Kasson, Minnesota

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Kasson is a city in Dodge County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 4,398 at the 2000 census. The city is located 13 miles west of Rochester, Minnesota along U.S. Route 14 and is one of the endpoints of Minnesota State Highway 57. The Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad's main freight rail line also runs through the city. Kasson shares a school system with nearby Mantorville, Minnesota (the "K-M Komets"). The K-M school system is a member of the Zumbro Education school district (ZED).

According to Warren Upham, superintendent of the Minnesota Historical Society from 1896-1934, the city of Kasson was incorporated on February 24, 1870, and again on April 22, 1916, separating from the township on March 21, 1917. The town was named after Jabez Hyde Kasson, owner of the original townsite. Kasson was born in Springville, Pennsylvania on January 17, 1820 and moved to Minnesota in 1856. He settled on a farm in the township, and laid out the village along with others. The plat was recorded on October 13, 1865. It had a station of the Chicago and North Western Transportation Company, and its post office opened in 1866.[3]

Kasson is known for its annual Festival in the Park celebration, a volunteer-organized weekend with events celebrating the town's heritage and bringing together members of the community. The festival began in 1991 and has continued to grow over the years, including traditional events like a parade, a fireworks display, and the "Miss Kasson" ceremony, which was recently changed to "Kasson Ambassador," allowing men to take part. More recent events include a bellyflop contest, an eating contest, and a musical showcase. The Festival in the Park takes place the second weekend in August every year at the North Park.

Due to efforts of Kasson's non-profit historic preservation group Kasson Alliance for Restoration (KARE), the 1918-era Kasson Public School building has officially been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Kasson's elementary and high school students began using the stately building on December 5, 1918.[4] The school's nomination to the National Register was approved on December 6, 2007, almost exactly 89 years to the day after that moment in 1918.

The Kasson Public School joins the Jacob Leuthold Jr. House, Ole Carlson House, Eureka Hotel, Kasson Municipal Building, and the Kasson Water Tower to the list of Kasson’s buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.

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