THE CITY OF CALEDONIA
Caledonia, a city named for its Scottish heritage, is a community of 3,000 people located in southeast Minnesota where the land transitions from rolling hills to scenic bluffs and into the Mississippi River Valley. The area is criss-crossed with spring fed streams which run winter and summer. Hunting, trapping, and angling for trout are popular. Hiking, skiing, groomed snowmobile trails, camping facilities, picnic areas, a picturesque nine hole golf course, parks and playgrounds are available. As you’re driving through the area, keep an eye out for wild turkeys, as Caledonia is known as the Wild Turkey Capital of Minnesota. If you know what an Arcadian Flycatcher or Louisiana Waterthrush is, you’d enjoy birdwatching around the area. Less than fifteen miles away is the mighty Mississippi River and Beaver Creek Valley State Park is just three miles to the west.
As you tour through Caledonia take the new one mile walking tour including many older buildings historically significant and built of locally quarried native lime sandstone, including the Houston County Courthouse and old Jail. While in the area, tour Schech’s Mill, the only water powered mill still operating in Minnesota. For some old-fashioned summertime fun, the Houston County Fair arrives each August with entertainment, contests, 4-H and open class exhibits, a carnival and of course, “fair food” like corn dogs, cotton candy and caramel corn. The fair is held the third week of August. The Houston County Historical Society’s museum is also located at the fairgrounds. Visitors can stop in year-round to see the historical buildings of History Lane, including an old school house, pioneer cabin, church and town hall.
While driving throughout the Caledonia area take note of the many wooden quilts now adorning barns and sheds. The “Quilting the Countryside” project began as a creative barn improvement project for a local family highlighting their 1928 barn. An 8x8 foot square of plywood was painted in lively colors in a traditional quilt pattern and hung on their rural barn. Almost sixty beautifully painted quilts now grace rural barns throughout Houston County celebrating our valued agricultural heritage. Tour routes are posted for those wishing to take their own leisurely drive through the county.