The Growing Town of Cold Spring
Cold Spring still has a small town feel and a strong sense of pride despite its growth over the years. Cold Spring is a city in Central Minnesota with a population of 4,025 located southwest of St. Cloud in Stearns County.
Cold Spring was platted in 1856 and named for several springs located near the original town site. The town was first called Cold Springs but the "s" was dropped at a later date. A post office has been in Cold Spring since 1857. The Sauk River and nearby chain of lakes are big reasons why the settlement was chosen by many German Catholics who settled the community. Many Germans were lured by the Slovenian missionary priest Francis Xavier Pierz, who had submitted letters and advertisements to the major German-language newspapers across the U.S.
Cold Spring has three properties on the National Register of Historic places: the John Oster House and Ferdinand Peters House, both built in 1907, and the Eugene Hermanutz House, built in 1912.
To help tell the story of Cold Spring I was joined by longtime Cold Spring residents Dave Heinen and Ken Kraemer. Heinen is the current Mayor and former member of the Cold Spring Fire Department. He says Cold Spring is a clean community that has come together more than once in times of crisis having dealt with a school shooting at ROCORI high school in 2003 and the death of police officer Tom Decker in 2012.
Both Heinen and Ken Kraemer are proud of the large employers in the community and how they continue to prosper highlighting Cold Spring Granite Company, Cold Spring Brewery, Pilgrim's, and Tom Kraemer Inc. Kraemer says he's lived in Cold Spring his whole life because he had no reason to leave.. the community had everyone he was looking for. Both indicate the community sees many visitors during the spring and summer due to the chain of lakes nearby, the downtown Cold Spring bakery, Hometown Pride Days (July 27-29, 2023) and Firefest (July 22, 2023).
The relocation of Cold Spring Granite to the west of town opened up a large area in the heart of the community which has seen some development with Alexander Park moving into the south portion of that property. Heinen says the park was built on what used to be a quarry. Kraemer indicates many of the local businesses including Quarry Cinema and Cold Spring Lanes have worked with ROCORI schools on various options for the young people in the community. Both Heinen and Kraemer say the town of Cold Spring works closely with surrounding communities Rockville and Richmond to supply services and to work on projects.
The Cold Spring baseball park has been a draw for many years in the community. It used by called "Springer Park" but was later renamed due to a larger number of teams calling it home. Cold Spring baseball park has hosted numerous high school regular season and section playoff games, and State Amateur baseball tournament. Kraemer says the city has done a great job maintaining what he calls one of the best ballparks in the state.
If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Mayor Dave Heinen and Ken Kraemer they are available below.