The first skyway system in the United States was built in Minneapolis in 1962, allowing for indoor pedestrian travel between buildings in the downtown area.
Olmsted County, Minnesota has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The area was once inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Dakota Sioux and Ojibwe, who used the land for hunting and gathering. European settlers began arriving in the 1850s, drawn by the fertile soil and opportunities for farming.

The county was officially established on February 20, 1855, named after David Olmsted, a member of the Minnesota Territorial Legislature. The first county seat was located in Rochester, which quickly grew into a thriving city. In the late 1800s, renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted was consulted to design the city's parks and green spaces, leaving a lasting influence on the county's aesthetics.

Olmsted County experienced significant growth and development throughout the 20th century. The Mayo Clinic, one of the world's leading medical institutions, was established in Rochester in 1889. The organization's presence has had a profound impact on the county's economy, healthcare, and research industries. Today, the Mayo Clinic is the largest employer in Olmsted County.

In recent years, Olmsted County has continued to evolve and diversify. The county is known for its strong education system, with multiple colleges and universities offering a range of academic programs. It also boasts a thriving arts and cultural scene, with theaters, galleries, and museums attracting visitors from near and far. Olmsted County remains a vibrant and growing community, continually shaping its future while acknowledging its historical roots.

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

  • 1855 – Olmsted County is officially organized and named after David Olmsted, a member of the first Minnesota Territorial Legislature.
  • 1856 – The city of Rochester is founded by George Head and his wife, Sarah.
  • 1863 – The Mayo Clinic is established by Dr. William W. Mayo and his two sons, Dr. William J. Mayo and Dr. Charles H. Mayo.
  • 1873 – The Rochester State Hospital (later renamed the Rochester State Hospital for the Insane and now known as the Minnesota Security Hospital) is opened.
  • 1900 – The Olmsted County Courthouse, designed by local architect Franklin Ellerbe, is completed.
  • 1916 – Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial is dedicated to honor soldiers from Olmsted County who served in World War I.
  • 1950 – IBM establishes a facility in Rochester, marking the beginning of the city's transformation into a major center for healthcare technology.
  • 1997 – The Mayo Civic Center, a multi-purpose convention center, is opened in downtown Rochester.
  • 2013 – Destination Medical Center (DMC) is approved, aiming to position Rochester as a global destination for medical care and innovation.