New Prague has come a long way

By Chuck Kajer

150 years is a long time, and a lot has happened in New Prague since a small group of European settlers came to this area in the mid-1800s.

Certainly, the handful of families who founded New Prague had no idea what the city would become. What they started was a place where they and area farmers could gather for worship, for trade and for socializing.

Transportation in the 1850s was by horse or by foot. There was no train yet, and certainly no cars, no paved roads and no interstate highways nearby. Those who lived in New Prague, for the most part, worked nearby.

Over the years, New Prague transformed into a vibrant small town. The transformation continues. As the Twin Cities continue to move south, more and more people are looking at New Prague as a nice place to live. Unlike many of the small towns in rural Minnesota, people who grew up here are choosing to move back here. In addition, people who grew up in rural communities and in the outer-ring suburbs of the ‘70s and ‘80s are choosing New Prague because it reminds them of where they grew up.

The makeup of the community certainly has changed, but New Prague remains a progressive community, willing to make investments in schools and other facilities for the public good.

What began with a handful of Czech and German immigrants is now a city of more than 6,000 people, with schools serving more than 3,000 students and a growing business district that draws customers —and workers—from many surrounding communities.

That’s something worth celebrating. A committee has been meeting for several months and is in the process of planning a variety of events to observe the city’s sesquicentennial. Keep an eye out for stories throughout the coming year in The New Prague Times to see how we can celebrate our city’s history and accomplishments.

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