The recording of Chaska’s history began in 1769, though several markers indicate that the area was inhabited before this time. The city’s name comes from the word Shaska, which is derived from a Dakota name often given to a first-born son. The first inhabitants of what is now the city of Chaska are believed to be Native Americans called the Mound Builders, whose ancient communities are known by various styles of earthen mounds built for ceremonial, religious, elite and burial purposes. The mounds in Chaska’s City Square are reminiscent of this practice. Later on, the Dakota Indians (once known as Sioux Indians) moved into this region that was referred to at that time as Big Woods.
Thomas Andrew Holmes joined the group of speculators that moved to the area and claimed a 20-acre opening as the town-site and was later mapped by the Shaska Company in 1857. The construction of the original Carver County Courthouse began that same year and was located where the current First National Bank and post office are today. In 1871 Chaska was incorporated as a village and then finally became a city in 1891.
Brick making began in 1857 due to an abundance of high-quality clay in the area. Chaska became a prosperous brick manufacturing center and shipped bricks by boat to St. Paul. The city developed quickly as a result of this brick making along with steamboat trade and the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railroad. Other industries thrived during this time, such as flour making, butter making, vegetable canning, processing of beet sugar and other agricultural products, and the curing of pickles and sauerkraut.
Chaska’s population averaged around 2,000 and remained relatively unchanged throughout the first half of the twentieth century. Chaska remained a small town until the 1950’s and 60’s when the “seven county metropolitan area” reached Chaska. The Jonathan New Town design was quickly introduced and it brought new land, jobs, and people to the area.
The city is still expanding and growing today with the latest census records listing Chaska as having 23,770 residents. Many modern industries have moved to Chaska and they continue to do so. The population is booming as a result of the residential construction adding hundreds of new homes per year. Despite all of this change and progress, sensible development regulations and careful planning have preserved the sense of community and rich heritage, allowing the Chaska to exist as both a small town and modern city.
If you have any questions regarding the city of Chaska, Minnesota, or if you would like to sell or buy a house in the area, please feel free to visit TwinCitiesPropertyFinder.com or call 1-800-909-1953.