Minnesota River Virtual Tour - New Ulm


Stop 7 - New Ulm (River Mile 151)
New Ulm Riverblast Photo: Kim Musser New Ulm Riverblast music tent Photo: Kim Musser
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More cow pastures and farm fields can be seen as we get closer to New Ulm and a few fields are farmed to the edge of the banks. The river from New Ulm to Mankato is one of the prettiest stretches we’ve seen in the first 220 miles of travel. Coming out of New Ulm, the river bottom, for the first time, changes from muck to imbedded gravel.

New Ulm is one of the many places where you can learn about the river basin's rich cultural history. Archeologist have found clues indicating Native American settlement and farming stretching back 10,000 years. The river has served as a lifeblood for the region and an important transportation route. Native Americans settled along the the river banks taking advantage of the rich fisheries and fertile land. The river also provided access to and from the vast western prairies.

Historic Conflicts
In the 1660's, when the first white explorers ventured into this area they encountered Dakota and Ojibwe people who had been living in the area for many generations. Tensions increased through time as more European-American settlers moved in. Conflicts between Native Americans and settlers culminated in the infamous "1862 Dakota Conflict" — the largest mass execution in the nation's history when 38 Dakota were hung in Mankato. Throughout the basin today, many history centers and roadside markers recount these historic conflicts.


Visiting the area today you can find communities steeped in distinctive cultural traditions. For example, the Upper and Lower Sioux Communities host annual waicipis (photo, right). New Ulm celebrates its German heritage at the annual Octoberfest (photo, right). Norwegian and Sweedish cultural roots are visible in towns such as Milan, Madison, Montevideo and St. Peter. The river is the focus of the annual Riverblast Celebration in New Ulm (photos, above). Come sit by the riverbank and enjoy music and food.
Dancers at Octoberfest Photo: www.aviso.net Waicipi Photo: Ron Bolduan    
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