Post by ● Sep 9, 2015

City of Belle Plaine: A Brief History

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The Minnesota Territorial Supreme Court Judge Andrew G. Chatfield founded the townsite of Belle Plaine in 1853 when he was traveling from Mendota to Traverse des Sioux to conduct court. Judge Chatfield chose the name of the townsite to be Belle Plaine, which is French for “Beautiful Prairie.” Even to this day, the city has select areas of protected, natural prairie grasses.

The Minnesota River was very active with recreation and served as a border for the town. Normally it would take 19 hours to travel from St. Paul to Mankato. Belle Plaine was one of the best stops. New settlers came every day because they were attracted to the area. This river stop was the biggest contributor to the city’s development.

From 1868 to 1974, Belle Plaine was incorporated as a borough, the only place in Minnesota to do so. In 1974, the municipal title was changed from borough to city.

Although housing was established in large quantities during that time, Belle Plaine remained isolated because of how far south it was. With the city not having any major access to larger highways, the city’s growth suffered. However, the addition of U.S. Highway 169 over the Minnesota River solved all of the city’s developmental issues. In no time at all, Belle Plaine experienced a residential boom.

If you have any questions regarding the city of Belle Plaine, Minnesota, or if you would like to sell or buy a house in the area, please feel free to visit or call 1-800-909-1953.