The original settlement on the south side of the Zumbro River dates back to 1857. A grist-mill dam
built in 1866 created the falls for which the town is named. Numerous
floods have swept away all but a few traces of the dam. Frequent
flooding and a tornado prompted relocation to the north of the river. A railroad arrived in the relocated settlement in 1881. The city was incorporated in 1898.
In September 2010, the city was flooded again, and evacuated. Many buildings were destroyed or damaged.
The city contains two properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places: the 1937 Zumbro Parkway Bridge and the 1938 Bridge 5827.