Where History and Progress Meet
St. Peter was founded in 1853 by Captain William Bigelow Dodd, who claimed 150 acres north of what is now Broadway Avenue. He named the new settlement Rock Bend because of the rock formation at the bend of the Minnesota River. In 1855, the town was renamed St. Peter for the St. Pierre River, an early name for the Minnesota River. Many of the streets in St. Peter were named after streets in New York City—Park Row, Chatham, Broadway, Nassau, Union—because Captain Dodd was originally from the East. He had been married at the Church of the Holy Communion in New York City, which helped fund the establishment of the same-named church in St. Peter.
In 1857, an unsuccessful attempt was made to move the capitol from St. Paul to St. Peter. Home to one of Minnesota’s fine liberal arts colleges—Gustavus Adolphus—St. Peter also has many historic buildings and Victorian-styled homes lining its main grand downtown boulevard (Highway 169). St. Peter also has many places of historical interest, especially the museum at the site where The Treaty of Traverse des Sioux was signed in 1851