store in Roc ..... 
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