Minnesota’s Oldest Town Is Known For Cat Rentals And Being ‘Grumpy’
Minnesota's oldest town is actually quite a bit older than the state itself! While the Land of 10,000 Lakes was granted statehood in 1858, the town of Wabasha has been continuously occupied since 1826 and was established as a town in 1830.
In fact, Native and fur trade communities in the area date back to the 1600's.
The town of Wabasha, named in 1843 after Chief Wa-pa-shaw III, is home to over 50 buildings named on the National Register of Historic Places. One of the oldest buildings in town is the Grace Memorial Episcopal Church - the oldest Episcopal Church in Minnesota.
The Church, which opened in 1900, is known for its one-of-a-kind Tiffany stained glass window among many beautiful stained-glass pieces.
The Anderson House Hotel is Minnesota's oldest hotel, founded in 1856, and is located right on the Mississippi River. The Anderson House Hotel began renting cats as a sort of bed-warmer in the 1970's, a tradition that continued until 2011.
While Wabasha was the setting for the 1993 movie Grumpy Old Men, a lot of the movie was actually filmed in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Faribault and even Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen.
Wabasha hosts an annual "Grumpy Old Men" festival that features ice camping in a local park, an ice fishing tournament, flannel party, food trucks, live music and a lighted ATV/UTV parade.
Wabasha is located between Red Wing and Winona in southeastern Minnesota near the Wisconsin border, about three hours from St. Cloud.