Mankato Autumn Aquarius

A Glimpse of How I see Mankato.

My dad is from Mankato, a cool town in Southern Minnesota. Our family’s roots go pretty deep there which I wrote about here a while ago. When we go for a visit, our time is always filled with reunions, food, and fun. This time around, I had some time to myself to catch the sunrise and snap some photos of things I think make this town so special.

Old Town Mankato

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Reconciliation Park

The largest mass execution in U.S. history happened on December 26, 1862. 38 Dakota Indians were hanged by the U.S. government at this site during the Dakota War of 1862.  Dedicated in 1997, Reconciliation Park  serves as a site to “reflect, meditate and remember ” (Dakota Elder Amos Owen, 1997). The spiritual survival and heritage of the Dakota People of the Minnesota region are symbolized by the bison monument.

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Minneopa State Park. 

This is one of my favorite places to visit when going to Mankato. “Minneopa” comes from the Dakota language and translates to “water falling twice.” It is a wonderful place to spend the day camping, hiking, and picnicking. They just reintroduced a herd of Bison to Minneopa and you can see them by driving along the Bison Trail.  You can also see Seppman’s Mill a beautiful windmill built between 1862 and 1864.

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Historic Minneopa Cemetery

     What some people may find odd about me is my fascination with cemeteries. I love wandering around them, and I love photographing them. I find them calming and comforting because cemeteries are where people lay their loved ones to rest,so I feel like there is a lot of love surrounding me in them. Also, they serve as a reminder that none of us will get out of here alive so enjoy your life while you can!

     Not far from Minneopa Falls is the historic Minneopa Cemetery where most of my family on my dad’s side is buried. I go there every time I go back to lay flowers on my grandpa’s grave and just be surrounded by my ancestors.

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My parents named me after my great-grandfather James.
I think this is the oldest Laird grave in the cemetery. This is my great, great, great, great, great grandfather!


Mankato is where my dad grew up so it’s always nice to see that side of my family and spend time together.

Family, are like branches in a tree, we all grow in different directions, yet our roots remain as one.” – Unknown

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Hanging out at Aunt Sandy’s and Uncle Lee’s.
Where there is family there is FOOOOOOOD 🙂
Elder Family reunion 2016
fam 2.0
At the Lake.
Cousins at Ribfest 2016



11 responses to “A Glimpse of How I see Mankato.”

  1. Wow!!! Nostalgic, poetic, and beautiful pictures. What a lovely vacation to know more of your Father’s roots and so nice to be able to see what your Dad’s life was before you were born, and then to be able to pass that on to the next generation. And what lovely way to define why you love (instead of being scared) visiting cemeteries. This is a kind of trip/vacation that everyone should do if they could. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks auntie! Happy you enjoyed it!

  2. Rebecca Breskman Avatar
    Rebecca Breskman

    What a great post! Now I wanna go to Minnesota!

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. You would love it, Becky! I don’t know if Jon would though…no surfing ;-P

  3. fromdreamtoplan Avatar

    Hi Jamie! Happy to have found your blog! I love the layout, the style the content…everything! I’ve read some of your posts and I can’t wait to read more! Plus, I’m a travel lover too so I’m definitely looking forward to following you 🙂

    Lisa |

    1. Hi Lisa!!! I’m so glad you found me :-). Thank you for the compliments! I just checked out your blog too, and I am a fan!It’s great! Excited to see what you post next.

      1. fromdreamtoplan Avatar

        My pleasure!! Oh thank you, so nice of you! 🙂

  4. Hey Jamie, that was nice words. I am planning of joining MNSU Mankato for my degree and after reading your post, I came a close to mankato and the history with the culture in mankato.
    I just don’t want to have culture shock when I will be coming to mankato as international student. So your post will be great helpful to me. Like to see more on “mankato” topic.

    1. Hi John ! Thank you for reading my post. Mankato is a great city, and I think you will love going to school there! I’m sure you will experience a bit of culture shock just like any other international student or traveler (I experienced it on my first international vacation in Italy!) but that’s good! It’s wonderful to experience other cultures. I will definitely try to do more posts about Mankato. If you have any suggestions, please let me know! I am very happy that you enjoyed this one :-).

  5. Hi Mark! Thank you so much for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. Mankato is a great place! From what I’ve heard you’re a pretty awesome dude…just like my dad! 🙂

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