Main Street – Le Sueur, Minnesota

Le Sueur, Minnesota is not a county seat. But it is town that looms large in my mind as the home of the Minnesota Valley Canning Company, originally based in  Le Sueur, which became Green Giant – now a subsidiary, like all Minnesota food innovators (Pillsbury, Totino’s, Jeno’s, etc. of General Mills). Unfortunately it appears the Green Giant has, like Elvis, left the building.

The town, home to some 4000 people,  is interesting in many ways. William Worrall Mayo began his practice here, before moving to Rochester. The town itself lays claim to being in both Le Sueur and Sibley counties. Not even Minneapolis is in more than one county. The town sits just off of Highway 169, which bypasses the city. Being too lazy to look it up, I will assert the road used to run down Main Street (now Highway 112, which is Main Street), until some time [1960] as a bypass was constructed to speed traffic [okay, I am not really that lazy, it is true]. [Map]. This starkly contrasts with St. Peter, in our next installment.

Main Street, Le Sueur Minnesota

Main Street, Le Sueur Minnesota, north of pedestrian mall.

Main Street in Le Sueur south of the pedestrian mall. With cinema and bar.

Main Street in Le Sueur south of the pedestrian mall. With cinema and bar.

 

It still has food production in its core, as The Friendly Confines Cheese Shoppe sells a large variety of dairy and non-dairy products.

More interestingly, a pedestrian mall (adjacent to the Valleygreen Square shopping center) was installed on Main Street just south of the intersection of Main and Bridge. (Bridge Street, as you might guess, has a bridge across the Minnesota River). This I suppose has the aim of diverting traffic back on Highway 169. There is a small outdoor seating area for one of the restaurants/taverns, but it didn’t seem to busy on a Fall Sunday afternoon. We ate at Home Plate, which was better then expected, with excellent prices.

 

More photos on Flickr.

Home Plate Restaurant at Valleygreen Square astride the Main Street Pedestrian Mall in Le Sueur, Minnesota

Home Plate Restaurant at Valleygreen Square astride the Main Street Pedestrian Mall in Le Sueur, Minnesota

 

Le Sueur Farmers Elevator

Le Sueur Farmers Elevator

 

"The Mothers" - sculpture adjacent to the Mayo Home. "The sculpture brings two historic residents of the Mayo Home, Louise Mayo (1858-1864) and Louise Cosgrove (1914-1920) together. The Mothers Louise form an arch through which William J. Mayo, his sister Gertrude, and Robert Cosgrove pass. Louise Mayo was the wife of WIlliam W. Mayo and the mother of William J. and Charles Mayo. These three men founded the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Louise Cosgrove was the wife of Edward Cosgrove and mother of Robert Cosgrove. Both men were President and Chairman of the Board of the Green Giant Company of Le Sueur. Dr. Paul T. Granlund, St. Peter, Minnesota created and cast this sculpture in 1978. The sculpture was dedicated the Arthur and David Cosgrove Memorial Fund."

“The Mothers” – sculpture adjacent to the Mayo Home. “The sculpture brings two historic residents of the Mayo Home, Louise Mayo (1858-1864) and Louise Cosgrove (1914-1920) together. The Mothers Louise form an arch through which William J. Mayo, his sister Gertrude, and Robert Cosgrove pass. Louise Mayo was the wife of WIlliam W. Mayo and the mother of William J. and Charles Mayo. These three men founded the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Louise Cosgrove was the wife of Edward Cosgrove and mother of Robert Cosgrove. Both men were President and Chairman of the Board of the Green Giant Company of Le Sueur. Dr. Paul T. Granlund, St. Peter, Minnesota created and cast this sculpture in 1978. The sculpture was dedicated the Arthur and David Cosgrove Memorial Fund.”

Le Sueur Tigers marker to commemorate white settlers who were killed in the war with the Dakota Indians. Installed 2012. [I could not find a similar marker to commemorate Dakota killed in the same battle]

Le Sueur Tigers marker to commemorate white settlers who were killed in the war with the Dakota Indians. Installed 2012. [I could not find a similar marker to commemorate Dakota killed in the same conflict. There is one in Mankato.]

Streets.mn is a non-profit and is volunteer run. We rely on your support to keep the servers running. If you value what you read, please consider becoming a member.

4 Responses to Main Street – Le Sueur, Minnesota

  1. David Markle
    David Markle January 19, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

    Yes, Le Seuer’s main street was once part of US 169, and I remember traveling on it by automobile, past the Green Giant when the home office plant was operating in full tilt. Green Giant also had plants in Blue Earth, Montgomery and at least one other Minnesota location–Glencoe, I think.

  2. Adam Froehlig
    Adam Froehlig January 19, 2015 at 3:26 pm #

    There are actually several towns that cross county lines. St. Cloud is perhaps the biggest example…not only in Stearns but also occupying parts of Benton and Sherburne Counties as well, with at least 4-digits of population in each. Amongst others, there are also Chanhassan (a small part in Hennepin County), Chatfield, Dayton, Eden Valley, Granite Falls, Hanover, Lake City, New Prague, Rockford, St. Anthony, Sartell, Staples, and White Bear Lake.

  3. Matt Steele
    Matt Steele January 20, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

    Le Sueur really needs to undo that mall problem and reopen its main street to traffic. Human scale and people first, but open to cars.

  4. Betsey Buckheit
    Betsey Buckheit January 24, 2015 at 2:50 pm #

    Northfield also crosses the line from Rice County (outstate) to Dakota (metro); land annexed in Dakota County is removed from the Metro Council’s jurisdiction, however.

Note on Comments

streets.mn welcomes opinions from many perspectives. Please refrain from attacking or disparaging others in your comments. streets.mn sees debate as a learning opportunity. Please share your perspective in a respectful manner. View our full comment policy to learn more.

Thanks for commenting on streets.mn!