Main Street – Hutchinson, Minnesota

Someone on an earlier post said all the action in McLeod county is in Hutchinson, not the County Seat of Glencoe, so I should go there. So I did. Hutchinson (map), 61 miles due west of Minneapolis, is certainly a bit livelier than Glencoe, with nearly three times the population. There is an important public square , with a sculpture of the founders: the musical Hutchinson brothers. The brothers were abolitionists and among the biggest musical acts of the day, touring and provoking both imitators and satirists.

Wikipedia writes:

The Hutchinson brothers’ party of explorers chose a setting on the crest of a hill overlooking the beautiful Hassan River Valley. (The river, originally given the Indian name Hassan (Maple Leaf), is now called the Crow River.)

The group wrote 13 “Articles of Agreement” for the town. These included articles setting aside 5 acres for the Humanities Church, 15 acres for parks – making Hutchinson’s park system the 2nd oldest in the nation, 8 lots for educational purposes and stating that Hutchinson women would have equal rights with the town.

 

The town itself has about 15,000 people, and a strong Main Street compared with similar towns, though it is not at the level of somewhat larger New Ulm, Northfield, Owatonna, or Faribault. The design of Highway 15, the main route through town, connecting US12 and US212, makes Main Street more of highway than some other places (though less than St. Peter).  It still has industry, Hutchinson Technology (important in the Disk Drive sector) and 3M have facilities. There is also a MnSCU Community College branch (Ridgewater), but this seems to have less effect than full-time, larger, four-year schools. The town is on Otter Lake, which Main Street skirts, though being on a lake is no guarantee of success (as per Albert Lea).

 

 

Hutchinson, Minnesota 1855 - 2005. Founders Judson, John, and Asa Hutchinson. This Sesquicentennial Sculpture is a gift to the city from the Hutchinson Telephone Company  in honor of the Clay Families. Robert V. Wilde, Sculptor. Dedicated September 11, 2005.

Hutchinson, Minnesota 1855 – 2005. Founders Judson, John, and Asa Hutchinson. This Sesquicentennial Sculpture is a gift to the city from the Hutchinson Telephone Company in honor of the Clay Families. Robert V. Wilde, Sculptor. Dedicated September 11, 2005.

State Theater, Hutchinson

State Theater, Hutchinson

Main Street Hutchinson

Main Street Hutchinson. Note: there is a public clock.

Library

Library

Quast's Furniture. Was the Kouwe Tmey Opera House. (1891)

Quast’s Furniture. Was the Kouwe Tmey Opera House. (1891)

Cafe Eat. Best in Food. Short Orders Breakfasts Fast Food Service

Cafe Eat. Best in Food. Short Orders Breakfasts Fast Food Service

Smokes 4 Less. Farm Bureau Financial Services. Modern addition to Main Street

Smokes 4 Less. Farm Bureau Financial Services. Modern addition to Main Street

Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen

Gold Coin. Venus Salon.

Gold Coin. Venus Salon.


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4 Responses to Main Street – Hutchinson, Minnesota

  1. Monte Castleman
    Monte Castleman August 3, 2015 at 7:50 am #

    A lot of “fake history” street lights. The one I find interesting is in front of the furniture store sign. A modern high pressure sodium vapor luminaire, but the pole is from the 1950s with external ballast still on it, likely held a “clamshell” mercury vapor luminaire.

    The 2000s moving MInnesota program had funding to buy ROW for converting MN 22 to an expressway, but no action since then.

    • Matt Steele August 3, 2015 at 10:06 am #

      I assume you mean from Hwy 7 north around the NE quadrant of the town? I remember MN 22 going through downtown, on what is now County 25. The new rural bypass around the east side of town must have been built within the last 10-15 years.

      • Monte Castleman
        Monte Castleman August 3, 2015 at 10:32 am #

        No, the expressway would run from MN 7 along the east side of town and then down to Hutchinson along MN 22. You can see the ROW in certain places on Google Earth. They’ve been doing these two lane bypasses since the 1950s; another recent example is MN 15 around Dassel. For lower volume roads where an expressway isn’t justified but there’s a lot of through traffic, it seems like a cheap way of having downtown not impede through traffic, and through traffic not impacting the downtown, but the obvious problem is with no access control the town tends to engulf these “bypasses” over time.

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