- The City of Hanska was founded in the year 1901 by the Jenkins Townsite Company.
- Hanska is located in Brown County on Highway 257. Nearby lakes include: Lake Hanska, Lindon Lake, and Lake Omsrud.
- The name Hanska is a Sioux Indian word which means “long and narrow.” It refers to Lake Hanska.
- The Lake Hanska and Lindon Co-Op Creamery and the Lake Hanska-Lindon Store Company were organized and established in the southern part of the present City of Hanska in 1892.
- In 1900, the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railroad started to build a branch line from its main line in Winthrop, south through New Ulm to St. James, and further south to Storm Lake, Iowa. The railroad company located its line close to the Lake Hanska and Lindon Co-Op Creamery and Store, which had been there for 8 years.
- The Jenkins Townsite Company came to the location of the Lake Hanska and Lindon Co-Op Creamery and Store and laid out the townsite, naming it Hanska, after the township. The name Hanska is a Sioux Indian word meaning long and narrow, which refers to the 9 mile long and narrow Lake Hanska a short distance southwest of the city.
- On August 1st, 1913, the Hanska Schoolhouse burned to the ground. The building was struck by lightning during a fierce storm, and within 2 hours it was totally consumed by the fire. Only a few books, the school’s organ, and 2 desks were saved. The rest of the town was saved from destruction due to the heavy downpour and lack of wind. Work on a new school building started later that fall.
- Hanska became a “wet” town in the mid-1930′s with the opening of the Municipal Liquor Store. The revenue generated by the new Muni allowed Hanska to construct a city water system, including the water tower and water mains.
- School children in Hanska for the most part attend classes in New Ulm. District 88 is the home of the Eagles.
- Hanska is the home of several gift and specialty shops, most of them celebrating the town’s Norwegian heritage.
- Area farmers have a place to store their grain at the Hanska Farmer’s Co-Op.
- Great deals on home furnishings are available at Hanska Furniture.
- Hanska residents are able to take care of all of their banking needs without leaving town at Alliance Bank.
- Sleepy Eye Telephone Company came to Hanska in 2005. Residents have a choice for their cable and telephone needs.
Festivals & Events
- Hanska’s biggest celebration of the year is Syttende Mai, the commemoration of Norway’s independence from Sweden. The Scandinavian folk festival also celebrates the coming of spring, and means “May 17th.” Syttende Mai features lots of music and dancing, arts and crafts, a parade down Hanska’s Main Street, and “Hanska Hot Dogs,” which are hot dogs wrapped in lefse.
- Hanska’s churches hold annual events that are always eagerly anticipated. The Nora Unitarian Church has a Smorgasbord every October. The Zion Lutheran Church holds a Lutefisk Feed in October as well. Everyone loves lutefisk!
- There are special Norwegian groups that usually perform throughout the summer in Hanska, and the Hanska Chorus, too.
- The Hanska Fire department holds 2 fundraising events each year. The Pancake Feed takes place in late winter or early spring, they also have the Pork Chop Feed in the fall.
- The Hanska Baseball Association holds a special tournament every year on the 4th of July. They are also responsible for the town’s top-notch fireworks display.
- The City of Hanska has a population of approximately 450 people. The Mayor is Gary Schwichtenberg.
- The Hanska area is home to the Lins-Hans-Rud dancers. The group has Scandinavian folk dancers from around the region. Up to 70 people participate in the group, which includes adult, junior, and children’s divisions. The dancers perform at festivals around the area, and have even performed at Walt Disney World in Florida.
- Hanska’s “Blackstad Brothers” are referred to as Minnesota’s answer to the Everly Brothers. Dennis and Craig Blackstad are still performing, but only for special events.
- Proud of their Norwegian heritage, Hanska has a Sons of Norway lodge which meets monthly.
- The Antique Automobile Club of America’s Minnesota Region regularly chooses the City of Hanska for their annual “Spring Fling.” Around 100 classic cars typically roll into Hanska for the Syttende Mai Parade.
- The Hanska Public Library got a new home in 2012. It’s now located in the basement of the Hanska Community Center. The hours remained the same following the move.
- Two brothers from Hanska were among the 6 recipients of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association’s Ranelius Scholarship in 2012. The award is given to students with an interest in poultry and agriculture. Aaron and Kyle Miller, the sons of Tim and Jill Miller were both seniors at New Ulm High School when they received the scholarships. Aaron held multiple leadership positions in the New Ulm FFA. Kyle was also a member of New Ulm FFA and a four-time FFA poultry production placement award winner. Both hope to farm after college and one day take over the management of the family farm.