Main Street – Glencoe, Minnesota

Welcome to Glencoe: Small City - Big Future

Welcome to Glencoe: Small City – Big Future

In my family’s quest to visit the county seats of Minnesota, on a Sunday morning in early November we went on a trip to Glencoe, Gaylord, Le Sueur (not a county seat), and Saint Peter. We had never been to Glencoe before, and in all honesty, would find it unlikely to be there again, as our travels generally do not take us that far in that direction.

Glencoe, just past Norwood-Young America and thus 60 minutes Southwest of Minneapolis, is the seat of McLeod County, and is home to over 5600 people. While still mostly white, the Hispanic population is about 15%. It is most famous to the rest of the world as the site of a Louis Malle documentary “God’s Country“.

The Enterprise, in Glencoe

The Enterprise, in Glencoe

As with many such towns, there is a Courthouse, a Grain Elevator, churches, a school, a small set of local shops on a Main Street (the main corner I judge to be Hennepin and 11th), including a local cafe (Gert and Erma’s), a Hardware Hank, a bank, a post office, a former bank converted to something else, a local newspaper. There are also specialty stores not found in every county seat, e.g. Therapeutic Attainment Options, offering massage and bodywork, and a local watch store – which Central Place Theory says “should” be in higher order towns. Off the historic main street, but on the road connected to the highway, are the farm implement stores.

Glencoe Independent Grain Elevator

Glencoe Independent Grain Elevator

Glencoe is off of Highway 212 in an awkward way. [Map] A rebuilt Highway 212 is south of the old gridded town. Some newer suburbs have emerged just south of 212, enabled by the faster accessibility the divided highway brings.

Glencoe Mexican Market - La Michoacana

Glencoe Mexican Market – La Michoacana

A full set of photos are available on Flickr

4 thoughts on “Main Street – Glencoe, Minnesota

  1. Keith Morris

    Damn, that’s a wide-ass street. On Streetview it’s busier looking, but only more cars being driven or parked. I’ll have to have someone else explain to me why in small towns like this where from the edge of town it’s only a mile away and from there it’s just a leisurely 5 minute bike ride to downtown, yet no bikes are seen anywhere. That’s how long it takes to get from the high school on the NE fringe to Gert & Erma’s in the heart of the town, but there are no bike racks or anything indicating that you’re supposed to bike there. There’s plenty of on-street and even off street parking where over a handful of buildings used to stand and likely added exponentially more to generate a bit of foot traffic there.

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