Community Information

History of Lamberton

In the beginning there were the four foot tall, blue stem prairie grasses that trembled and bent in the strong winds. The winds subsided, they straightened and held fast in rich soil of southwestern Minnesota. Clusters of Native Americans lived and laughed, raised their children hunted for buffalo and deer, fished and trapped on the banks of the Cottonwood River. There were the traders, solitary men, who traveled through this vast, empty land, searched its silent horizons and made money form trading trinkets and fire water to the Native Americans for pelts and furs to supply an eager Eastern market. They came on horseback leading their pack animals, sizing up this land and its future, early years were years of change, dramatic change. Under the Homestead Act of 1862, any household head 21 years of age of older could file for a claim on 160 acres in the public domain. That is, land not designated for a special purpose, by residing on the land six months and then paying $1.25 per acre for it, or by residing on the land and improving it for five years. Servicemen could deduct their years of service from the five years and hold their claim. Prices of land at this time averaged about $5.00 per acre.

During the 1870’s, horses and oxen were used to bring the homesteaders, to plow the fields and to measure our streets! Old timers said the width of Lamberton’s streets were measured by how much room it took two span of oxen and covered wagons to turn around. The original business district was on Front, or First Street, parallel to the railroad tracks, and the street was usually muddy or dusty. Oxen did the first heavy work of turning prairie sod with the pioneers’ plows because two oxen were stronger than two (a team of horses) horses. They also survived the bitter winters better and ate less, but they were slower, and so in the late 1880’s most of them had been replaced by horses. Time passed and a community emerged, a home for hundreds sits on the southwestern corner of Minnesota. The images below capture an earlier era when times were simple and life was sweet.

Source: RRCnet