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Faribault, the county seat of Rice County, Minnesota is about fifty miles south of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, and at the confluence of the Cannon River and the Straight River. Its settlement predates Minnesota's establishment as a United States Territory. Before 1745, the area was inhabited by the Dakotah, who were driven south by the Ojibwe. The city's namesake, Alexander Faribault, established a fur trading post there in 1826. Conversant in the Dakotah language, he helped the Wahpekute band of Dakotah to resettle the area. His home, built in 1853, still stands near the southeastern edge of the city's historic downtown district. A steam-powered sawmill was established in Faribault in 1854, spurring rapid growth and road creation. The city was platted in 1855, and chartered in 1872. Herbert Sellner invented the Tilt-A-Whirl in Faribault in 1926, establishing Sellner Manufacturing Company in 1927. Faribault Woolen Mills was in operation from 1865 to 2009, and reopened in 2011, continuing operation today. Faribault is surrounded by Cannon City, Comus, Deerfield, Medford, Prairieville, Shieldville, Walcott, and Warsaw. Mankato is about forty miles west, and Minneapolis is about fifty miles north of Faribault.

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