Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Dresbach & Dakota, that would be in Minnesota June 27, 2017

Following Interstate 90 along the Mississippi River bluffs in southeastern Minnesota.


IN THE MANY YEARS I’VE TRAVELED Interstate 90 along the Minnesota/Wisconsin border in southeastern Minnesota, I’ve never exited to explore Dresbach or Dakota.

That changed this past spring when Randy and I were returning from a day trip to La Crosse, Wisconsin. Time allowed for the pull off onto Riverview Drive which passes through unincorporated Dresbach and Dakota, population 323 or thereabouts.


We pulled off Riverview Drive and curved the van to a small riverside park in Dresbach where I took this photo of the Mississippi.


Traffic signs in Dresbach.


Leaving Dresbach, I noticed this lengthy, leaning retaining wall.


We did a drive through with thoughts of returning again to poke around more. Both villages sit along the western bank of the Mississippi River between La Crosse and Winona, in Minnesota. The river setting is scenic, beautiful, worthy of a second look when the weather warms and river traffic increases.


A welcoming sign outside a business in Dakota. That’s quite a name, Trynowski.


Holy Cross Church in Dakota.


A well-preserved former corner gas station in Dakota that I found absolutely charming.


I snapped a few quick photos from the van and called it good. While both villages deserve more of my photographic study, this is a start.

TELL ME: Have you ever driven through/visited Dresbach or Dakota? If yes, what should I see the next time I’m in either community.

If anyone can provide information about any of the places photographed here, please share.

© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


14 Responses to “Dresbach & Dakota, that would be in Minnesota”

  1. Don Says:

    I see no stop lights so this town meets my approval! Nice location too…………….

  2. Jackie Says:

    We have been in the area, but have not been to either town. Beautiful church, love the stonework with the bell!

  3. Don Says:

    Audrey, sorry I was inactive for a while been busy at work and home getting ready for Midwest vacation YAHOO!!!!! Departing Fairbanks on July 4th (for 2 glorious weeks) on redeye flight to Minneapolis then pickup car rental and drive to the Wisconsin/Michigan boarder for family fun! Still not sure of what our routing will be after that but we will certainly enjoy it wherever we go. My wife and I looked over the road maps and routed ourselves away from the interstates as much as possible and through the back country roads and small towns! I am so looking forward to our road trip…….Fingers crossed for good weather…………………

  4. Pam Hartwell Says:

    Hello Audrey. I was sent this post because I am a Dresbach native and thought I would give you a few more things to see next time. SUTRA global imports is an fascinating business in Dakota-be sure to check hours as they are sporadic, but it is a gem. And in Dresbach we have a very nice and quite historical Cemetery at the beginning of Al Moore Dr. with lots of stories to tell and a Dead End sign posted next to it, that I have always found ironic. I hope you will visit again there are beautiful hikes and vistas to enjoy when you tuck into the many hidden coulees.

    • Pam, thank you for directing me to other sites to visit in Dresbach and Dakota. I would definitely photograph that Dead End sign. I love exploring historic cemeteries for their history and art. Take me to a small town and I’m a happy girl. That said, I’m currently healing from a broken shoulder and am unable to use my Canon DSLR camera. In a few months I should be back day tripping, documenting these intriguing places I discover. For now I have to sort through my photo files and showcase past places visited.

  5. Thanks for the drive along the Mississippi River. I used to take that route quite a bit when I went to La Crosse Wisconsin with a load of produce. Stay well, good luck with your shoulder.

  6. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    I don’t know which I like more the church or the old gas station. Perfect sized town

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