Historic Forestville
21899 County Road 118
Preston, MN 55965

Directions

Inside Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park. View directions.

Hours

Closed for the season until May 26, 2018.
 
Weekday group tours and school field trips available by reservation from April 23-June 15 and Sept. 4-Oct. 26, 2018. Call 507-765-2785.
 
May 26 - Sept 3, 2018:
Thur 10 am-5 pm
Fri 10 am-5 pm
Sat 10 am-5 pm
Sun Noon-5 pm
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
 
Open Memorial Day and Labor Day, 10 am-5 pm
Open July 4, noon-4 pm
 
Sept and Oct 2018:
Sat only 10 am-5 pm
 

Admission

  • $8 adults
  • $6 seniors and college students
  • $6 children ages 5-17
  • Free for children age 4 and under and MNHS members.
 
State Park vehicle permit required.
 

Contact

507-765-2785

2018 Jan 17

Weather Forecast
 

The Meighens and Forestville

Part Two: The Boom is Over

 - Part One: The Meighen Family -  - Part Two: The Boom is Over -

  - Part Three: The Company Town -  - Part Four: The End of Forestville and a New Beginning -

When the Southern Minnesota Railroad bypassed Forestville in 1868, many merchants and farm families started to leave Forestville for more prosperous communities. The slow post-Civil War economy also contributed to people seeking more prosperous towns and agricultural centers. In 1860, the population of Forestville was 100. In 1870, two years after the railroad decision, the number of people dropped to 68. In 1880 the population had shrunk further to 55.

By 1880 the town's hotels had closed and the only businesses left were the Meighen store, cabinet shop, blacksmith shop and the Luedke and Meighen saw and feed mill. By 1890 the cabinet shop was closed and used for storage.

Until the 1880s, some Forestville residents held on to the hope of a railroad coming to their sleepy town. In 1880, the Caledonia, Mississippi and Western Railroad was pushing westward into Fillmore County, but it went north of Forestville through the towns of Prosper, Canton, Harmony and Preston. As late as 1888, a team of railroad surveyors made quite a commotion among Forestville town residents when they explored routes for the Winona and Southwestern Railroad through Forestville to connect Osage, Iowa, with Lanesboro, Minn. The line was built in 1890, but was moved west of town, going through Spring Valley instead.

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 - Part One: The Meighen Family -  - Part Two: The Boom is Over -

  - Part Three: The Company Town -  - Part Four: The End of Forestville and a New Beginning -