Maple Grove history

Maple Grove, 75 Years After the Tornado

You may have heard about the big twister of ’39 that took a ¼ mile-wide swath out of Anoka and Champlain, but few people know that the same tornado tore through Maple Grove, leaving devastation in its wake. Fewer people lived in the area at the time, but those who were hit were hit hard. Photographs of the wreckage found at the Maple Grove Historical Preservation Society Museum tell us part of the story and some survivors fill in the gaps.

Maple Grove's Earliest Settlers Made the Most of Winter.

One of the earliest settlers of Maple Grove was the Koehler family. Gottlieb and Gottlieben Koehler came to the area from Germany by way of Missouri. “This was right around the Civil War time and it was too violent with all the fighting going on in Missouri,” says great-granddaughter Emily (Koehler) Amann. The Koehlers built a log cabin in 1855 just south of where Hwy. 30 crosses Dunkirk Ln. N. In 1887, their son Jacob built a barn on the land northeast of Rush Creek that still stands next to the house the Koehlers built in 1889, lovingly kept in its original period style by Emily Amann.

Maple Grove History Museum Opens for Business

The Maple Grove History Museum has been in the works since the Maple Grove Historical Preservation Society was founded in the 1980s, but without an appropriate space to accommodate historical displays the museum remained a dream. So when the volunteer organization heard last fall they would be provided with a space in the Maple Grove Public Works Facility, they were ecstatic and so were many Maple Grove residents. More than 250 people attended the Maple Grove Museum’s July opening reception.

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