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4 Reasons Why There's Something for Everyone in Owatonna, MN

  • For a small city, Owatonna has made a big name for itself. Since it was founded in 1854, the city has grown to just over 25,000 residents living in about 10,000 households. One of Owatonna's biggest claims to fame is acting as host for the annual Steele County Free Fair - the largest free county fair in the state. Although Owatonna has the feeling of a small city, with 99 percent of residents living in an urban setting, the fair is still true to the city's roots. It originally featured prizes for wagons, livestock, and household tools, and today it remains focused on agriculture. However, in addition to checking out a wide variety of animals, visitors can now enjoy dozens of musical performances and hundreds of vendors.

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  • Step back in time! One of the city's most interesting attractions, the Minnesota State Public School Orphanage Museum, dates back to 1886. It was once the Minnesota State Public School for Dependent and Neglected Children, and by the time it closed in 1945, more than 10,000 children had lived on the campus. In addition to the museum, the buildings now house some of the city's administrative offices, as well as several non-profits like the Owatonna Arts Center.
  • Easy access to the arts! Owatonna has a thriving arts community. Since 1966, city residents from every profession have tested their talents onstage at the Little Theatre of Owatonna. Volunteers and patrons often stop for a bite at the nearby family-owned Kernel Restaurant before enjoying the latest performance.
  • Keep cost-of-living down! In 2012, the average purchase price of a single-family detached home was $168,464, while townhouses and condos were approximately $149,241. Median real estate property taxes were approximately $1,700. As a result, rental house prices are quite reasonable, at a median gross rate of $689 per month. Recreational activities are easily accessible throughout the city, from the popular Brooktree Golf Course to the large Kaplan's Wood Park.
  • Enjoy architectural variety! While the city is bursting with historical buildings, particularly in the downtown area, many new houses were constructed between 2002 and 2006 in the northeast section of town. Whether in search of a rent to own home or a house to purchase outright, it is easy to find the perfect fit for any taste. Lovers of history will enjoy a visit the National Farmer's Bank building, one of the few pristine examples of Prairie School Architecture remaining. Other opportunities to examine historical architecture include the Village of Yesteryear and the Historic Walking Tour.