Maps & Online Tour

Explore Dakota City Heritage Village by selecting a building below.
<img decoding='async' class='alignleft wp-image-143 size-medium' src='' alt='' width='300' height='224' srcset=' 300w, 600w, 1024w, 420w, 540w, 130w, 1533w' sizes='(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px' /></p> <p style='text-align: left;'>The Vermillion Bank was incorporated on September 8, 1917 when several local men decided that the Vermillion area needed a bank. The building was constructed for $2,500 in 1918 with furniture costing an additional $1,500. Local builders used brick on the outside with a pressed tin alloy on the inside. The 25’ x 40’ building weighs 150 tons. The interior of the building is divided into a lobby, president’s office, head cashier/ teller operations area and a walk-in vault with a safe. The building was originally heated by a pipeless coal furnace in the basement with the heat rising through a floor register.</p> <p style='text-align: left;'>The bank opened for business on August 10, 1918 and it could accept deposits up to $150,000. In 1933, a steel wall called a “bandit barrier” was added. Tellers stood behind the barrier with bulletproof glass and steel grid covers in the barrier windows. The tellers accepted customer deposits through circular slots next to the windows. The steel door was locked during business hours and access was granted by the president or the head cashier using a “buzzer” door release. The buzzer is still visible in the president’s office behind the desk.</p> <p style='text-align: left;'>The building was used as a bank until 1975 and then it was used as a real estate office and a lawyer’s office. It was donated to Dakota City in 1984 and moved to the Fairgrounds on July 31, 1985.</p> <p>
<img decoding='async' loading='lazy' class='alignleft wp-image-145 size-medium' src='' alt='' width='300' height='199' srcset=' 300w, 600w, 420w, 540w, 130w, 1008w' sizes='(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px' />This building was built in 1903 by Dennis Gibson. It was originally located on Highway 3 in Rosemount and was only ever used as a barbershop. It was moved to Dakota City in 1994. The beveled mirrors behind the barber chairs and the carved woodwork are original to the building. The hand carved wooden barber chair is over 100 years old and was donated by a former Farmington barber. The other chairs are over 50 years old.</p> <p>The barbershop was primarily used for shaves and haircuts. Straight edge razors were used for shaves while hand clippers and scissors were used for haircuts. In the early 1800’s, barbers also let blood. The origin of the barber pole goes back to the days of bloodletting. The red and white stripes represent the bandage with which the barber wrapped his patient after bloodletting.</p> <p>Many barbershops had back rooms with bathtubs. Some men used these bathtubs before or after they had their shave and haircut. Shops made scrub brushes, combs, tooth powder, aftershave, and curling irons available to their customers. Dakota City’s bathtub is over 100 years old.</p> <p>The back room of this barbershop houses dentistry equipment. It was common in the early 1800’s and before for the barber to also be the dentist. This barber/dentist would have been good for pulling teeth rather than fixing them. By 1900, however, dentistry had emerged as its own profession. The University of Minnesota established a College of Dentistry in 1888. Dentists received a college education and they were able to do much more than pull teeth. In 1900, there were 5 dentists in Dakota County – 1 in Farmington, 1 in Rosemount, and 3 in Hastings.
<img decoding='async' loading='lazy' class='size-medium wp-image-147 alignleft' src='' alt='' width='300' height='224' srcset=' 300w, 600w, 420w, 540w, 130w, 916w' sizes='(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px' /></p> <p>January 1856 – The congregation was organized. Five members delegated by a Reverend James Stirrat presented a petition to the St. Paul Presbytery to establish a church in the Lakeville district. Those members consisted of James Sayers, his wife, two children and Jacob Van Doren. The Presbytery then appointed Reverend J.A. Stirrat and a Reverend J.G. Riheldoffer and Elder Gray to organize the congregation. Thus the foundation was laid for the Vermillion Presbyterian Church and named because of its location in the rich countryside near the Vermillion River.</p> <p>January 1867 – The church building was constructed. In the years before the church was built, members met in homes and at the District #44 schoolhouse for services. On January 7, 1867 Jacob Van Doren presented a deed to the officers of the congregation conveying a parcel of land upon which to build a church building. Under the supervision of Silas Scofield the present building was erected at an approximate cost of $900. The money was raised by subscription. Some accounts mention that the winter of 1867 was exceptionally cold but that they were determined to have the church done by spring. For many years, the Presbyterians and Methodists used the church on alternate Sundays.</p> <p>Reverend Stirrat often traveled by foot or horseback from his home near Prescott, Wisconsin to the church near Lakeville in the early years, “a delightful walk of 27 miles.” (Quoted from “History of the Vermillion Church for the NW Presbyterian.”)“</p> <p>“In 1930, the Vermillion Church entered into a covenant to contribute financially to the Farmington Church and many from there joined the Farmington congregation since regular services were discontinued in Eureka.” (Quoted from the First Presbyterian Centennial Anniversary Booklet, November 28, 1965.)</p> <p>On August 1 1957 a Quit Claim Deed from the Presbytery of St. Paul, MN transferred the church and property to the Greenwood Cemetery Association. For some years later the building was used for occasional church services, funerals, memorials, etc.</p> <p>In the interest of the preservation of this pioneer church, the Greenwood Cemetery Association gave the building to the Dakota County Agricultural Society and in 1977 it was moved to Dakota City on the Dakota County Fairgrounds. The building has been restored and original furnishings that were returned include the chandelier, pews and organ. The church is still used for services during the County Fair, special events, and weddings.</p> <p>The cemetery was built in 2002 and it is not a real cemetery. No one is really buried there. The headstones are real and were donated to Dakota City for use in our cemetery.
