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Historic Forestville
21899 County Road 118
Preston, MN 55965

Directions

Inside Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park. View current detour.

Hours

Memorial Day Weekend-Labor Day:
Thur-Sat 10 am-5 pm
Sun Noon-5 pm
 

Open Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day, 10 am-5 pm

May, September and October:
Sat 10 am-5 pm
 

Special events are held year round. Call for group tours.

Admission

  • $7 adults
  • $6 seniors and college students
  • $5 children ages 6-17
  • Free for children age 5 and under and MNHS members.
 
State Park vehicle permit required.
 

Contact

507-765-2785

2014 Oct 26

40°
Clear | Wind From the NNE at 6 MPH
updated: 4:20 wunderground.com
 

Timeline

1792: James Meehan (the spelling of his last name was changed sometime before 1820) emigrated from the village of Inver, County Donegal, Northern Ireland.

1843: William Meighen, the son of James, moves to Galena, Ill. to start a new life.

1849: William strikes out from Galena for the California Gold Rush.

1851: Brother Felix and his wife Eliza Jane, join William when he returns to Galena, Ill.

1853: Robert Foster, brother of Eliza Jane, purchases claim for land that would become Forestville. Felix establishes a general store.

1855: William Meighen goes into partnership with his childhood friend Major Foster and soon owned a hotel named the Fremont House build by Foster. Thomas, son of Felix Meighen, is born that same year.

1857: Next to the first store they complete a more permanent brick store and house in which Felix Meighen and his family lives.

1868: Thomas Meighen begins to work full time for his father's businesses. The Southern Minnesota railroad chooses to by-pass the town of Forestville. As a result the town begins to decline.

1877: The National Greenback-Labor Party nominated the elder William Meighen for lieutenant governor, in which he placed a distant third in the election.

1879: William Meighen runs for governor on the Greenback ticket, but loses with only 4 percent of the vote.

1889: Throughout the 1880s, the Meighens buy up property sold cheaply by people leaving for more prosperous railroad towns. The family now owns the entire town of Forestville.

1902: Thomas Meighen is involved full time in politics within the People's Party and is also president of the First National Bank in Preston.

1905: Thomas Meighen, his wife Mary Broderick, two sons and one daughter move to a new house in Preston.

1910: The general store closes for good. Forestville as a town ceases to exist.

1936: Thomas Meighen dies.

1963: Thomas Meighen's wish finally comes true and his boyhood home becomes a state park administered by the Minnesota DNR.

1978: Historic Forestville is operated by the Minnesota Historical Society and portrays a town set in the year 1899.