– St. Peter is home to Independent School District Number 508. Their nickname is the Saints.
– St. Peter is home to the Regional Treatment Center State Hospital, a large employer in the area. There is also a museum which traces the hospital’s history all the way back to 1866.
– A mainstay in St. Peter is Gustavus Adolphus College. The 4-year school was founded in 1875, but residents began raising money for the school in 1858. Gustavus is known as one of the most prestigious liberal arts colleges in the nation.
– Some of St. Peter’s major industries and employers include: Alumacraft Boat Company, makers of boats and canoes; the headquarters of both Scholarship America and the Minnesota School Board Association; and the St. Peter Hospital.
Festivals & Events
– St. Peter’s Winterfest takes place in February. The 10-day long festival includes numerous events, such as the “Freeze Your Buns Run,” fireworks, a fish house parade, dances, an ice fishing contest, the “Hairy Legs Contest” and much more, including the annual Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics.
– St. Peter celebrates St. Patrick’s Day the way it was meant to be – with a parade. The annual event draws thousands of Irish and non-Irish alike.
– St. Peter celebrates our nation’s birthday with An Old Fashioned 4th Of July.
– The Nicollet County Fair is held in St. Peter every August.
– Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter hosts a Nobel Conference once a year. Scholars from around the world visit the campus. The event typically takes place in October.
– Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter in St. Peter hosts the Christmas In Christ’s Chapel concert every December. People from around the region gather at the chapel to hear performances by the Gustavus Choir.
– The E. Saint Julien Cox House in St. Peter is a fully restored Victorian house once owned by one of the most colorful and eccentric figures in Minnesota history. Escorted tours are available in period dress. In December, “Christmas At The Cox House” lets you experience a Victorian Christmas.
– The City of St. Peter has a population of approximately 10,000 people. The Mayor is Tim Strand.
– The City of St. Peter joined the Sister City International Program in recent years, and is officially partnered with the City of Petatlan, Mexico. The Mexican town was chosen as St. Peter’s Sister City because it is similar in size to St. Peter, and also has a college.
– The Gustavus Adolphus College Symphony Orchestra held a series of concerts in South Africa in early 2012. The group played 4 concerts in Capetown and 2 in Johannesburg over the course of the trip. The group of approximately 60 Gutavus students also delivered clothing, shoes, books, and school supplies to schools in South Africa townships.
– After 4 years of fundraising, the City of St. Peter’s new Dog Park opened to the public in August of 2012. The 43,000 square-foot park is located just outside of St. Peter at the intersection of Rabbit Road and Highway 99.
– Gustavus Adolphus College was again ranked among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in the nation in 2012 by US News & World Report.
– The King and Queen of Sweden visited the City of St. Peter in October of 2012. King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia were at Gustavus Adolphus College to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the college, which was founded by Swedish immigrants.
– The superintendent of the St. Peter School District was named the 2013 Minnesota Superintendent of the Year in October of 2012. Jeff Olson was honored by the Minnesota Association of School Administrators based on his communication skills, professionalism and community involvement. Olson has been with St. Peter Public Schools since the year 1975, and has been superintendent since 2003.
– The St. Peter High School Decathlon Team was named number one in the state in February of 2013. A total of 6 Minnesota high school teams competed in the Academic Decathlon State Competition in Chaska, and the state championship honors went to the St. Peter High School Blue Team.
– The St. Peter Area Chamber of Commerce got a new executive director in early 2013. Ed Lee served on the St. Peter Chamber Board for 6 years, and was editor and publisher of the St. Peter Herald for 17 years.
– The St. Peter High School “Nordic Storm” robotics team went to the national competition for the second year in a row in 2013 after winning the “Engineering Inspiration” award during the regional competition. The 25-student team constructed its own 120-pound robot for the competition, which this year involved robots shooting Frisbees through slots on 2 metal pyramids. At the national competition they received the prestigious “Engineering Inspiration” award and a $5,000 grant for their robot’s climbing ability.
– The superintendent of St. Peter Public Schools was honored by Minnesota State University in Mankato in April of 2013. Jeff Olson was presented the MSU Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award for his work with the district and contributions to his profession.
– Gustavus Adolphus College President Jack Ohle announced his intent to retire at the end of the current school year in June of 2013. The Ohio native is the 16th president of the St. Peter college, and began his service to Gustavus on July 1st, 2008. He will officially retire on June 30th, 2014.
– KNUJ’s Hometown Heroes for September 2013 were Richard and Nancy Helgeson of St. Peter. Both Helgesons volunteer much of their time to the St. Peter Area Food Shelf, with Nancy serving as director and Richard a co-leader and volunteer driver for the food rescue program. He also provides assistance to hospice patients and serves with the St. Peter Kiwanis Club, and she volunteers with the St. Peter School District as well as a group that donates quilts to the homebound. Richard and Nancy Helgeson have contributed to the St. Peter community in numerous other ways over the years as well, and were both named the Nicollet County Outstanding Senior Citizens this year also.
– St. Peter High School was named among the top 5% of schools in the state in October of 2013 by US News & World Report.
– The students of St. Peter High School crowned new Homecoming Royalty in October of 2013. Named Homecoming King was Keegan McCabe, and crowned Homecoming Queen was Sara Osborne.
– The City of St. Peter approved the plans for a new privately-funded recreational trail in Traverse des Sioux Park in October of 2013. The trail will be used for bicycling, walking, running, and snowshoes in the winter, and will cost upwards of $8,000. Organizers are seeking donations for the proposed trail.
– The City of St. Peter was founded in the year 1853 by Captain William Dodd. It is one of the oldest cities in Minnesota, and has the largest concentration of historic places in a downtown area in the state.
– St. Peter is the county seat of Nicollet County. Major Highways in St. Peter include: 169, 99, and 22.
– St. Peter is alongside the Minnesota River. It is also near Swan Lake.
– In 1858 the Minnesota Legislature designated St. Peter the state capital. The original bill was awaiting the governor’s signature when it was stolen by Joe Rolette of Pembina. Since Rolette had the bill outside of St. Peter for more than 48 hours, it lost that designation, and St. Paul was made the capital.
– The St. Peter Company was formed in the year 1856. A site south of Traverse Des Sioux was the company’s preferred location.
– While the City of St. Peter was founded in the year 1853, the city was not officially incorporated for 20 years, in 1873.
– St. Peter is home to the Traverse Des Sioux Historic Treaty Site. The treaty between the US Government and the Sioux Indians was signed in 1851, and opened up much of the Minnesota River Valley to settlement. The Treaty Site is located off Highway 169 on the north side of St. Peter.
– St. Peter is the hometown of 5 former Minnesota governors, more than any other town in the state. Willis Gorman, Henry Swift, Horace Austin, Andrew McGill, and John Johnson were all from St. Peter.
– Two famous opera singers are St. Peter natives: Olive Fremstad and Jussi Bjorling.
– Prior to bridges being built across the Minnesota River, St. Peter was the site of a few ferries across the river. One of them was operated by the founder of the town, William Dodd, for many years.