Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Lovin’ Hastings’ historic downtown October 30, 2012

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Just a sampling of the historic buildings in downtown Hastings, Minnesota.

WHY I’VE NEVER VISITED historic Hastings, a Mississippi River town an hour from my Faribault home, prior to a few weeks ago remains a mystery to me.

Jammed with building after building after building hearkening from yesteryear, Hastings’ downtown holds precisely the type of architecture and vintage imprint that I find especially appealing.

Looking up at Second Childhood Toys.

I could just stand there and gawk at the upper floors of these mostly brick buildings—at the arched windows, the detailed trim, the dates that define a building’s birth—for a good spell.

Stroll the sidewalks of downtown Hastings at a leisurely pace and step inside the many charming shops.

But the sidewalk level, too, offers an equal amount of charm with a multitude of antique and gift shops, a sweet spot to sample ice cream or candy, and more.

Relaxing on an early autumn afternoon in downtown Hastings, when the weather was still warm.

It’s the kind of Main Street where folks lollygag, where locals relax on a bench and sip coffee, where a dog lazes in the middle of the sidewalk and no one minds skirting around the canine, where trolls lurk near the bridge.

In Oliver’s Grove 1819, a downtown park, I found this mural of trolls and the old spiral bridge which once crossed over the Mississippi from Hastings to Wisconsin. Hastings was originally called Oliver’s Grove after Lt. William G. Oliver who arrived here in 1819.

This describes the Hastings I found on a Saturday afternoon in early autumn. Hastings, with its historic district, reminds me of Faribault’s downtown. Except Faribault seems to be mostly undiscovered.

Mailboxes and an historic marker on a door in the business district.

These circus glasses caught my eye inside an antique shop, Second Street Antiques and Collectibles, I believe. It was difficult for me to resist purchasing these as I collect vintage glassware.

Inside the same antique shop, looking across the street at a row of historic buildings.

Just in time for Halloween…a vintage clown costume in the same antique mall.

A vintage turkey decoration for the table, a few booths over from that Halloween costume.

One more seasonal find, a casserole in autumn hues.

So many antique shops to visit and not enough time to see them all.

Walking the dog in historic downtown Hastings on a warm and sunny Saturday earlier in autumn.

PLEASE CHECK BACK for more posts from historic Hastings.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling