Cannon Falls Area Historical Society

A nonprofit organization

12 donors

The Cannon Falls Area Historical Society was founded in 1979 with an objective of discovery, preservation and dissemination of knowledge about the history of the Cannon Falls area and the State of Minnesota. Soon after, they established a museum in the historic 1888 Firemen's Hall. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places as one of the oldest surviving, original purpose fire stations in the Midwest.

"The museum represents the preservation, study and sharing of our heritage, informing young and old alike, that history lives in us all."

The Cannon Falls museum chronicles the history of the local community. It offers free admission and helps with local research requests. It shares the community's heritage through displays of photos, textiles, business memorabilia, artifacts and multimedia. Research materials like the old Cannon Falls Beacon newspapers, Goodhue County plat maps, city and church cemetery records, journals, yearbooks and family genealogies are also available. 

Cannon Falls was established in 1854, and was one of the most important communities in the Minnesota Territory.  Rich with water power, limestone, farmland and timber, the area was rapidly inhabited and within a few years grew to 1200 people. The Financial Panic of 1857 greatly effected the burgeoning town and within a period of three months, the population dropped to 300 and the city dropped its incorporation. 

Over the next few decades Cannon Falls developed into a prosperous little town, renown for its flour industry.  In fact, the Cannon River Valley had more than 20 flour mills from Red Wing to Faribault.

In 1884 and again in 1887 large fires devastated the community. As the businesses rebuilt, the Cannon Falls council decided to purchase equipment and erect a fire station and city hall. Constructed out of limestone quarried on lime-kiln hill, the firehall cost $1350 to complete. The fire station and city hall operated in the building until 1946. From the 1950s to the mid 1970s, it was the home of the Cannon Falls Library. The Cannon Falls Area Historical Society opened the museum 1980. 

Organization Data


Organization name

Cannon Falls Area Historical Society

Tax id (EIN)



PO BOX 111