Scenic Byway: Minnesota River Valley National Scenic Byway: Minnesota River Valley
Granite Falls to Redwood Falls

Discovery Sites: Granite Falls to Redwood Falls

Walleye Browns Valley
to Ortonville
Goose Ortonville
to Montevideo
Canoe Montevideo
to Granite Falls
Tipi Granite Falls
to Redwood Falls
Waterfall Redwood Falls
to New Ulm
Beer Stein New Ulm
to Mankato
Steamboat Mankato
to Belle Plaine

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Site 37:Wood Lake Battlefield/Monument
On County Road 18, west of TH 67, between Granite Falls and Echo
On September 19, 1862, Col. Henry Hastings Sibley set out from Fort Ridgely with 1,500 volunteers to put down the Santee uprising. As they neared Wood Lake on September 23, Sibley's men escaped an ambush by 700 warriors under Chief Little Crow and engaged them in a battle. Sibley's force won the day inflicting heavy casualties on the Sioux. For this action, Sibley received a promotion to brigadier general. Wood Lake was the first decisive defeat of the Sioux since the uprising began.

Site 38:Upper Sioux Agency State Park
Eight miles SE of Granite Falls on TH 67.
This 1,280 acre park was named for the historic site within its boundaries. The Upper Sioux Agency (or Yellow Medicine Agency) was established by the federal government in 1854 to be a center for instructing the Dakota People in farming methods. The park offers three campgrounds, 18 miles of trails, two picnic areas, river fishing, and two rental tipis. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


Site 39:City of Belview (Belview Depot Museum)
The establishment and survival of many early communities coincided with the designation of "siding sites" by the railroad.

The Minneapolis and Saint Louis Railroad (M&SL) originally had no intention to establish a siding site in what would become Belview, until local farmers requested that the railroad reconsider its plans.

It became a regular station with the addition of a post office in December 1887. The depot housed many businesses and was the hub of community commerce.

In 1892, the railroad built a new brown and beige one story frame depot using a common interior plan of waiting room, office, and freight room.

Life at the depot continued to be exciting. Freight cars were loaded with grain at the elevators, cattle at the stockyards, granite blocks from the quarries, and clam shells from the Minnesota River. Passenger trains, including sleepers and dining cars, running 250 miles between Minneapolis and Watertown, South Dakota, transported many visitors and new residents to the growing community.

In October 1960, the M&SL merged with Chicago Northwestern and on May 23, 1963, the Belview Depot was closed. It was restored and became a museum in 1976. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Site 40:Joseph R. Brown State Wayside (Site)
Located on Renville Co. 15, south of Sacred Heart
The Joseph R. Brown State Wayside Rest displays the granite ruins of Brown's home from 1862. Destroyed during the U.S./Dakota Conflict of 1862, the three story home was a mansion compared to normal pioneer homes. Brown's family was spared because of his wife's Native American heritage. Brown was a politician, inventor, publisher and Indian Agent.


Site 41:Rudi Memorial
Located on Renville Co. 12 south of Sacred Heart
The Rudi Memorial is a tribute to Lars Rudi and all pioneer families who settled in Renville County. The log cabin, built in 1868, illustrates the dovetail notching of logs typically used by Scandinavian settlers. The Rudi family lived in the cabin until 1913. It served as a place of community gathering, such as school and church for the pioneer families. The Rudi Cabin is listed on the National Registers of Historic Homes.

Site 42:Sacred Heart Area Museum
In Sacred Heart
This museum contains photographs and other memorabilia from the early pioneer days of the Sacred Heart and surrounding areas, up until today.

Site 43:Natural Preservation Route
A portion of the byway
Minnesota's first Natural Preservation Route was established to protect sensitive rock formations and resource areas along this section of the road.

Site 44:Schwandt Memorial
Located on Renville Co. 15, south of Renville
The Schwandt Memorial Monument was erected on August 18, 1915, near the spot where the Johan Schwandt family was murdered in the U.S.-Dakota Conflict of 1862. It was erected in memory of the 6 Schwandt family members and 2 of their friendds that were killed on August 18, 1862. Two of the Schwandt children survived the attack. The daughter, Mary, was taken captive, but was protected by a Dakota woman, Snana. The son, August, managed to crawl away.

