Minnesota is home to the world's largest pelican statue, standing at 15.5 feet tall and located in the city of Pelican Rapids.
Scott County, Minnesota, located in the southeastern part of the state, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The area was home to Dakota Sioux tribes, who relied on the Minnesota River for transportation and sustenance. European settlement in the region began in the early 19th century, with missionaries and fur traders arriving in the area. In 1853, Scott County was officially established and named after General Winfield Scott, a hero of the Mexican-American War.

The county played a significant role in the development and expansion of the Minnesota Territory in the mid-19th century. In 1851, the signing of the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux led to the forced removal of the Dakota Indians from the region, opening up the area for further settlement. The population of the county grew steadily as immigrants, primarily from Germany and Ireland, started to arrive in search of fertile farmland.

Agriculture became the backbone of the local economy, and by the late 19th century, the county was known for its prosperous farms and thriving agricultural industry. The construction of railroads further facilitated trade and transportation, connecting Scott County to other parts of the state and contributing to its economic growth. The county seat, Shakopee, became a vital center of commerce and a hub for various industries, including flour mills and brick manufacturing.

In more recent years, Scott County has experienced rapid urbanization and population growth. The county's proximity to the metropolitan area of Minneapolis-Saint Paul has attracted new residents looking for a blend of rural and urban lifestyles. Today, Scott County maintains a balance between its agricultural heritage and its role as a suburban community, offering residents a quality of life that combines natural beauty, economic opportunities, and modern amenities.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Scott County, Minnesota.

  • 1853: Scott County is established and named after General Winfield Scott, a hero of the Mexican-American War.
  • 1854: The first settlers arrive in Scott County, primarily of German and Irish descent.
  • 1855: The town of Shakopee is founded as the county seat of Scott County.
  • 1858: Minnesota is admitted as the 32nd state, and Scott County becomes an official county within the state.
  • 1862: The Dakota War of 1862 erupts in Minnesota, resulting in the forced removal of the Native American Dakota population from Scott County.
  • 1866: The first railroad, Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway, is completed in Shakopee, connecting the county to the wider region.
  • 1872: The Minnesota State Reformatory, later renamed Minnesota Correctional Facility – Shakopee, is established in Shakopee.
  • 1935: Scott County Park is established, providing recreational opportunities for residents and visitors.
  • 1968: The Minnesota Renaissance Festival opens in Shakopee, attracting tourists from around the region.
  • 1980: Valleyfair amusement park is opened in Shakopee, offering entertainment for all ages.
  • 1990: The population of Scott County reaches 89,498, marking a significant increase from previous decades.
  • 2002: Scott County Historical Society's Stans Museum opens, preserving and showcasing the history of the county.