On the verge of being a ghost town after losing many buildings to highway construction, Weaver today is just a few houses surrounded by great scenery.
Andrew Olson and his family, who arrived in the 1850s, were probably the first to settle in what became Weaver, but they didn’t stay. The village was platted in 1871 and named for William Weaver, one of the original town proprietors who arrived in 1857 from New York and settled on the Olson farm. It never attracted much industry—a couple of sawmills and an ice house—settling for a minor role as regional commercial and transportation center thanks to a railroad station.
As the village declined in the 1930s and trains stopped less and less often, a creative system was rigged to continue mail delivery. The mailbag destined for Weaver was thrown from a moving train as it passed the town; simple enough. Getting mail out of town required greater ingenuity, however. Mailbags going south were clipped vertically between two pipes dangling from a pole; a crewman on the approaching train would extend a mechanical arm that was supposed to hit the bag and flip it into the baggage car where it could be sorted. It worked most of the time, but occasionally the mailbag would get sucked under the train and letters would be tossed about and shredded, sending Weaver residents scurrying to collect the scattered, ripped letters and put them into a new bag to try again. Some of the town’s buildings were razed when US Highway 61 was rerouted and expanded to four lanes.
Sports and Recreation
Whitewater Wildlife Management Area (507.932.4133) is 37,000 acres of sublime beauty of Whitewater River marshland. The area is rich in wildlife, especially birds. There are many places to pull over and get out of your car to hike or fish (or cross-country ski in winter).
Heading upriver? Check out Kellogg.
Heading downriver? Check out Minneiska.
© Dean Klinkenberg, 2011
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