Carolyn L. Braun (

A drive in Judson (mn) …

On our recent southern Minnesota grave-decorating tour, we visited Judson, Minnesota. Judson is an unincorporated township in Blue Earth County. The population is 550 – 600 people. The township was organized in 1858 – the same year Minnesota became a state. However, there was a post office in the small village area of Judson in 1857. Lake Cystal, a small city, is partly located in an area that was part of Judson township. There are six lakes in Judson and two cemeteries. Judson is near the city of Mankato. (Wikipedia)

In it’s early history, Judson had a rail station. The station was built in 1900 but is now gone.

Judson Depot – Picture from Blue Earth County
Historical Society

Early in our marriage, my husband worked for a gravel mining company in Judson. The gravel pit where he worked has been closed for years. We had heard that the site had been reclaimed – graded and planted – for a wildlife area. It’s been many years since we have been to the site, but he had no trouble. He drove right to it.

The area is now known as the Swan Lake State Wildlife Management Area – North Star Unit. The mining company who used to own the site was North Star Concrete. The site was reclaimed by the later owners, Southern Minnesota Construction (SMC) before turning it over to the state.
Water levels were high when we visited. Some areas are planted in agricultural crops.
A typical view …
Another typical view …
A road bridge crossing …

The area was beautiful. Often mining pits are left the way they were on the day they stopped using the pit. They are abandoned, unmaintained areas, full of piles of dirt, dangerous steep slopes and rusted equipment. This area shows what can be done to reclaim the landscape and provide a wonderful nature area.

Thanks for reading. I hope you will return.

One reply to “A drive in Judson (mn) …

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