The Mayo Clinic, a world-renowned medical center, was founded in Rochester, Minnesota in 1864.
Goodhue County, located in southeastern Minnesota, has a rich and diverse history dating back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, particularly the Dakota and the Ojibwe. European settlers began to explore the region in the early 19th century, attracted by its fertile land and abundant natural resources.

In 1853, Goodhue County was officially established, named after James Madison Goodhue, the first printer and editor of the Minnesota Pioneer. The county quickly developed as pioneers flocked to the area, primarily engaging in agriculture and logging. Towns such as Red Wing, the county seat, and Cannon Falls grew as trading and transportation hubs, playing crucial roles in the county's development.

The 19th century also marked the arrival of immigrants from Europe, including German, Irish, and Scandinavian settlers. These newcomers brought their cultural traditions and skills, contributing to the further growth and diversity of the county. Agriculture remained an important industry, with farming and milling becoming key economic drivers.

Throughout the 20th century, Goodhue County continued to evolve. The county experienced notable progress in transportation with the construction of highways and railroads, facilitating connections to neighboring regions. Industrial expansion also occurred, diversifying the economy beyond agriculture. Today, Goodhue County blends its rich history with modern amenities, attracting visitors with its charming small towns, scenic landscapes, and historical sites.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Goodhue County, Minnesota.

  • 1853 - Goodhue County was established on March 5, as one of the nine original counties in the Minnesota Territory.
  • 1854 - The city of Red Wing, now the county seat, was founded and became a hub for riverboat traffic on the Mississippi River.
  • 1855 - The county government was organized, and regular elections were held.
  • 1862 - The Dakota War uprising led to tensions and conflicts between settlers and Native Americans in the county.
  • 1868 - The College of St. Teresa, now known as St. Catherine University, was established in the city of Red Wing.
  • 1873 - The Red Wing State Training School, now called the Minnesota Correctional Facility - Red Wing, was established as a reform school for boys.
  • 1898 - The Goodhue County Courthouse in Red Wing was completed and still serves as the county's primary government building.
  • 1970s - The county experienced significant economic growth due to the expansion of agricultural and manufacturing industries.
  • 1984 - The Red Wing Shoe Company Museum was opened to showcase the history and success of the renowned footwear company.
  • 1996 - The Welch Village Ski Area, a popular winter recreational destination, was acquired by Goodhue County.