Vernon Center began in "old town" on the lowlands south of the Blue Earth River. The village was plotted in 1856. The town site was started by Col. Benjamin F. Smith and Benjamin McCracken of Mount Vernon, Ohio. In 1856 a town site company was formed in Mt. Vernon Ohio, called the Blue Earth Company. Their goal was to start a town on the Blue Earth River in Blue Earth County. That town became known as the Village of Vernon. It boasted three stores, a blacksmith shop, a hotel, a steam saw mill, a post office and school. Vernon Center was also stagecoach stop on the run to Blue Earth. In the Indian massacre of 1862, part of the town was raided and a large stockade was built, to protect the settlers. This stockade surrounded the hotel and general store and was located about where Pumpkinland is today.
When a branch of the St. Paul and Sioux City railroad came through in 1879, it passed to the east of the village. The depot was three-quarters of a mile northeast of the old town on high land across the river. This site was originally called Edgewood. Setters from the "old town" of Vernon Center gradually transferred to the town on the hill. One of the first settlers to do so, was Joseph Robinson and his wife Florence (formerly Johanna Reed). The village of Vernon Center at its current location, was incorporated in 1899. There were four grain elevators, three general stores, a lumber yard, furniture store, meat market, hotel, bank millinery shop, shoe shop, jewelry store, pump works, two drug stores, post office, three blacksmith shops, two hardware stores and a doctor's office.
More history about Vernon Center can be found in a new book by Wayne Krosch: "Vernon Center Minnesota 150 Years 1856-2006". It is available for $5 at City Hall.
Meet Florence Brown, one of Vernon Center's best known citizens. Re-live an earlier and simpler time in our history. Follow the "Memories" link below.
As part of her pictorial collection, Florence Brown had a large number of photos and old postcards of Vernon Center. Follow the "Good Old Days" link and read our interpretation of how the news of the early 1900's might have been reported in the "Vernon Center News" of the day.
Wheeler History: I had an opportunity to meet recently with Glen Wheeler and his wife Pat. Glen provided me with more information that didn't appear here before, and helped me to correct some things that were in error on this website and elsewhere.
The River: an original poem by O.W. Cornish!
Anniversary: Lutheran Congregation celebrates their 40th anniversary!
The Bridge: Read about the history of County #10 bridge.
Talent Hunt: Find out who's playing and singing!
November 1940: A recreation of the front page of the Vernon Center News dated November 14, 1940. The lead story: The Great Armistice Day Snow Storm. Find out how it affected Vernon Center. Other articles that appeared in that edition are also recreated.
The Find!: Find out what Todd and Kellie Kopischke found in their backyard recently!
You will also find historical information on the community schools on the Community Page.
We hope that more of you will be able to help us add to this history by sharing your stories or filling in the blanks where we either lack or are missing information. Some of you may also be able to help us identify some of the folks in these pictures and "correct" any erroneous stories you find in the "Vernon Center News"!
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