Site 45:Birch Coulee Battlefield State Historic Site
Two Miles North of Morton on US Hwy 71 then east on Renville County Road #2.
One of the hardest fought battles of the U.S.-Dakota War, the Battle of Birch Coulee, was fought here. Visitors can walk a self-guided trail through recreated prairie and read about the battle from the perspectives of Joseph Anderson, a captain in the U.S. Army, and Wamditanka (Big Eagle), a Mdewakanton soldier. Sketches from soldier Albert Colgrave provide vivid battle details. Guide posts help pinpoint where the U.S. soldiers were camped and the positions the Dakota took while surrounding the U.S. soldiers.

The Sioux held an uprising (also known as the Dakota Conflict) in 1862 against the United States Army. It began along the Minnesota River and hundreds were killed. It is said that between 300 and 800 settlers were killed, making it one of the largest death toll of civilians. One reason for the uprising of the Sioux tribe was that the Dakotas were not being paid the money promised to them for their land. They were cheated out of over three million dollars as well as not receiving the food promised them. Failing crops also helped add to the problems. The payment for land finally arrived two days after the conflict began, but it was too late.

Convicted of murder, thirty-eight men of the Dakota Sioux tribe were executed. The government also decided to close down the reservation and to cancel all previous treaties signed with the Sioux tribe.


Site 46:Redwood County Poor Farm Museum & Minnesota's Inventor Hall of Fame
West edge of Redwood on TH 19 & 67.
Redwood Historical Museum located on Highway 19 West, Redwood Falls, was constructed in 1908 as the county poor farm. The 30 rooms including a living room, dining room, kitchen, general store, military room, doctor's office, and 3 wildlife rooms. Interesting items such as toys tools, clothings, fine linens, photos, fans, indian artifacts, and much more are displayed. A one-room school building is also on the grounds

The Minnesota Inventors Hall of Fame (MIHF) is a Minnesota non-profit corporation. Its volunteer Board of Directors include inventors, patent lawyers and members of the scientific community or the public.

The Minnesota Inventors Hall of Fame was established in 1976 for the purpose of honoring inventors generally and bringing to the attention of the public the economic and social importance of their contributions to society. This is done by identifying those Minnesota inventors who have made significant contributions through their inventions.

In Minnesota, the overall impact of the inventor's work is a more important consideration than the impact of one patent.

The Minnesota Inventors Hall of Fame inductees are honored in an exhibit at the Redwood Area Community Center in Redwood Falls, MN. Each inductee is identified with a photograph and a bronze plaque summarizing their accomplishments. In addition, up to ten inductees are highlighted in the exhibit each year with more information about their accomplishments, photographs, patents, artifacts and examples of their work.

507-637-3329 &
Site 47:Birthplace of Sears
North Redwood Co. Hwy. 101.
Richard Sears sold his first watch from this site, marking the beginning of the Sears and Roebuck Company.

Perhaps no other business institution in the United States is as responsible for ushering in the era of twentieth century mass consumption as Sears, Roebuck & Company. Today we are a nation of producers and consumers, a leisure culture that relies on the convenience and efficiency of a myriad of products that determine our quality of life. Much can be attributed to a gutsy corporation that blazed new trails in mass market merchandising at the turn of the last century.

Born during the latter part of the nineteenth century, Sears, Roebuck & Company literally changed the way of life for many Americans. In doing so, it essentially became the central warehouse for the culture, assessing the needs of the common folk, presenting them with exciting new products which were delivered to America's doorsteps in a way that was before unimagined. As a result, Sears became one of the most trusted economic institutions in U.S. history and eventually grew to be the seventh largest corporation in the world during the twentieth century.

There continues to be a national reverence for its impact on the American socioeconomic landscape, and throughout much of the twentieth century, it was still one of the nation's largest purveyors of general merchandise. Today the concept of mail-order is as American as the automobile, an item which Sears sold in the pages of its famous catalog.

Site 48:Alexander Ramsey Park
North side of Redwood Falls
Alexander Ramsey Park is the largest municipal park in Minnesota. The park spans 217 acres with vast features that have something for everyone!

The park was built as a state park in 1911 with much of the work being done by the CCC during the 1930's. The state of Minnesota gave the park back to the city of Redwood Falls in later years and now the city maintains and improves the park. Ramsey Park continues to be a wonderful example of Minnesota's commitment to it's natural resources and beauty.

In the lower part of the park one may find a variety of picnic and play areas. The lower camping shelter, built during the CCC era is a favorite for family gatherings and picnics. Setting just a few yards from the Redwood River and next to the recently improved play area, ball diamond, campground and zoo, it is a spectacular central location for meetings of all kinds.



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