Currie, Minnesota

Currie, Minnesota
Currie, Minnesota
—  City  —
Motto: "Gateway to Lake Shetek"
Location of Currie, Minnesota
Coordinates: 44°4′12″N 95°39′55″W / 44.07°N 95.66528°W / 44.07; -95.66528
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Murray
 – Type Mayor – Council
 – Mayor Karen Johansen
 – Total 0.6 sq mi (1.5 km2)
 – Land 0.6 sq mi (1.5 km2)
 – Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 1,496 ft (456 m)
Population (2010)[1]
 – Total 233
 – Density 393.0/sq mi (151.8/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 – Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 56123
Area code(s) 507
FIPS code 27-14320[2]
GNIS feature ID 0642557[3]

Currie is a city in Murray County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 233 at the 2010 census.[1] Lake Shetek State Park is nearby. The city is known as the "Gateway to Lake Shetek". The city is famous for its tourism, cuisine, and recreational opportunities. It is home to Lakeside Hideaway and the End-O-Line Railroad Park & Museum in addition to being the headquarters of Schmitz Grain. Along with the census-designated area The Lakes, Minnesota, the Currie area has a population of close to 1,000 residents.



According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2), all land.

Minnesota State Highway 30 serves as a main route in the community. U.S. Route 59 is nearby.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1910 329
1920 405 23.1%
1930 435 7.4%
1940 524 20.5%
1950 551 5.2%
1960 438 −20.5%
1970 368 −16.0%
1980 359 −2.4%
1990 303 −15.6%
2000 225 −25.7%
2010 233 3.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 225 people, 109 households, and 67 families residing in the city. The population density was 393.0 people per square mile (152.4/km²). There were 127 housing units at an average density of 221.9 per square mile (86.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 99.56% White, and 0.44% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.89% of the population.

There were 109 households out of which 18.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.5% were married couples living together, 8.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.5% were non-families. 33.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.06 and the average family size was 2.63.

In the city the population was spread out with 19.6% under the age of 18, 4.4% from 18 to 24, 18.7% from 25 to 44, 28.0% from 45 to 64, and 29.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 49 years. For every 100 females there were 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $22,857, and the median income for a family was $34,821. Males had a median income of $22,500 versus $18,750 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,767. About 7.3% of families and 12.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.0% of those under the age of eighteen and 8.3% of those sixty five or over.


Due to the Dakota Conflict episode at Lake Shetek in 1862 and the Civil War there were only a few settlers in Murray County. In 1872 Archibald and Neil Currie walked into what was to become the village of Currie. They were Scotsmen whose Scottish ancestors had immigrated to Canada and then south to Minnesota.[4]

Irish families also came to Currie. Many left their beloved Ireland because of the potato famine in the 1840s. John Ireland came to Minnesota in 1848 with his family. He studied for the priesthood and served as a chaplain to the Catholics in the Union Army during the Civil War. In 1876 he set up the Catholic Colonization Bureau of St. Paul in an effort to bring Catholic settlers to Minnesota. John Sweetman, an Irishman, organized the Irish American Colonization Company in Ireland in 1880, following his trip to Minnesota where he purchased tracts of land from the Winona and St. Peter Railroad Company.

Some of the Irish names familiar to Currie are Gorman, Phelan, Neilan, Cummiskey, O'Brien, Donahue, Leonard, Malone, Sweetman, Galvin, and more.

Some names from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland are Larson, Anderson, Jensen, Peterson, Hanson, Johnson, Carlson, Aanenson, Everson, Olson, Peltola, Sanderson, Torkelson, and more.

From France came the Boudreaus, the Pommiers, the Gervais, the LeClaires, the St. Pierres, the Deslauriers and many more.

Some of the Austrian, German, Luxembourg names remembered in Currie are Koppi, Andert, Kosak, Silvernale, Ruppert, and many more. Farmers and businessmen, they added their knowledge, and stayed through the good and the difficult years in early Currie.

