City of Spring Valley
"Home Town Minnesota"
The Town that Agriculture Built
During the late 1800s, towns like Spring Valley were an essential cog in the machine of agriculture trade, and evidence of their prosperity can still be seen. As soon as the railroads arrived in 1882, Spring Valley constructed grain elevators for the storage of wheat, much to the relief of local farmers, who previously had to haul their grain by wagon to Winona, 60 miles away. The creation of reliable transportation routes and the location of the grain elevators spawned other businesses, such as hardware stores, groceries, and lumber yards, all of which contributed to this small town’s industrial and architectural legacy. As a result, numerous fine buildings throughout the community testify to the pride of the town’s early residents and to the importance of Spring Valley to this farming region. These structures include handsome brick buildings downtown, a Beaux Arts Carnegie Library, the fine strained-glass windows of the Methodist Episcopal Church (where Laura Ingalls Wilder worshipped with her husband, Almanzo), the Washburn-Zittleman House, and the childhood home of Sears and Roebuck founder, Richard Sears.