BELLE PLAINE–History
— Belle Plaine is located in Scott County on the banks of the Minnesota River. It is off Highways 169 and 25.
— Belle Plaine was founded by Minnesota Territorial Judge Andrew G. Chatfield. He selected the town site in 1853 while traveling horseback from Mendota to Traverse des Sioux to hold court. Judge Chatfield chose to name the town Belle Plaine, which is French for “beautiful prairie.”
— Belle Plaine was settled by people of mainly German and Irish descent.
— Judge Chatfield left the town of Belle Plaine a legacy of wide, tree-lined streets and abundant, inviting park lands.
— Belle Plaine serves as the southwest gateway to the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area.
— Belle Plaine is home to the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration. A rare find in the Minnesota River Valley, the church was built in the prairie gothic style, complete with wooden buttresses. Built in 1868, it was intended for English-speaking persons. However, the area was settled primarily by German and Irish immigrants who brought their own worship practices to the community. Although the church site had a railroad connection with the Twin Cities, was home to the Diocesan Cathedral and Seabury Seminary, and though it survived the halting blows of the Panic of 1857, the Dakota Conflict of 1862, and the Civil War, the Episcopal congregation had built a magnificent edifice for growth which never came.
— The Hooper-Bowler-Hillstrom house in Belle Plaine was built in 1871 by Sandford Hooper, a Belle Plaine businessman. It was bought in 1886 by Samuel Bowler, a founder of the State Bank of Belle Plaine. Mr. Bowler added rooms and a two-story outhouse to accommodate his large family. The Alfred Hillstrom family moved into the house in 1901. They lived there until 1975 when it was purchased by the Belle Plaine Historical Society. The house is open for visitors and tours every Sunday from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and other times by appointment.
— Abigail Square, formerly the Alta Vista Hotel, was built in the Spring of 1857. The three story building included an enclosed courtyard and a stable. The Alta Vista Hotel was a stopping place for the stage and teamsters. The building led a varied life serving everything from a Sister’s School to a cigar factory, to a bar. In 2000, the building underwent a major renovation.

BELLE PLAINE–People
–The mayor of Belle Plaine is Christopher G. Meyer. He was reelected as Mayor in the 2018 election.
–The City Council is made up of Cary Coop, Renee LeMieux, Paul Chard, and Ben Stier.
–Tom Stolee is the Chief of Police of the Belle Plaine Police Department. The members of the Belle Plaine Police Department are dedicated to offering the highest quality of police service to the community. They place the greatest value on the safety and concerns of the citizens we serve with the knowledge that we are accountable to those very same people.
–The Belle Plaine Fire Department has been serving the City of Belle Plaine and surrounding townships since 1894. The department has a rich history of public service. The current roster is made up of 30 members, nearly half of whom are certified First Responders, who dedicate their time to make the community a safe place for all. The members are all on call and respond in the event of an emergency from home or work. The response time averages three to five minutes to all properties within the City limits. Matt Stier is Fire Chief 1, Steve Otto is Fire Chief 2, and Brian Siekmann is Fire Chief 3.
—The Belle Plaine Public Schools; a caring learning community of over 1600 students, faculty, staff, and administrators; are located on the Southwest edge of the Twin Cities metro area. The district has several distinct geographic advantages — being located just 35 miles south of Minneapolis on US Highway 169, being nestled within the picturesque Minnesota River Valley, and being surrounded by large swaths of beautiful farmland. These geographic advantages have translated into tremendous growth. The schools have been growing by approximately 4% per year for much of the last decade. The Superintendent is Ryan Laager. The 2018 Homecoming Queen was Kiersten Skelley and Homecoming Kings were Griffin Ruud and Ben Czarnecki.

–Belle Plaine KNUJ Farm Families include: Brian and Suzanne Honebrink (2000).

 

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