- The City of Lafayette was organized as a township in the year 1858. The 1st settler in the area was Louis Shagro.
- The City of Lafayette is located in Nicollet County, right off Highway 15.
- The site that would have become Lafayette was 1st settled by Louis Shagro. John Bush and family moved to the area in 1854 and operated an Inn for travelers. The township organized in 2858, and the 1st Post Office opened in 1859. Lafayette became a village in 1897, and was incorporated in February of 1900.
- The construction of the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railroad was completed in 1895. The 1st carload of wheat was shipped out of Lafayette a year later.
- First State Bank in Lafayette organized in 1902. The Lafayette Ledger newspaper published its 1st edition in 1904.
- Seven Lafayette businesses were destroyed by a fire in 1908. It was started by someone heating tar on a kerosene stove.
- The Lafayette Municipal Band has been in existence for over 80 years. They still play weekly summer concerts in downtown Lafayette.
- The school in Lafayette taught students up to 11th grade until around 1940. After World War Two, the school downsized to just kindergarten through 8th grade. Students would then complete their education in either New Ulm or Winthrop usually.
- A famous person who grew up in Lafayette is Tippy Hedren. She was the star of several of Alfred Hitchcock films, including in the movie she is most recognized for: “The Birds”.
- One of Lafayette’s largest employers in the charter school. The Lafayette Charter School has undergone a major expansion since 1st opening in 1999. The school currently has over 90 students enrolled in the program, in which parents and students choose their own curriculum. There is a strong focus on technology.
- The focus of much of the business conducted in Lafayette is the Farmer’s Co-Op. The customer-owned cooperative also constructed a storage facility to further benefit area farmers.
- Lafayette is home to the Good Samaritan Home, an assisted-living facility.
- A favorite watering hole for Lafayette residents is Dave’s Place, which also plays host to many KNUJ promotions throughout the year, and holds popular Car & Bike Cruise-Ins during the summer.
Festivals & Events
- The months of June and July are a good time to visit downtown Lafayette. Every Friday night there’s a pie and ice cream social.
- The Lafayette Lions Club hosts Bingo games every Friday night from around October through April.
- People around the region always eagerly anticipate the end of August in Lafayette. That’s when the Lafayette Lions have a corn and hog roast.
- The Lafayette Fire Department holds a street dance late in the summer. The event is a fundraiser for the fire department.
- The Fireman’s Banquet is held in March in Lafayette. The meal usually consists of a ham dinner with all the fixings.
- The Lafayette Lions Club holds a meat raffle every Friday night at Lafayette’s watering hole: “Dave’s Place.”
- The Helping Hands Food Shelf sponsors the annual “Ride For Hunger.”
- Lafayette has a population of about 500 people. The Mayor is Steve Langhoff.
- In 2010 the Lafayette Charter School was one of twenty pilot sites across the state for the new Minnesota 4-H program “Stepping Out.” The program trains teens to teach young people and get them excited about living healthy lifestyles.
- The students of the Lafayette Charter School held a 7-day fundraising event in 2010 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, featuring a different theme every day as well as prizes for the kids’ donations. The kids raised over $800,000, which greatly surpassed their goal of $200,000!
- The Lafayette Charter School raised $11,000 in 2012 to upgrade technology at the school. Businesses from communities around the area made hundreds of donations.
- Lafayette resident Ruth Klossner was presented an Honorary State FFA Degree during the State FFA Convention in April of 2012. Klossner was in charge of the Lafayette Ledger newspaper for many years, and has always been a strong supporter of area ag programs.
- The Lafayette Charter School was one of ten elementary schools in Minnesota and western Wisconsin to receive a $10,000 grant from Allina Health in 2012 to promote healthy activities. The charter school was given direct access to Allina Health caregivers to help school staff respond to health issues affecting their school. The program also provided online learning tools, teacher training and a health fair involving health screenings for both teachers and parents as a means to model healthy behavior for children.
- The Lafayette Charter School held school board elections in October of 2012. One board member was re-elected, while 2 new members joined the LCS board. Returning school board member Shelley Zacate and newly-elected member Dean Barstad filled the two open parent positions on the board, while returning member Sandy Burger now serves as the school board’s community member. The 3-year term for the new members began in December of 2012.
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