Preston derives its name from Luther Preston, the town's first postmaster, a friend and employee of John Kaercher, in 1856. Mr. Kaercher is cited as one of the founding fathers of the city as a result of a failed business deal in Carimona which led Mr. Kaercher to locate his two mills in the area that now comprises Preston. The city was incorporated in 1871 and the original plat contained 11 blocks with one reserved for a Court House square. The direction of city streets conforms to the cardinal points of the compass.
Preston is located in the "Driftless Area" of southeastern Minnesota, a mecca of karst geology, hardwood forest lands, wild turkey, whitetailed deer, trout fishing, agriculture, apple orchards and numerous "sink holes", springs, brooks and streams. Visitors to our city and area enjoy year-round fishing, snowmobiling, canoeing, tubing, tennis, bowling, hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding and golfing. With convenient access to Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park west of town, the Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center northeast of town, the Preston Trailhead of the Root River State Trail (for biking, hiking, and cross country skiing) and nearby Amish who frequent our community, Preston offers a peaceful, small town atmosphere close to many interesting and invigorating activities of southeast Minnesota's Historic Bluff Country!
Trout Days, Preston's annual celebration, is held the third weekend in May.