A Town Rich in History
Blissful views, vintage
Carver on the Minnesota is a non-profit dedicated to keeping our history alive. Embracing our past and preserving this town's buildings as well as small town charm. We want to share the story with all in our community and beyond. Stop by and visit - take an historic walking tour. Look for the historic story board signs with a glimpse into what it was like back in the days.
Carver is located directly on the Minnesota River, Rich in History starting with the Dakota Indians, pioneers from Sweden, Norway, Germany
Ten thousand years ago glacial River Warren flowed through the Minnesota River Valley on which Carver is situated, carrying melt water away from retreating glaciers and leaving rich deposits of clay, sand, gravel, and fine silt soils, while cutting a deep and spectacular landscape. The River Warren was variously called the Riviere Pierre, the St. Peter River, Maddepaw, Menesotar, and finally the Minnesota River. Minnesota, a Dakota Indian name given to both the river and the state, means “sky tinted water”.
It is through this Sky Tinted Water Jim Hansel paints his beautiful American small town rendition of Carver on the Minnesota.
This marvelous mural is at the Upper Sioux Agency museum on the Minnesota River on highway 67 going toward Granite Falls.
History by John von Walter
Native Americans settled, hunted and fished here from about 1200 B. C. to 1850 A. D.
Pierre-Charles Le Seuer first European known to have navigated the Minnesota River. 1683 and 1700
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July, 1859 Carver had three hotels, six general stores, carpenters, boot and shoemakers, wagonmaking and blacksmith shops, cabinet shops, doctors and surgeons, a dentist, several lawyers, a brickyard, warehouses, wharves on the Minnesota River levee, several saloons, a brewery, regular steamboat servce upstream and downstream, a stagecoach line, a river ferry, a hardware store, and a newspaper. •
Prior to 1860 most of Carver’s pioneer settlers were from the eastern United States. After 1860 most Carver settlers consisted of immigrants from Sweden and the German States, making Carver about half Swedish, half German
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Church by the River
Historic Homes, Businesses, and Structures in Carver
109 Main Street East
Church by the River.
The church grew from a nondenominational Sunday school that began in 1893, with a church congregation
being organized in 1899. On September 1, 1900 members and friends of the Presbyterian
Church of Carver formally incorporated a congregation pursuant to the Laws of
Minnesota and elected church officers at a meeting chaired by theological student and
acting pastor of the church, Benjamin R. Weld. The first elected officers of the church
Andrew Sthol (3-year term),
Noah Hammarlund (2-year term), and
Dr.Everett Hartley (1-year term).
Church Elders elected were John S. Danens and CharlesA. Franzen.
Formal incorporation papers were filed with the Carver County Registrar’s
Office a month later on October 2, 1900. In 1913 the congregation decided on building a
permanent church and $3600 was paid for construction to Carver building contractor Olaf
Hanson, whose own home yet stands at 308
Third Street West. On Armistice Day, 1918,
the church bell cracked when it was rung
too vigorously to celebrate the end of World
Church membership declined after 1959 and the building incurred damage in the great
1965 flood. Its last church service was held on Sept. 24, 1967 and many members then
continued Presbyterian Church attendance in Chaska. Acquired by the nonprofit
organization Carver on the Minnesota, Inc.in 1971, it was used for a few years as a
museum and headquarters, with plans to turn it into an inn. The building was gifted to
the City of Carver and is today owned by the city, which hosts city council and
commission meetings, civic activities, and can be rented for special events such as
weddings, parties, and funerals. Through the work, funds, and efforts of the Carver Lions
Club, the Minnesota Historical Society, and many other volunteers, a church restoration
was completed, which resulted in the Carver Lions receiving a 2006 Community Effort
Award from the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota. The building’s interior now
displays that award and
many vintage photos and relics from Carver’s history.
The building reveals conventional design in Gothic character with a touch
of Queen Anne Revival. The building has a square plan with its principal entry through a
square corner bell tower. Features include panels and moldings on the bell tower,
shingled gables, Gothic windows, and a border of colored leaded glass squares around a
central motif of the lead
ed glass windows. As late as the 1930s a warehouse on pilings
stood at the rear of the church on the riverfront, marking the time when the church
property was once part of the Carver levee and a time when the river was much nearer the
church than it is today