Welcome to the Hinckley, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce
Hinckley was born in the virgin pine woods of east central Minnesota when the logging companies moved into the area. It was later named after Isaac Hinckley.
In 1870 William H. Grant, Sr. built a dam across the Grindstone River and this became the site of the Brennan Lumber Company. There were several lumber mills in the area and they were cutting over 200,000 feet of lumber per day. Although the logging camps were still prominent, the logs could now be brought to the mills, sawed into lumber and shipped out on the railroads. The supply seemed inexhaustible.
The town had two major railroads. The St. Paul and Duluth Railroad (later to be known as the Northern Pacific) which ran north and south through Hinckley. The abandoned railway bed on the northwest side of Hinckley is now the head of the Willard Munger State Trail which is a beautifully paved trail and used daily by cyclists, hikers and snowmobilers. Travellers can go a few miles or all the way to Duluth.
Running southwest to northeast through Hinckley was the Eastern Railway, which was a part of the Great Northern Railroad. The railway lines crossing made Hinckley a prominent hub for freight and passenger travel. There were as many as 22 trains traveling through town each day.
Hinckley before the fire consisted of a fine school, a town hall, Odd Fellows Hall, three churches (Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Presbyterian), five hotels, eight stores, a restaurant, two railroad depots, a railroad roundhouse and a few saloons.
September 1, 1894 would change the course of Hinckley forever. The summer of 1894 was extremely hot and dry. Fires burned frequently through the summer in the dry slashing left over from logging. Around noon on September 1st a southwest wind joined several of these smaller fires into a cyclone fire that destroyed Hinckley and the entire surrounding areas. In approximately two hours Hinckley went from a bustling lumber town to smoldering ruins. Over 400 people lost their lives that day.
On the east side of the old Eastern Railway line in Hinckley a gravel pit held about three feet of water in it. Approximately 100 people were saved there. It is now called "The Pit" and a historical marker is located on the southwest corner in memory of the people who lost their lives in the fire. A 51' 9" tall tapered shaft was erected in Memorial Cemetery east of Hinckley along Fire Monument Road. This monument was dedicated on September 1, 1900. The north face of the monument tells of the 248 unidentified men, women and children of Hinckley who are buried in the four trenches located to the north of the monument.
Immediately following the fire the Hinckley Building Association was formed to see that rebuilding would progress in an orderly fashion Thanks to the unstoppable spirit of our ancestors Hinckley once again became a thriving community.
After the fire, the large Hinckley Depot along the St. Paul and Duluth Railroad was rebuilt exactly as it had been before the fire. Today it houses the Hinckley Fire Museum. Here the story of the Great Hinckley Fire is recalled in detail. This museum is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and includes the original waiting rooms for men and women, an eating area known as The Beanery, depot agents apartment and the freight room. Once an hour a 20 minute documentary is shown in the freight room.
Recently a "relief house" replica was built on museum grounds, near the caboose at the east end of the parking lot.
City of Hinckley City Wide Clean up.
Click here for details!
For more info call the City of Hinckley
Next Hinckley Area Chamber of Commerce Meeting:
May 14th, 2013
$7 to enjoy a meal with us.
Hinckley American Legion will
be presenting an award to
one of our Chamber Members be there to see who!
2013 Chamber Events
Memorial Day Ceremonies
~ May 27 ~
Hinckley City Wide Sales
~ June 21 & 22 ~
Corn & Clover 2013
~ July 12 & 13 ~
~ Sept. 7 ~
Chamber Steak Fry 2013
~ Sept. 10 ~
Fall Wine Tasting 2013
~ Oct. 2013 ~
Santa Days 2013
~ Dec. 7 ~
Santa Days Community
~ Dec. 12 ~