<img decoding='async' loading='lazy' class='size-medium wp-image-149 alignleft' src='' alt='' width='300' height='196' srcset=' 300w, 600w, 420w, 540w, 130w, 700w' sizes='(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px' />This building was originally located in Dahlgren township in Carver County and was moved to Lakeville in 1870 to be used as a station for the Hastings and Dakota Railroad. The Hastings and Dakota Railroad line was built between 1868 and 1869 and was later renamed the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific Railroad. This depot was moved to Lakeville to replace a temporary platform along the railroad. The depot was moved to Dakota City in 1970. The track was purchased from a Texas salvage company. The building is divided into three rooms.</p> <p><strong>Waiting Room:</strong><br /> Passengers entered the waiting room to purchase tickets and wait for the arrival of their trains. People who wished to ship something by rail would transact their business with the depot agent through the window. The depot agent would accept the shipment and make a waybill. A waybill was a slip of paper telling the weight, date, price, destination, and the train car number for that object that was being shipped. The waybill went with the train car and was carried by the conductor. The blackboard tells the train arrival and departure times. The benches were provided for people awaiting the arrival of the next train. The stove would have burned coal for fuel.</p> <p><strong>Depot Agent’s Office:</strong><br /> The depot agent’s office is where the agent sold tickets, sent messages and did the book work. The depot agent knew Morse Code and sent messages to other depots with a telegraph key. Each depot had its own call letter. Morse Code is a series of dots and dashes. Each dot and dash represents a letter of the alphabet and the dots and dashes are strung together forming words. The train message hoop held a message tied on a string. The depot agent would hold the message hoop near a passing train and the engineer or conductor would slip his arm through and receive the message as a train went by.</p> <p><strong>The Freight Room:</strong><br /> The freight room was the place where the incoming and outgoing mail, baggage, and small freight were kept.
<img decoding='async' loading='lazy' class='size-medium wp-image-151 alignleft' src='' alt='' width='300' height='224' srcset=' 300w, 600w, 1024w, 420w, 540w, 130w, 1030w' sizes='(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px' /></p> <p>Built in 1990, the Fire Barn was designed to replicate Farmington’s first fire barn built in 1872. The first Farmington fire department was organized the same year and called the Eagle Company. This building contains the hand drawn hook and ladder wagons used in Hampton and Vermillion.</p> <p>There are also hand drawn <img decoding='async' loading='lazy' class='size-medium wp-image-150 alignleft' src='' alt='' width='300' height='224' srcset=' 300w, 600w, 1024w, 420w, 540w, 130w, 1030w' sizes='(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px' />hose carts and a 1929 W.S. Knott Universal fire truck. By the 1800s, firefighting had progressed from bucket brigades to carts and wagons drawn by men. Later these vehicles were drawn by horses. Steam engines were used until the gasoline driven fire truck of the 1920s became available. Fire fighters in small towns were volunteers until recent years.
<img decoding='async' loading='lazy' class='size-medium wp-image-152 alignleft' src='' alt='' width='300' height='225' srcset=' 300w, 600w, 1024w, 420w, 540w, 130w, 1152w' sizes='(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px' />The Harris House was built in 1892 by Monroe and Orinda Harris, the great-grandparents of the people who donated the house to Dakota City in 1998. There were four square walls in the original house with a lean-to, or summer kitchen, added in 1915. The house was in the family for 131 years with family members living in it nearly the entire time, with the exception of a short time in the 1970’s when it was rented out.</p> <p>The Harris’ had ten children, eight lived to adulthood. The eight children and their parents lived in the house when it was first built. There were 3 bedrooms upstairs and one downstairs. The remainder of the house consisted of a living room and kitchen, common of farmhouses of the day. The kitchen would have been the most used room of the house. The basement was a dugout type with stone walls and a dirt floor. This type of basement was often called a fruit cellar.</p> <p>The house was heated by woodstoves with registers in the ceiling to allow heat into the upper level. Kerosene lamps were used for lighting the house. There was no indoor plumbing. However a pump was installed by the kitchen sink so that water was available in the house. The house was originally painted white. The hand pump on the side of the house is not in working order. It is the same type and style of those used when the house was built. The house was originally located between Pilot Knob Road and Flagstaff on 170th Street in Farmington. It was located across from what is North Trail School today.
  1. Bank
  2. Leather Shop
  3. Blacksmith
  4. Church
  5. Depot
  6. Drug Store
  7. Fire Barn
  1. General Store
  2. Gift Shop
  3. Harris House
  4. Jail
  5. Library
  6. McMenomy House
  7. Millinery
  8. Post Office
  1. Print Shop
  2. School
  3. Service Station
  4. Ahlberg Hall Museum
  5. Wood Shop
  6. Leather Shop
  7. Village Hall