Montevideo, focal point of activity in the Prairie Waters region and the Chippewa County seat, sits at the confluence of the Chippewa and Minnesota Rivers. That pleasant setting offers three major parks: Smith, Lagoon and Windom Park Recreation Area. It’s easy to see why ‘Monte’ (as the locals call it) is dubbed the “City of Parks”.
From the variety of hotels, such as the Crossings by Grandstay Inn and Suites, Sportsman Inn, Fiesta Motel and the Viking Motel, to the many local eating establishments, including Jake’s Pizza and the unique Java River Café, Montevideo offers a relaxing experience. Many of the foods served come from local fields and pastures, and sometimes can be coupled with a menu of music, culture and art exhibits. Montevideo is home to numerous antique stores, specialty shops, recreational and entertainment opportunities. The largest city in Chippewa County invites you to enjoy its old fashioned charm.
Looking back at Montevideo’s early years, we learn that in 1878, the Chicago, Milwaukee & Saint Paul Railroad brought immigrants to this fledgling community to help settle the frontier. You can visit an exhibit of those bygone railroad days at the Milwaukee Road Heritage Center.
During Fiesta Days, held annually the third week in June, the citizens of Montevideo celebrate the relationship they’ve developed with their sister city, the South American city of Montevideo in Uruguay. A reminder of this international connection is the 11-foot-tall statue of Uruguay’s hero of independence, Jose Artigas, standing prominently in downtown Montevideo’s (MN) Artigas Plaza on Main Street…thousands of miles away from Uruguay.
Another nod to the area’s heritage can be found at the Olof Swensson Farm Museum, a National Registry Site featuring a 22-room, turn-of-the-century brick farmhouse on 17 acres. On the site is a historic barn which was preserved in 2003 and is the largest barn restoration project of its kind in the U.S. The site also features gristmill remains and the family burial plot whose tombstones were recently refurbished. The Swensson Farm’s annual Horse Power Event is held the second Saturday in September.
Also visit an entire pioneer village recreating the challenging lifestyle prairie settlers faced more than one hundred years ago. Historic Chippewa City boasts 20 acres and 24 buildings representing the pioneer spirit of the region. You’ll find authentic log cabins, an 1880’s church, Millinery Shop, Blacksmith Shop and more. Don’t miss the heritage foods and holiday entertainment at our annual old-fashioned Christmas in the Village celebrated the first Saturday in December.
In addition to these opportunities, the Montevideo calendar is filled with other attractions, events and activities like the Minnesota Valley Antique Farm Power and Machinery Association’s Annual Steam Threshing Show at Heritage Hill in August, an 18-hole golf course, car races, Medieval Madness Mini Golf, community swimming and water slide, ice fishing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling along 200 miles of groomed trails.