YOU CAN LEARN much about a small town by simply walking. And looking, really looking.
On a recent day trip to Cannon Falls, I explored part of the downtown business district. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, the Cannon Falls Historic District includes 22 historically-significant structures.
Given my love of historic architecture, and art, this Goodhue County community of 4,220 within a 40-minute drive of Minneapolis and St. Paul rates as a favorite regional destination.
Cannon Falls thrives with a well-known winery and bakery and an assortment of shops from antique to gift to hardware store. Toss in a mix of eateries, bars and a brewery and, well, there’s lots to see and do here. Plus, the town attracts outdoor enthusiasts who canoe the Cannon River and/or bike/hike the Cannon Valley Trail and Mill Towns Trail.
During my mid-October visit, I popped into a few shops (including the bakery), discovered the lovely library and admired a new downtown mural. Because of COVID concerns, I skipped dining and imbibing. It was too early in the day and too cool to enjoy either outdoors.
Still, I found plenty to take in from the colorful new mural to the art inside the library to ghost signage.
I noticed, too, hometown pride in the I LOVE CANNON FALLS! tees in a storefront window.
I noticed also notices taped in a display window, one of which alerted me to Mailbox Mysteries, which led me to the library around the corner which led me to sign up for this challenging endeavor. Now I’m trying to solve the “Gangster’s Gold” mystery with weekly clues snail mailed to me by the library.
Had I not done this walk-about through downtown Cannon Falls, I likely would have missed these nuances. The details which help define this community.
As I meandered, I paused to watch a John Deere tractor roll through downtown pulling a wagon heaped with golden kernels of corn. This is, after all, an agricultural region.
Later, Randy and I picnicked at Hannah’s Bend Park, the local grain elevator complex defining the nearby skyline. As we finished our lunch, a bald eagle soared overhead, wings spread wide. I expect the Cannon River drew the majestic bird here, to this small southeastern Minnesota town, this Cannon Falls.
FYI: Please check back for more posts from Cannon Falls and the surrounding area, including the Sogn Valley. Also enjoy my earlier post on Hi Quality Bakery by clicking here.
© Copyright 2021 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
It is fun to explore places like this and piece together the story of what the community is all about. Love the library.
I know you enjoy exploring communities as much as I do. I always like reading about the ones you discover in NC.
I LOVE CANNON FALLS!!! I guess I need one of those shirts. The hardware store there is one of favorites and reminds me of the one that use to exist in Moose Lake. Thanks for sharing your visit to this wonderful Minnesota farming town!!!
Be sure to check back for more Cannon Falls posts, Renee. I love your enthusiasm for this community.
Since we bike on the CVT a lot, Cannon Falls is a special place for us. But looks we could do some more exploring…
Ah, yes, there’s much to see in downtown Cannon Falls especially.
You do a great job highlighting the artistic and historical aspects of small towns. You are quite adept at looking at the positives each place has to offer.
Thank you, Sue. I appreciate your specific praise for my work.
My hometown. So happy to have grown up in this small-town environment.
Your hometown is a wonderful community. I’m thankful you appreciate the place of your roots. And welcome to the comments section, Barbara.