Olmsted County Places - Genoa

GENOA, a little village in section 34, New Haven, first settled in 1856 and platted in 1865, bears the name of an ancient seaport in northern Italy, the birthplace of Columbus. Nine other states of the Union have villages of this name.


MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES Their Origin and Historic Significance

In the summer of 1857 Barker & Frycke built a dam across the south middle Zumbro on the extreme south edge of the town, and erected a sawmill, which was driven by the power thus secured. This dam was washed away the following spring, and another dam was put in lower down the stream at Genoa, and the present village began to spring up. It is located on the S. J of S.W. J Sec. 34, land taken from the government by John B. Bassett, and the present village was platted by him in 1865. In 1858 the first school was opened here, Mr. Bassett donating the use of a building for that purpose. He also erected several buildings for the accommodation of families called here by the growth of business. In 1860 John Kilroy and Leonard Kilbourn built a steam sawmill on the left bank of the river opposite Genoa. This was burned and rebuilt in 1864, but has now disappeared. In 1870 the mill built by Baker & Frycke, at that time owned by Charles Hurd, was washed away with the dam, and that was the last use of water-power at this point In 1869 Joshua Bassett built a steam sawmill on section 33, half a mile west of Genoa, and operated it till 1879. The building is still standing.

A postoffice was established here in 1872, with Hiram Miller as keeper. The office still supplies mail to a large number of people, many of them farmers of the vicinity. The village numbers about 150 souls. There is a general store which does a thriving trade.

A postoffice was established in the winter of 1862-3, on section 31, and christened Othello. This was supplied from Mantorville, on condition that the patrons of the office carry the mail without expense to the government David Rowley was employed under this arrangement to go alter the mail once a week. A. O. Cowles was postmaster for ten years. He was succeeded by Cornelius White; and the office was shortly discontinued. On the establishment of a post-route between Rochester and Faribault in 1879, the office was reopened, and is supplied with daily mail.

Source: The History of Winona and Olmsted Counties, 1883



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