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
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.
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.
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.
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