What Remains Of This Minnesota Ghost Town Is Hauntingly Beautiful

Like so many other places in the United States, much of Minnesota was shaped by its rivers. Eager to make use of the power and transportation rivers allowed, early settlers chose to build towns along them. Many thrived and continue to do so to this day. But others, for one reason or another, failed.

That’s what happened to West Newton, a former town along the Minnesota River in southern Minnesota. Steamboats made the town a trading hub in the 1800s. It grew in population, becoming a small but thriving town with a promising future. But that ended in 1873. That was the year a railroad bypassed the town, starting it on a path towards decline. Today, West Newton is nothing more than a ghost town. But one thing does remain: its general store. Let’s take a look:

We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/nominate/

The Harkin Store is a fascinating piece of Minnesota history. It’s a beautiful reminder of a long-abandoned ghost town that tells the story of its forgotten past. Have you been there? If you like learning about Minnesota’s abandoned places, also check out this list of 11 deserted ghost towns in Minnesota.