When Murray County was platted in 1872, the nearest place to mill wheat into flour and buy supplies was New Ulm. Caravans traveled from this area once or twice a year by ox-drawn wagon to New Ulm, with the 75 mile trip taking about a week.

At this time Archibald Currie and his son Neil built a flour mill on the bank of the Des Moines River. It was located approximately where Schreier Construction is now. In the 1880s up to 20 teams would be hitched around the mill at a time. Farmers would come from as far as 30 miles away and often stay overnight. The Curries also built a little red store by the mill and stocked a line of general merchandise as well as a supply of medicines and drugs. The original building is currently located in the End-O-Line Park. The mill was later purchased by F.H. Silvernale and the store sold to Henry Paal and John O'Shea. O'Shea sold out to Paal in 1914. The first newspaper in Murray County was established by a Mr. Bromwich on January 1, 1878 and later purchases by J. A. Maxwell. Called the "Murray County Pioneer," the paper moved to Slayton when the county seat was relocated in 1889.

The first hotel in the village was called "The Farmer's Hotel," and was operated by Lon Cole. Another was started by Mr. Finch and operated by W. W. Caulkins. A fire in this hotel in 1884 was responsible for the creation of the Fire Department in town. Lewis Fling operated "Fling's Hotel" which was one of eight businesses lost when the county seat was moved. Fling dismantled the building and shipped most of the lumber to Stansberry, MO.

While the relocation of the county seat caused a decline in Currie's economy for a period, the building of a branch line from Bingham Lake into the village gave the community a real boost. By the early 1900s there were about 33 businesses bringing new prosperity to the area. Among the businesses at this time were the First State Bank with Floyd Silvernale as president. Other businesses were the depot, the post office, the Nickel Plate Restaurant, hardware store, undertaking parlor, two millinery shops, furniture store, drug store, implements and machinery company, meat market, two general stores, livery and dray, two hotels, a veterinary and a doctor.

Improvements that followed in 1909 were electric lights and power and the Woodgate Telephone Company. This point was probably the economic high point for the community.

In 1928, the oncoming depression forced the closure of the First State Bank. The Farmers and Merchants followed in May 1930. By February 1931, Henry Eiselein and a number of Currie businessmen started the Currie State Bank, which is still in operation today.

Many other businesses have come and gone in our community, including the Rex Theater, implement dealers, lumber yard, grocery stores, confectionery shop, livestock shippers, and more.

Currie has transformed from a regional business center into a tourist destination over the past 50 years. It is known for its rustic style, hometown values, and cutting-edge cuisine. Currie, like many of the cities in the area, is struggling to maintain its center population, but unlike most other regions, is able to supplement its population with tourists and travelers.

The End-o-Line Railroad Park & Museum

End-O-Line Park is nestled on the northern edge of Currie. Founded in 1872 by Neil and Archibald Currie, this place was thought to be the most beautiful country with the Des Moines River moving across the prairie and Lake Shetek in the west. The park is located on Murray County 38 off of Minnesota Highway 30.[5]

The railroads were the first great achievement in transportation of the machine age. This achievement led to the expansion and growth of the West. It is this story, as well as the story of the area, which the museum is trying to tell.

A model railroad display, in HO scale, is one of the highlights of the museum. This display is an authentic reproduction of the Currie railroad yards as they were around the turn of the 20th Century. The layout features scratch-built locomotives and structures, complete landscaping, a full wrap-around mural, complete sound effects and more. Visitors can hear the old steam locomotive puff and chug throughout the countryside, which is accented by the steam whistle, bell and hiss of steam.

District Number One, the Sunrise School, was moved to End-O-Line Park and restored by the Murray County Historical Society. The embossed tin ceilings and walls, vertical wainscoting, recitation bench and many blackboards are typical, but the triangular sunrise worked into the front and back of the schoolhouse are unique. The little one-room school with tin dinner pails, water cooler, wash basin, old world maps, bell tower and rope, ink wells and cloakrooms, will bring back fond memories to share with children.

