Monday, July 16, 2007

Places - Wanamingo

Wanamingo, MN

About 30 miles northwest of Rochester and sitting along the banks of the Zumbro River, you will find the town of Wanamingo. Founded in 1858, and eventually incorporated in 1917, Wanamingo is an old railroad town and farming community surrounded by rolling hills and lush green fields. The main street is that of a classic, picturesque small town, and the area is steeped in Norwegian-American tradition.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Events - “Republic of Kinney” 30 years of independence

Kinney, MN

The small town of Kinney is located on the Iron Range in northeastern Minnesota. Kinney is famous for jokingly “seceding” from the United States and becoming the “Republic of Kinney” in 1977. Unable to secure the necessary government assistance to repair its old water system, the mayor sent a letter to the Secretary of State announcing the intention to become a foreign country in hopes it would be easier to receive aid. They even went so far as to create passports which guaranteed safe passage through Kinney, as well as a piece of “potica,” a traditional Slovenian cake! This public relation stunt was successful, and Kinney eventually received the necessary aid to repair the water system. This weekend, July 13, 2007, Kinney is celebrating 30 years since declaring “independence.”

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Places - Willernie

Willernie, MN

On the southeastern shores of White Bear Lake, you will find Willernie. This small, scenic lakeside village was incorporated in 1948, but was a popular destination for tourists as early as 1910, given its close proximity to the Twin Cities. There is some 1930’s mobster lore here as well. It is reported that some of the boys who were part of Ma Barker’s crew hung out in Willernie while performing their criminal operations in nearby St. Paul.