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City of Red Wing, Minnesota
—  City  —
A look toward downtown Red Wing and the Mississippi River, with Barn Bluff on the right.
Location in the state of Minnesota, USA
Coordinates: 44°33′56″N 92°32′05″W / 44.56556°N 92.53472°W / 44.56556; -92.53472
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Goodhue
 - Mayor John Howe
 - Total 41.4 sq mi (107.1 km2)
 - Land 35.4 sq mi (91.7 km2)
 - Water 6.0 sq mi (15.5 km2)
Elevation 750 ft (226 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 16,116
 - Density 455.3/sq mi (175.8/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 55066
Area code(s) 651
FIPS code 27-53620[1]
GNIS feature ID 0649885[2]

Red Wing is a city in Goodhue County, Minnesota, United States, on the Mississippi River. The population was 16,116 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Goodhue County[3]. Red Wing is home of Red Wing Shoes, the Riedell Ice and Roller Skates and Red Wing Stoneware. The Cannon Valley Trail has its eastern terminus in Red Wing. Treasure Island Resort & Casino is on the nearby Prairie Island Indian Reservation. The National Trust for Historic Preservation placed Red Wing on its 2008 distinctive destinations list, which adds twelve communities annually nationwide. Red Wing was added for its "impressive architecture and enviable natural environment."[4] Red Wing is connected to Wisconsin by Red Wing Bridge (officially named the Eisenhower Bridge); it carries U.S. Route 63 over the Mississippi River and its backwaters.



In the early 1850s, settlers from Mississippi River steamboats came to Red Wing to farm the lush fields in Goodhue County. They grew wheat, the annual crop of which could pay the cost of the land. Before the railroads crisscrossed the territory, Goodhue County produced more wheat than any other county in the country, and in 1873 Red Wing led the country in the amount of wheat sold by farmers.[5] The warehouses in the port of Red Wing could store and export more than a million bushels of wheat.[5] Once the railroads connected southern Minnesota with Minneapolis and Saint Anthony, where the largest flour mills were built, the port at Red Wing lost prominence.[5] In the last half of the twentieth century, the United States Army Corps of Engineers built locks and dams and deepened the channel in the river. These revitalised river traffic for shipping grain and coal; however, the tourist trade has never returned.[5]

The first settlers in town built small mills, factories, and workshops, similar to ones they were familiar with in New England from where many had come.[5] Immigrants from Germany, Ireland, and Sweden were also skilled craftsmen. Some early industries were tanning and shoe-making, while other businessmen manufactured farm equipment, bricks, barrels, boats, furniture, pottery, and buttons. Consumables included beer and lumber. Service industries including stone-cutting, hospitality, and retailing.[5] The St. James Hotel remains a working token of the earlier time.[5]

Red Wing was once home to Hamline University, founded in 1854 as the first institution of higher education in the state of Minnesota. It closed in 1869 because of low enrollment due to the American Civil War. It was chartered in St. Paul in 1871 and reopened there in 1880.

Red Wing Seminary was a Lutheran Church seminary. Red Wing Seminary was the educational center for the Hauge's Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Synod in America, commonly known as the Hauge Synod. The Hauge Synod had opened the seminary in 1879. Red Wing Seminary was in operation until 1917.[6]

Red Wing also was the home of Gustavus Adolphus College, a private liberal arts college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). The college was founded in Red Wing in 1862 by Eric Norelius, but moved to East Union in 1863 before settling in St. Peter in 1876.

The Red Wing pottery and stoneware industry developed on the northwest of the city, close to Hay Creek. It used clay from the area of the Hay Creek headwaters, close to Goodhue, near a hamlet named Claybank. A railroad branch line was built to carry clay to Red Wing. The factory buildings remain, but only traces of the railroad, abandoned in 1937, are left.[7]


Red Wing Public Library is a member of Southeastern Libraries Cooperating, the SE Minnesota library region.[8]


The city of Red Wing has several neighborhoods or other places annexed by the city. These include:


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has 41.4 square miles (107.1 km²), of which 35.4 square miles (91.7 km²) is land and 6.0 square miles (15.5 km²) (14.43%) water. The city is at the northern edge of the Driftless Area of karst topography.


At the census[1] of 2000, there were 16,116 people, 6,562 households, and 4,166 families in the city. The population density was 455.3 per square mile (175.8 km²). There were 6,867 housing units at an average density of 194.0/sq mi (74.9/km²). The racial makeup was 94.33% White, 1.32% African American, 2.22% Native American, 0.74% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, and 0.82% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.27% of the population.

There were 6,562 households, of which 30.4% had children under18 with them, 51.2% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.5% were non-families. 30.7% of all households were of individuals and 13.3% had someone living alone 65 or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family 2.94.

In the city, the population was 24.6% under18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, and 16.5% 65 or older. The median was 39. For every 100 females there were 93.5 males. For every 100 females 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.

The median income for a household was $43,674, and the median for a family was $54,641. Males had a median of $36,576 versus $25,477 for females. The per capita income was $21,678. About 3.9% of families and 6.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.9% of those under age 18 and 8.0% of those 65 or over.


U.S. Routes 61 and 63 and Minnesota State Highways 19 and 58 are the main intercity highways.

Wisconsin Highway 35 is across the Mississippi River.

Red Wing's Amtrak station is served by Amtrak's Empire Builder daily in each direction between Chicago to the east, and Seattle and Portland on the west.



Red Wing Mayor John Howe succeeded Donna Dummer in January 2009. In addition to his mayoral duties, Mayor Howe and his wife Lisa are parents to three children, and he is a Reverse Mortgage Consultant with Wells Fargo Bank.

City council

The city council members as of December 2008 are:[9]

  • Lisa Pritchard Bailey (Second Ward)
    • Term- July 2009 to January 2013
  • Dan Bender (Ward 1)
    • Term- January 2009 to January 2013
  • Gerald Cook (Ward 4)
    • Council President Pro Tem
    • Term- January 2007 to January 2011
  • Carol Duff (At-Large)
    • Council President
    • Term- January 2007 to January 2011
  • Dean Hove (Wards 1 & 2)
  • Ralph Rauterkus (Wards 3 & 4)
    • Term- January 2009 to January 2013
  • Mike Schultz (Ward 3)
    • Term- January 2007 to January 2011

Notable residents

Sister cities

Red Wing has three sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:

See also


  1. ^ a b "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. ^ "Red Wing, Minnesota". Dozen Distinctive Destinations 2008. National Trust for Historic Preservation. 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-26.  
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Gilman, Rhonda R. (1989). The Story of Minnesota's Past. Saint Paul, Minnesota: Minnesota Historical Society Press. pp. 12–21. ISBN 0-87351-267-7.  
  6. ^ Red Wing Seminary; fifty years of service. (Published on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary, September 15 to 17, 1929. Editor-in-chief, Arthur Rholl. 1930)
  7. ^ Chicago Great Western Railway Co. Safety News, June 30, 1968
  8. ^ Southeastern Libraries Cooperating (SELCO)
  9. ^ Elected officials

External links

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