Pomme De Terre, Minnesota: The Forgotten Ghost Town

Pomme de Terre, a small village in Grant County, Minnesota, was once a thriving community in the late 1800s. It was the first village in the county, established in 1868 and platted in 1874.

However, despite a promising start, the village eventually declined and became a ghost town. Today, only a schoolhouse and a small cemetery remain reminders of its past.

This article explores Pomme de Terre’s history, from its rise to its fall and ultimate decline. It will delve into the notable buildings and structures that were once part of the village and the reasons behind its eventual abandonment.

By examining the legacy of Pomme de Terre, we can gain insight into the challenges faced by small communities in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and the impact of changing economic and social conditions on rural areas.

Key Takeaways

  • Pomme de Terre was a village in Grant County, Minnesota, laid out in 1868 and platted in 1874.
  • The village had a grist mill, post office, general stores, blacksmith shops, elevator, hotel, saloon, and a schoolhouse.
  • Pomme de Terre, Minnesota, was the first village in Grant County, but an attempt to make it the county seat failed.
  • The village declined over time and is now a ghost town, with only a schoolhouse and cemetery remaining.

Location and History

Pomme de Terre, Minnesota, is a ghost town located three miles east of Elbow Lake on Hwy. 79 and five miles north on Co. Rd. 21, was laid out by Timothy Heald in 1868 and was the first village in Grant County.

The village significantly impacted the local community and its history in the region. The grist mill, built by Fred Williams and a man named Schaeffer in 1873, provided a vital service for farmers in the area, and the attempted bid to make Pomme de Terre the county seat in the same year was a testament to the town’s importance.

The village remained significant in regional history despite not becoming the county seat. The stage route from St. Cloud to Fort Abercrombie passed through the village, and the river crossing near the site was an essential point of transportation for residents.

Additionally, the village was named after the lake to the south and the edible ovoid-shaped root of the wild turnip, Tipsinah, by the Dakota Indians.

The significance of Pomme de Terre in regional history has been preserved through the small cemetery, Pomme de Terre Riverside, which stands as a reminder of the town’s legacy.

Buildings and Structures

The village of Pomme de Terre, Minnesota, once had a variety of buildings and structures, including a post office, two general stores, two blacksmith shops, an elevator, a hotel and saloon, and a schoolhouse.

The schoolhouse built in the town has been repurposed as the Pomme de Terre Township Hall. This hall is now utilized for meetings, community events, and other functions.

Restoration efforts have been made to preserve the remaining buildings and structures in Pomme de Terre. The architectural style of the town’s buildings reflects the period in which they were constructed, with many of them showcasing a traditional, rustic design.

Despite the village’s decline, the remaining structures offer a glimpse into the past and serve as a testament to the history of Pomme de Terre.

Decline and Legacy

After experiencing initial success, the village of Pomme de Terre eventually declined, and its remaining structures now serve as a legacy to its past.

The decline of the village can be attributed to several reasons. One of the main reasons was the failure of the village to attract the railroad, which led to decreased transportation and decreased business opportunities. A devastating fire in 1897 destroyed much of the business district, causing further economic decline. The village also failed to become the county seat, which could have boosted its economic growth.

The decline of the village had a significant impact on the local community. Many residents were forced to leave the village for better opportunities elsewhere. The remaining residents had limited access to goods and services, and the community lost its identity and purpose.

However, the legacy of Pomme de Terre, Minnesota, lives on through its remaining structures, which serve as a reminder of its once-prosperous past and the struggles of its residents. The small cemetery and the schoolhouse, now serving as the Pomme de Terre Township Hall, are important historical landmarks that give insight into the village’s history and significance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What caused the decline of Pomme de Terre, Minnesota?

Pomme de Terre’s decline was caused by various economic factors, including the failure to attract the railroad, the loss of the county seat bid, and the lack of a thriving business community. These reasons contributed to the village’s eventual decline.

What was life like for the residents of Pomme de Terre?

Daily life in Pomme de Terre likely involved farming, as the village was rural. Social dynamics may have centered around the small community, with residents interacting at the post office, general stores, and other local businesses.

Were there any notable events or people associated with Pomme de Terre, Minnesota?

Pomme de Terre had no notable figures or historical events. The village was established in 1868, attempted to become the county seat in 1873, and had a grist mill. However, the village eventually declined and became a ghost town.

What is the current state of the Pomme de Terre Township Hall?

The Pomme de Terre Township Hall, formerly a schoolhouse, needs renovation plans due to its historical significance. Its current state is unknown, but efforts to preserve the building are underway.

Are there any plans to preserve or restore the remaining structures in Pomme de Terre?

Preservation efforts for the remaining structures in Pomme de Terre are unclear. Despite its historical significance as the first village in Grant County, the ghost town remains largely forgotten and unacknowledged.

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