End-O-Line Park’s section house, originally located in Comfrey, was built by Chicago and Northwestern for a section foreman and his family. A saltbox structure, the house has been restored to the early 1900 style.

The Pioneer General Store was built and operated by Neil and Archibald Currie in 1872. A typical settlement general store, it included a post office and bank in its earliest years. Dakota Indians from nearby Lake Shetek occasionally traded at the store—so were news, gossip and eggs. Now, furnished and with shelves stocked, it brings back memories and comments of "I remember when . . ."

The Museum is open for the public seven days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day and by special arrangement. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are open on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The park is also open on weekends throughout September. Call for more information at 507-763-3708.


For a relatively small city, Currie is widely known as one of the culinary destinations of Southwest Minnesota. This distinction began when Tom and Tammy Buesing purchased one of the oldest buildings in the area and transformed it into T-Tommy's Mill Street Grill. The restaurant was open until 2010, when it was purchased and renovated into Lakeside Hideaway. The new restaurant, owned and operated by Matthew Schreier, was designed using elements of Currie's natural position on Lake Shetek. The Worthington Daily Globe has described Lakeside Hideaway as "Classy, cool, and distinctive."

Lacated just north of Currie's business district is Trail's Edge, a general store that also houses one of the other popular eateries in the city. The restaurant is known for its family atmosphere and views of the lake itself. For a sweeter touch, Currie has available its ever-popular Sweet Treats & More, famous for its ice cream and homemade cakes, which can be purchased for weddings, birthdays, and other holidays. Sweet Treats & More is located across from Lakeside Hideaway in downtown Currie.

Currie is also very well known for its social scene, being home to a vintage bowling ally and café, two bars/clubs (both located downtown), and Breezy Point Tavern, a popular destination for the older generation who are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Breezy Point is located a few miles north of Currie.

The Bike Trail

Heading north on the bike trail from End-O-Line Park you observe farm crops up close, tall corn, soybeans thick with pods and new mown alfalfa perfumes the air. Than Lake Shetek, named by the Dakota (means Lake Pelican), meanders north around the headwaters of the Des Moines River at the Currie Dam. Here kingfishers dive for minnows and families picnic while watching their fishing poles. Rest spots, scenic overlooks, the Shetek Monument, Smith Lake, wildflowers, birds and animals enhance the bike trail and when you return to End-O-Line Park, a tour and indoor/outdoor fun for the whole family can be enjoyed. The bike trail is approximately six miles of hard surface, easy-rolling hills.


Currie is widely known for its extensive array of outdoor activities available to the general public. These include the seven-mile bike trail that goes through Lake Shetek State Park, Lake Shetek, and local farmland. The Shetek Lake is located just north of town, and a popular vacation destination for people from all over Southwest Minnesota. The lake has a population of approximetely 600, and exponentially more during the summer months. The area of Currie/Lake Shetek has a combined population of almost 1,000 residents during the summer months, making it one of the most popular vacation destinations in Southwest Minnesota.

Fourth of July Celebrations

Annually the small town of Currie holds its celebration honoring the independence of the United States. The festivities include a softball tournament, beanbag tournament, horseshoe tournament, volleyball tournament, street dances, community picnic, duck races, and a display of fireworks. The festivities bring in people from all over Minnesota. The fireworks display, showcased by the city's fire department, is one of the most popular displays in Minnesota.


Currie is located in Minnesota's 1st congressional district, represented by Mankato educator Tim Walz, a Democrat. At the state level, Currie is located in Senate District 22, represented by Republican Doug Magnus, and in House District 22A, represented by Republican Joe Schomacker.


External links

Coordinates: 44°04′17″N 95°39′59″W / 44.07139°N 95.66639°W / 44.07139; -95.66639

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