Town Days Tour 2013 Norwood Young America



  • The City of Young America was founded in the year 1856. Norwood was founded in 1881. The 2 cities became a single city in 1997.
  • Norwood Young America is in Carver County on Highways 212, 5, and 25.
  • NYA is located near 2 lakes: Eagle Lake and Hydes Lake.
  • Young America was settled by people of both English and German descent. The 1st sign of tension was a dispute over what the town should be called. James Slocum named the town Young America, but the Germans wanted it called Teuteburg. The Germans reportedly lettered the name on a board leading into town, but when a team of runaway oxen destroyed the sign, it was seen as a bad omen. They then wanted to name the town Florence, but when it was discovered that there was already a town in Minnesota with that name, Young America was agreed upon.
  • In 1872, the Hastings and Dakota Division of the Milwaukee and St. Louis Railroad was built, leaving Young America a mile away because the residents refused to pay a charge. James Slocum then moved near the tracks and founded Young America Station. In 1874, through a special act of the state legislature, the name was changed to Norwood, in honor of Slocum’s best friend.
  • Norwood had a population of 334 when it was incorporated in 1881. In 1880, Young America had a population of 151. All earlier census reports were destroyed by a fire. In 1914 the town of Norwood was almost destroyed by a fire that started at the 2 elevators of the Reliance Company. The Norwood Times reported that a “well-known character was dragged from the elevator. Sparks from his pipe were believed to be the cause of the fire.”
  • The 1st baby born in Norwood was Frank Effertz, born on November 15, 1873.
  • In the late 1800′s, Norwood used to have horse races on Main Street.
  • The modern age was ushered into Norwood in 1910 when Chris Effertz, Ed Bauermeister, and George Bradley purchased 3 automobiles in the Cities. The drive from Minneapolis took 5 hours, and people lined the streets to witness the arrival of the horseless carriages.
  • The merger of the Cities of Norwood and Young America was approved by voters on November 9th, 1995. The Young America vote results were: 309 “Yes” votes and 200 “No” votes; in Norwood: 295 “Yes” votes and 107 “No” votes.



  • Norwood Young America shares a school district with the communities of Hamburg and Cologne. District 108′s Central High School is located in NYA. Their nickname is the Raiders.
  • Some of NYA’s major employers include: the Young America Corporation, which produces premium fulfillment house-coupons; Duebers, a dry goods office and warehouse; Lano Equipment, an implement dealer; and the town’s 2 banks, State Bank of Young America and Citizen’s Bank of Norwood Young America.
  • Many residents of NYA are employed at the nearby Bongard’s Creamery. Bongard’s makes good cheese and other dairy products.


Festivals & Events

  • The Norwood Young America Legion hosts a chicken barbeque every year on the 3rd Sunday in July.
  • NYA’s big summer festival is Stiftungsfest, which means Founders Day Celebration. It has been celebrated for over 150 years, and is hailed as the longest-running festival in the state of Minnesota. It is traditionally held in late August, and features the usual extravaganza of German bands, ethnic foods, live music, softball and baseball tournaments, carnival rides, and lots of other fun events for the whole family. The festival is famous for it’s burgers, and a Stiftungsfest Parade is held every other year.



  • The City of Norwood Young America has a population of approximately 3,100 people. The Mayor is Tina Diedrick.
  • The first ever Taste of NYA was held in 2010. Over 20 local food providers were on hand at the Willkommen Park Pavillion to celebrate what the community has to offer.
  • A grand opening celebration was held in 2010 for the Norwood Young America Oak Grove City Center. The $9.3 million project converted the former Oak Grove Dairy, which closed in 2004, into a new city hall and public library, law enforcement office space, and 50 units of market-rate senior housing.
  • Norwood Young America’s Central School District Teacher Of The Year for 2012 was Ag Instructor Jim Mesik. Along with being an Ag Instructor, Mesik also serves as the district’s FFA Advisor and teaches a wide variety of classes such as industrial tech, animal science, wildlife conservation and more.
  • New Stiftungsfest royalty was crowned in August of 2012 in Norwood Young America. Named Miss Stiftungsfest was Lexi Erpenbach, the daughter of Ron and Sheila Erpenbach. She was also named Miss Congeniality. Crowned First Princess of Stiftungsfest was Devan Mellgren, the daughter of Bruce and Patty Mellgren, and named 2nd Princess was Haley Peterson, the daughter of Nicole Peterson and William Peterson. Miss Minnesota 2012, Siri Freeh was on hand for the coronation ceremony as well.
  • The students of Norwood Young America’s Central High School crowned new Homecoming Royalty in October of 2012. Named Homecoming King was Brian Hagberg, and crowned Homecoming Queen was Cassidy Christians.

Left to right: Jim Richter, owner of Mid-Town Family Restaurant; Tina Diedrich, mayor of Norwood Young America and Jim Bartels, GM of KNUJ.


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