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A Micro Batch of Mankato’s Brewing History

Beer is an everyman’s drink. It came from a region of humble pursuits, like so many of our ancestors. Beer’s homeland had many of its residents emigrate to the U.S. during the later half of the 19th century. They carried their brewing culture with them across the Atlantic. Beer quenched the thirst of these newly arrived immigrants pursuing the American dream. Some of these transplants settled in southern Minnesota and chose to continue the cultural exchange by founding breweries in Mankato.

A Brief History of Jamestown Township

Jamestown Township was originally given its name after the English colony in Virginia.   When first settled, the Township of Jamestown was cleared for farmland, hence its appearance today. But before 1858 it was better known for its expansive timber and factories. It contained Volksville and Madison Lake village.

TBT - Mankato Fire Department

The Mankato Fire Department dates back to 1860 with the Mankato Hook and Ladder Company. The company began with about two dozen men and a hand drawn cart to carry their ladders and water buckets. In 1886, a hand pump cart was purchased.  Cisterns were strategically placed around the city. By using the hand pump and hose with the cisterns, firemen no longer had to cart buckets of water. Soon, other hook and ladder companies began forming throughout Mankato, so when there was a fire, there was a quick response.

TBT - Saulpaugh Hotel

The Saulpaugh Hotel, once located on the corner of Front and Main Streets, opened in 1889 to a grand affair. The festivities include a banquet and ball with many influential and famous people in attendance, including Minnesota Governor William Merriam. Another famous guest was President William Taft, who stayed at the hotel during his 1911 visit to Mankato. It was also rumored that gangster John Dillinger spent a night at the Saulpaugh in the 1930s.

A Brief History of Lyra Township

Split by the Maple River and bordered by Sterling is Lyra Township. Abundant in its stock of timber and fertile land, Lyra quickly drew in many settlers during its early days. Before it was opened to white settlement in 1863 it was a part of the Winnebago reservation and called “Tecumseh.” After the Winnebago were removed there was a scramble for the plentiful land. Three years after its vacancy officials were elected. The same day the township's name was also changed to Lyra after Reverend Jesse M Thurston’s hometown. The word Lyra comes from the Greek folk instrument, the Lyre.

TBT - Mankato's Post Office

The Mankato Post Office first opened in 1853 in a small building located on Front Street across the street from the Old First National Bank. The post office moved a number of times in the following years, quickly outgrowing each new location. In 1891 the search started looking for yet another location to house Mankato’s post office.

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