Herman is a city in Grant County, Minnesota. Minnesota State Highways 9 and 27 are two of the main routes in the community. The community is rich with farmers, agribusinesses, rural charm, and most of all; passionate inhabitants. Known as a “a small town with BIG values.”
The earliest known inhabitants of the Herman, MN area were Dakota Indians. They hunted buffalo, deer, elk and other prairie wildlife. True to their reputation, Dakota Indians left behind few traces that they had once lived here. The most visible and even one of those are hard to see, are two Indian Mounds southeast of Herman near Niemackl Lake Park. Niemackl Lake Park is a wooded peninsula, a near-island that contains the largest expanse of native trees in the area. The trees were protected from the fires that swept over the rest of the prairie by the lakes and sloughs that surrounded them.
The first white settlers in the area came in 1869. Christian Olsrud, his wife and their four children dug a home into the side of a small hill on the south shore of what is now known as Olsrud Lake, in Macsville Township, about three and one-half miles east of Herman.
What they and the other early settlers saw when they came to the area, according to Gary Hedstrom in his history of Herman’s early years, Blossom on the Prairie, from which all of this historical information comes, is “Grass. Miles and miles of grassland. A boundless prairie interrupted only by the numerous lakes and sloughs, along which grew small groves of trees”. Those early settlers and their descendants and followers turned almost all of that native prairie into productive farm land.
The Village of Herman was born in June 1871, when Sven Frogner opened first a general store near the corner of what is now Highway 9 and 6th Street and then a grain depot. In August as Frogner expected, the first Division Railroad Company extended its western railroad line from Benson to Breckenridge and built one of its stations on the new line near Pullman Lake, a source of water. The railroad called that station “Herman” after Herman Trott, one of its land agents.
The Grant County Fair began back as far back as 1890. Between 1909-1911, they moved it to its current location, where the Round Building stands and is still used to this day. This is known to be one of the oldest standing buildings in Grant County. Some popular past times during the fair were pig and horse races, sewing and produce exhibits, bands and parades.
Today, the Grant County Ag Association holds the Grant County Ag Bash as their largest fundraiser for the fair. Normally in March, this fundraiser is the largest contributor for the grant County Fair. This is an opportunity to win great prices, support the fair and enjoy dinner and drinks with the community.
Source: City of Herman Website
Herman is actually well-known for a 1994 campaign inviting women to meet its 78 bachelors. A local newspaper article went national, turning the the plea for women-run businesses into a high-profile match-making phenomenon known as “Bachelormania” with Herman’s single men featured in People Magazine, NBC’s “Today” show and “Oprah.” The story drew worldwide recognition and later was made into a fictional movie Herman U.S.A. The movie was filmed in a real small town in Minnesota called New Germany. The crew painted over the town’s water tower to read “Herman U.S.A.” According to The Bemidji Pioneer, the actual town of Herman, Minnesota did not have enough hotel space to fit the entire cast and crew members.
It started when community member Dan Ellison gave the speech that echoed around the world, raised romantic hopes and put Herman on the international map. To survive, the town of 485 needs more women, Mr. Ellison told Herman’s handful of business leaders in 1994. It needs more career jobs for single women and for women in two-earner families. It needs careers for its high-school girls, who are all planning to leave for good. Townsfolk started counting: 78 single men ages 20 to 50, including Mr. Ellison, a 6-foot, blond-haired farmer who doubled as the towns economic development coordinator. For the same ages, 10 eligible women. After the story was reported by the Star Tribune and picked up worldwide, Herman found itself in the midst of “Bachelormania.” Town officials were deluged with thousands of calls, letters, visits and proposals. The town has been the subject of bachelor celebrations, auctions, cooking contests, national TV appearances along with the movie.
Bachelormania hasn’t changed Herman a lot, but it surely has changed some lives.
Source: Washington Times
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