Today, more than 25,000 people call Owatonna home. It is a community that boasts high average income levels and high education levels. With a commitment to growth and access to services, Owatonna is equally committed to a quality of life – to care enough to leave a legacy for generations to come.
So please, take a closer look at Owatonna, stay a while – make it home.
Owatonna is rich in history. The region where Owatonna is located was historically used by Native Americans as a hunting area. The only known periodic encampment was at Rice Lake for hunting and harvesting wild rice. Upon its founding by settlers in 1854, the area was named Owatonna after the Dakota name for the Straight River, “Wakpá Owóthaŋna.”
Today, Owatonna’s history is preserved at area attractions like the Orphanage Museum, the National Farmers’ Bank, and Village of Yesteryear. The historic downtown offers a snapshot of what Owatonna was like at the turn of the century.
Legend has it… Chief Wabena heard of the curing waters called minnewaucan. His daughter, Princess Owatonna, was very frail so he moved his tribe to the site of the natural springs on the banks of Maple Creek. Princess Owatonna drank from the springs daily and recovered her health. Her kindly spirit hovers near the bubbling waters and beckons weary travelers to pause in the beautiful valley and drink of the magic waters.
True Origins… For hundreds of years before the arrival of the first white settlers, Native Americans camped on the banks of a river they called “Ouitunya,” which means “straight” and is today the name of the major river in Steele County.
Owatonna welcomes you to visit the springs and the statue of Princess Owatonna at Mineral Springs Park.
The Owatonna City Offices are located in the West Hills Complex and house many of Owatonna’s city-run departments.
The Owatonna Police Department provides full-service police protection for the citizens of Owatonna. All city and county emergency services are dispatched from the Law Enforcement Center. The offices of the Owatonna Police Department and the Steele County Sheriff’s Department are both located at the center. The Owatonna Police Department offers crime prevention programs to the community.
The Owatonna Fire Department is dedicated to providing members of our community with proficient emergency services before, during and after an emergency. With a fleet of 10 vehicles, the department protects the community by providing fires suppression and rescue services as well as public fire safety education, fire equipment maintenance, safety programs and emergency management planning.
Owatonna Public Utilities is a community-owned, not-for-profit water, electric and natural gas supplier, created by local residents more than 75 years ago to provide high quality, affordable services tailored to the unique needs of the Owatonna area.
Millions of possibilities await you at the Owatonna Public Library. A full service library with access to books through SELCO (Southeastern Libraries Cooperating), a wide variety of references and periodicals for reading and research at the library, and Internet access for online references and information.
Our Chamber has approximately 530 members that invest their resources, employee volunteerism and confidence in the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism and the business community.