City of Carver’s History

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Carver Minnesota’s history started as a major transportation center from the 1850s through the 1870s, because of the natural navigational barrier for river traffic. During this period, the city was an important shipping center and supplier for much of the county.

 Due to its attractive location on the Minnesota River, trading posts were established on the site as early as 1804 and Norwegian immigrants first settled in the area in 1852. During the 1860’s, 70’s, and into the 1880’s Carver was a bustling, vital river city and major transportation center as well as the retail trade and service center for much of Carver County.

When the building of railroad lines ended in the early 1880’s, Carver County ended their reliance of using the river as a transportation artery. When rail replaced the river as the major mode of transportation, the city entered a period of decline. Many of the established businesses left town and the population dwindled bottoming out in 1930. Carver remained relatively isolated throughout much of the 20th century due to the surrounding natural terrain and because the city was not located on a major highway.

In recent decades, as the nearby cities of Eden Prairie, Chanhassen, and Chaska have grown into suburban employment centers, the city of Carver has evolved into a bedroom suburb of these cities, attracting new residents with its small town character, natural setting, and affordable housing.

Carver‘s primary connection to the metro area is through a 2008 realignment of highway 212. This realignment of the highway travels north and west and rejoins the historic section of town at the northwestern corner of the city to the majority of the Twin Cities.

Old photo of the Minnesota River along Chaska, from early 1900s.Today, the city is significant as a well-preserved Minnesota River town which has the best-preserved concentration of historical and architecturally distinguished buildings in the County.

If you have any questions regarding the city of Carver Minnesota, or it’s schools, parks, lakes, history, or community life, feel free to call Realtor David Olson or visit

If you would like to sell, buy, or build a home in the Carver area, or would like talk with an Carver neighborhood expert, you can reach out to Carver realtor David Olson at 952.314.9446.

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