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River Route Spotlight

Hastings, Minnesota

Population: 22,424


Hastings is named for the first elected governor of Minnesota, Henry Hastings Sibley. The city is near the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers and is close to a source of hydropower at the falls of the Vermillion River. Hastings is also close to two downhill ski areas and is home to several parks and an 18-hole disc golf course. The Leduc Historic Estate is another historic attraction that offers several events and tours.

Hastings hosts Rivertown Days in July, which provides a variety of activities for all ages including parades, a carnival, photography contests, and much more.

The area around Hastings was settled by military from Fort Snelling sent to guard a shipment of supplies in 1820. Lieutenant William G. Oliver camped in an area that would become known as Oliverís Grove. The name Hastings was drawn out of a hat from suggestions placed in it from original founders and comes from Minnesotaís first elected Governor Henry Hastings Sibley. Lock and Dam No. 2 in Hastings is the nationís first commercial, federally licensed hydrokinetic power facility. The city grew from rich farmland and now is home to various arts and cultural sites, health care facilities, parks, and more.

Hastings has a rich history with railroads including being home to one of the first iron railroad bridges in Minnesota. Hastings also leant its name to two Minnesota railroads, the Hastings and Dakota Railway and the Stillwater and Hastings Railway. The Hastings and Dakota was completed from Hastings to South Dakota when it became part of the Milwaukee Road. The Stillwater and Hastings was built between the two cities in 1880 and helped the logging and agriculture industry until being taken over by the Milwaukee Road, who used it until 1979, just shy of its 100th year of service.

Residents of Hastings have a variety of parks to choose from including Afton State Park. There are a variety of marinas, great boating, and the convenience of being close to St. Paul and Treasure Island Resort and Casino.




Hastings is home to several major businesses including:

Famous Residents of Hastings include:



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