The history of Hermantown is a story of independent people interacting with big government. Its beginnings started with August Kohlts, a pioneer, who was granted the first homestead in the Town of Herman in 1872, after living on the land for five years. After being granted the land, he and a friend hauled building supplies to his designated land, west of the Midway Road. They hitched two St. Bernard dogs to a homemade wagon and followed a crooked trail – now the Hermantown and Five Corners Roads – through the woods where August established his homestead. This was the first year the county received the taxes from Hermantown.
By the turn of the 19th century, Hermantown had a population of 625. A rail passenger service was introduced starting in Adolph heading into Duluth. In 1897, Hermantown had its first land boom, the result of rumors that the government would be building a new seaway connecting Duluth with the East Coast.
In 1907, the township had grown by 300 people, built three new two-room schools, had a town hall and started a carrier mail service. The township also saw economic growth with several sawmills and dairies. These dairies used the Hermantown Ice Company, which cut ice from Mogie Lake, to keep their products cold. This growth in Hermantown was set back by the great forest fire of 1918. The fire left little standing – the schools, town hall and one church. With help from the Red Cross, the town was quickly rebuilt.
Hermantown’s population saw a boost when a new wave of homesteaders came to the area during the hard times of the Depression. The government built “subsistence homestead” projects designed to move people trapped in poverty in cities to new homes in rural or suburban locations. One of the two Minnesota projects was assigned to Hermantown, the Jackson Project. These homes were completed in 1937 with 84 homesteads of brick veneer and five or ten acres of land.
On February 11, 1975 the Municipal Commission declared that the Town of Herman could become the City of Hermantown on December 31 of that year. Forty years later, the City of Hermantown is growing and expanding with a population of 9,605 occupying 34.35 square miles.
If you are considering relocating to Hermantown or the surrounding area and are looking for more information on the area, business and industry, community, and local schools, download our Relocation Packet.
Summer Fest: Experience all of what Hermantown has to offer at Hermantown Summer Fest. This annual community celebration runs for four days in July. Many local businesses and organizations provide activities Wednesday, July 13 through Saturday, July 16 in 2016. For more information and a list of events, visit HermantownSummerfest.org.
Deke Grussendorf Volunteer of the Year Award: The Deke Grussendorf Volunteer of the Year is a person that has gone beyond the call of duty for the Hermantown community within the last year. They have shown exceptional dedication to the community and have helped the community or others in our community become more successful. The adult volunteer named will be honored each year at Summer Fest.
Harvest Fest: Honoring Hermantown’s farming history, Harvest Fest revisits the harvest celebrations from the 1920s-1940s in this September festival. Enjoy a family-friendly day with activities for everyone. Food vendors, artisan’s demonstrations, vintage tractors and motors to check out. Harvest Fest 2016 will be on Saturday, September 10th at the Hermantown History Center located at 5255 Maple Grove Road. You can learn more about the Hermantown History Center and Harvest Fest at HermantownHistory.com. To view Harvest Fest 2016’s Brochure Click Here.
In 2015, Hermantown introduced a farmer’s market to the community. The Hermantown Culture Club, Historical Society and the City have collaborated to help with the operations. The Farmer’s Market is usually open July through September and is located at the old Town Hall at 5255 Maple Grove Road.
Hermantown Area Parents Meetup
The Hermantown Area Parents Meetup is a group of Hermantown area residents whose goal is to form a stronger sense of community between families. The group plans events in order to socialize and get to know one another. Events range from play dates with the kids, to yard games and barbaques for parents. For more information and to find out where they are meeting next, visit the Hermantown Area Parent’s Meetup Page.
Relocating to Hermantown, Minnesota
Are you considering relocating to Hermantown or surrounding area, and need more information? Hermantown Relocation Information