Honoring history in Wasioja - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Steph Anderson

Honoring history in Wasioja

WASIOJA, MN (KTTC-DT) -- There's a lot of history lurking in our backyards. You have an opportunity coming up to learn about the Civil War, and see what one group of is doing to honor and preserve such monumental history.

Dave Hanson, Chairperson of the Civil War Monument Committee says, "It's an uncut jewel, and I thought, wow, this is a place we should be doing something with this park."

Here in Wasioja lies a possibly little known part of Minnesota history.

Dave Hanson says, "This here is the seminary where a number of the volunteers left together in 1861 and volunteered for the service after the union call came in by President Lincoln."

That was the Civil War - Minnesota was the first state to send troops to help union forces. In April of that year, the present-day tiny town Wasioja became the site of a Civil War recruiting station.

Dave Hanson says, "Over 400 volunteers from Dodge County were a part of the Civil War. And about 25 came from this school."

In 1866, it was proposed that a monument be placed in honor of those who fought. That never happened. Until now.

The Friends of Wasioja have been working to put up a monument to honor those from Dodge County who fought in the war. They've now been able to erect a monument next to the seminary, which will be dedicated on November 11th. Pavers will also be sold to those who would like to remember a soldier.

Dave Hanson says, "Why not do something here that will remain for many years, we want to maintain the ruins as best we can."'

The Friends of Wasioja will put the sales from the pavers toward repairing other Civil War era buildings around town. And they've long been wanting something to commemorate the local connection to the war, in a tiny town, where soldiers gave so much.

The dedication of the Civil War monument, with a special presentation, is November 11th at 7 PM. It's free and open to the public. This event leads up to Wasioja's Civil War Days next June, marking 150 years since Minnesota entered the Civil War.

We have a link on our Links page, where you can find more info.


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