Chaska, Minnesota: Wikis


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Chaska, Minnesota
—  City  —
Location in Carver County and the state of Minnesota.
Coordinates: 44°47′22″N 93°36′07″W / 44.78944°N 93.60194°W / 44.78944; -93.60194
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Carver
 - Mayor Pro Tem Christopher Schulz
 - Total 14.3 sq mi (37.1 km2)
 - Land 13.7 sq mi (35.5 km2)
 - Water 0.6 sq mi (1.6 km2)
Elevation 732 ft (226 m)
Population (2005)
 - Total 22,467
 - Density 1,639.5/sq mi (633/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 55318
Area code(s) 952
FIPS code 27-10972[1]
GNIS feature ID 0641129[2]

Chaska is a city in Carver County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 17,449 as of the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Carver County[3].



Guardian Angels Catholic Church in Chaska, built with the characteristic yellow Chaska brick.

Chaska's history reflects the influence of the Native American culture. The first inhabitants are believed to be the Mound Builders, whose ancient communities are marked by mounds in City Square. Later, the Dakota (commonly known as the Sioux) were the primary nation in this region known as the Big Woods. Although the Indian mounds located in Chaska City Square indicate the immediate area was inhabited years before 1769, that's the year Chaska's recorded history began.

In 1776, Jonathan Carver explored the lands along the Minnesota River and chronicled his journeys. French Canadian fur traders traveled the waterways, trading with the Dakota in the early 1800s. During this time, Jean-Baptiste Faribault established a trading post in Chaska.

In 1851, the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux officially opened Little Rapids, as Chaska was then known, to settlement. Soon after, speculators moved into the new territory. Among the earliest was Thomas Andrew Holmes who, in August 1851, claimed a 20 acre clearing as the Chaska townsite.

The name "Chaska" is derived from a Dakota word often given as a name to the first born male child. Records show that David L. Fuller purchased the "Shaska" townsite from Holmes in 1852. In 1857, the townsite was platted by the Shaska Company. In the same year, construction began on the original Carver County Courthouse located where the post office and KleinBank now stand in downtown Chaska. Chaska was incorporated as a village in 1871 and, by special legislative charter, as a city in 1891.

An abundance of high quality clay led to the start of brick making in 1857. By the 1880s, as a result of the clay resources, Chaska was a thriving brick manufacturing center. Bricks were shipped by boat to Saint Paul and, although the City grew as a result of steamboat trade, it was not until the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway was built through town in 1873 that rapid expansion began.

With the advent of the twentieth century came other industries, including the processing of beet sugar and other agricultural products; flour making, butter making, the canning of peas, corn, and tomatoes, and the curing of sauerkraut and pickles.

In a national poll in 2007, Chaska was named the 8th best city in the United States.[4] Then in 2009 it was named the 20th best city[5]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.3 square miles (37.1 km²), of which, 13.7 square miles (35.6 km²) of it is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km²) of it (4.25%) is water. The downtown portion of Chaska lies on the Minnesota River.

U.S. Highway 212 and Minnesota Highway 41 are two of the main routes in the city.


Chaska Community Center

As of 2005, there were 22,467 people and 8,194 households residing in the city. The population density was 1,640 people per square mile (633/km²).[6] There were 6,235 housing units at an average density of 454.1/sq mi (175.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.71% White, 1.02% African American, 0.28% Native American, 1.67% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 2.18% from other races, and 1.13% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.81% of the population. 39.2% were of German, 12.6% Norwegian, 8.7% Irish and 5.1% Swedish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 6,104 households out of which 47.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.1% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.5% were non-families. 20.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.31.

In the city the population was spread out with 32.5% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 36.8% from 25 to 44, 17.1% from 45 to 64, and 5.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 100.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $60,325, and the median income for a family was $69,612. Males had a median income of $45,401 versus $32,312 for females. The per capita income for the city was $25,368. About 3.4% of families and 4.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.9% of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over. Chaska: 1769 - 2004

Throughout the first half of the twentieth century, Chaska's population averaged about 2,000 and the nature of the City remained unchanged. The City retained its small town image until the 1950s when the transition to a metropolitan community began. The expansion of the seven county metropolitan area reached Chaska in the 1960s. With that expansion came the introduction of the Jonathan New Town design concept in 1966. The Jonathan "new town" development within Chaska brought new land, new jobs and new people to the community.

This period of transition and expansion continues today. Dozens of modern industries have located to Chaska and continue to do so; residential construction adds 300 to 400 new homes per year; commercial business continues to expand offering a variety of retail and service opportunities to its residents; redevelopment of commercial areas in the downtown began in the 1980s and still continues. Although the community has seen much growth, development regulations and sound planning have ensured Chaska's small sense of community and the preservation of its rich heritage.

In early 2005, the city of Chaska annexed the remaining portion of Chaska Township. Current plans for the area include a 600-acre residential "smart growth"-styled development.

A new spike in the population is expected after the construction of the U.S. Highway 212 freeway passing through the heart of Chaska, serving as a fast, direct, link to the heart of the Twin Cities. This freeway will include a bus rapid transit route serving Chaska with fast, efficient mass transit to the Twin Cities.


Since 2003, the city government has operated a high-speed internet service for residents, businesses, and government entities. Chaska is the home of numerous industrial and manufacturing concerns. Among them are TPI Specialties, Update Ltd, Wigen Water Technologies, Beckman Coulter and Hartman Homes.

Chaska has also been the birthplace of several well known products and companies, including Softsoap (the Minnetonka Corp) and NordicTrack [7].


Children attend District 112 (Public) and several private institutions including St. John's Lutheran Church and School, and Guardian Angels Catholic School located in the downtown area.


Chaska City Hall on City Hall Plaza.

Chaska is located in Minnesota's 2nd congressional district, represented by John Kline, a Republican, scoring 2.8% progressive on a range of issues[8] and 88% conservative based on 2006 House votes.[9]

Popular Culture

The 1996 Fact vs. Fiction film Fargo, written by Minnesota's own Joel and Ethan Coen, Chaska was featured in two of the supporting characters, real life Tony Denman (who played Scotty Lundegaard) a Chanhassen native [10] attended Chaska High School, and a young prostitute (played by Larissa Kokernot) who claimed not only to have serviced Carl Showalter (played by Steve Buscemi), but also to be from Chaska, Minnesota.

Chaska was also featured in the film Drop Dead Gorgeous. The scene in the furniture store takes place at the old Schniedermen's Furniture store in downtown Chaska. The building has since become a Fitness Center.[11]

See also


  1. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Best Place to Live:Top 100". CNN/Money Magazine. 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-16.  
  6. ^ "Minnesota population estimates: number and characteristics of the current population". Minnesota Department of Administration. 2005. Retrieved 2006-12-12.  
  7. ^
  8. ^ Grossman, Joshua. "ProgressivePunch Leading with the Left". All Issues. ProgressivePunch. Retrieved 2007-09-08.  
  9. ^ "ACU Ratings of Congress, 2006". American Conservative Union. 2006. Retrieved 2007-09-08.  
  10. ^
  11. ^

External links



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