Chaska has a long and interesting history. It was officially incorporated as a village in 1871 after first being inhabited by Native Americans and subsequently becoming an Anglo-American settlement in 1851. Originally what was the entire town is today’s downtown, containing many 19th century buildings and areas of historic significance that are a reflection of its commercial and industrial past. The Walnut Street Historic District is on the National Register of Historic Places. You can read the Chaska Heritage Preservation Commission’s Historic Context Study section about downtown here.
One of downtown’s designated historic sites is its pretty little City Square Park, also the site of three burial mounds representing the area’s prehistory. Today it is a community gathering spot in the heart of downtown and home to a variety of activities and events surrounding its vintage gazebo. The History Center located at 112 West Fourth Street can provide a wealth of information and a free walking tour map of historic downtown complete with color photos and descriptions.
Today’s downtown includes Firemen’s Park just north of Chaska Boulevard with its curling rink, event center and restaurant in addition to its park and lake amenities, as well as the commercial area opposite it on the east side of Hwy. 41.
Downtown is home to a wide array of unique specialty retail including boutiques, vintage finds, sports equipment and accessories, spirits, furniture, art and home décor. There’s a family owned grocery, along with event centers, numerous eateries and American Legion Post 57. It also has a variety of service providers in the categories of auto, financial, insurance, legal, health and wellness, real estate, photography, printing, pet care, music, personal care and more. In general, these are small businesses locally or regionally owned or operated.
In downtown Chaska you’ll also find many churches, schools and government services. Chaska is the seat of Carver County and downtown is the site of its government center on East Fourth Street. The post office, state license bureau, library, city hall and police department are located downtown.
Downtown Chaska is the location of numerous popular events year round, from January’s ice fishing contest to December’s Hometown Holiday. In between you’ll find the annual Easter Egg Hunt, Taste of Chaska, Memorial Day Parade, two farmers markets all season long, SayHey5K, River City Days, and Homecoming Parade.
Having a downtown rich in character and history supports and nurtures Chaska’s friendly small town experience, a place that values its past, present and future.