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Situated in southeastern Minnesota, the city of Saint Charles was named for Saint Charles Borromeo, of Italy.

Saint Charles grew up along the Whitewater River in the mid-19th century. Founded in 1854, a post office was established there in 1855. Saint Charles Township was organized in May of 1858, and the City of Saint Charles was incorporated in February of 1870. The city was initially formed on land belonging to the Lewis H. Springer family, the area's first settlers, who had come in 1853. The Springers established the first store. Built in 1854, it became a public inn and post office.

The Winona and Saint Peter Railroad came through in February of 1864. This was followed by a route operated by the Chicago Great Western Railroad, and together they brought a sizable amount of trade into the city from both Olmsted and Winona counties. Today, the Dakota, Minnesota, and Eastern Railroad bisects the city from east to west.

Published by Joseph S. Whilton, the Saint Charles Union began as a four-page weekly newspaper in January of 1877. Electrical service was provided to the city in December of 1903, and the first motorized car came through the town in 1904.

Saint Charles is about twenty miles east of Rochester, and twenty miles west of Winona. The cities of Dover and Utica are about four miles west and six miles east of Saint Charles, respectively, while the unincorporated community of Saratoga is about six miles south.

Interstate Highway 90 passes through the southern part of the city. Other routes through Saint Charles include US Highway 14, Minnesota State Highway 74, and County Road 126.

The 2,700-acre Whitewater State Park is just north of Saint Charles, which claims the title of the Gateway to Whitewater State Park.

The 1854 Saint Charles plat included a public park, and the city has added quite a few others since. Parks, green spaces, and recreational areas in Saint Charles include the Saint Charles Golf Club and the adjoining Jessens Park, the Saint Charles City Park, the Winona County Fairgrounds, Whispering Hill Park, Brookwood Park, Kieffer Park, the Mel Brownell Aquatic Center, Meadowview Park, and Oakview Park.

The city has three properties on the National Register of Historic Places. These are Trinity Episcopal Church (1874), Saint Charles City Bakery (1876), and the Whitewater Avenue Commercial Historic District (1890s).

In 1870, the population of Saint Charles was just over a thousand, and it remained below two thousand until 1980. Today, its population is just under three thousand.

This is a guide to the city of Saint Charles, Minnesota. Websites representing the municipal government or any of its departments or services are appropriate for this category, as are any other government agencies located in Saint Charles, or any local businesses, organizations, churches, schools, or individuals.

 

 

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