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Why People Love Chanhassen, Minnesota

Updated on August 1, 2017
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish offers 25+ years successful experience in medicine, psychology, STEM courses, and aerospace education (CAP).

Why I Love Chanhassen Essay Contest

To celebrate its 50th anniversary of incorporation in 1967, the city sponsored a youth essay contest about “Why I Love Chanhassen.” Some of the youth had exceptional thoughts on the topic:

"What I love the most about Chanhassen are the places that help others, like Feed my Starving Children, TreeHouse and the food shelf." -- Danica Grafelman, Fourth grade runner-up.

"I can’t say that I know that much about other towns, but I do know a lot about Chanhassen, about it’s lush forests (home to deer, turkey, owls), the interesting heritage, bountiful playgrounds, many crystal lakes and family values." -- Hannah Quiner, Seventh grade runner up.

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A place called the Sugar Shack The Sugar Maple is prolific in this part of the USA.
A place called the Sugar Shack
A place called the Sugar Shack | Source
The Sugar Maple is prolific in this part of the USA.
The Sugar Maple is prolific in this part of the USA. | Source

America's Best Places to Live

Chanhassen ("sweet-sap" or "sugar maple tree" in the local Siouxan language) is on Money Magazine's list of Top 10 Best Places to Live in America.

A suburb southwest of the Twin Cities, Chanhassen is home to over 25,800 households and a dozen beautiful lakes, a large arboretum, and many public gardens. Green spaces are added regularly. Median home values stand at over $330,000 and median household income at $108,078, according to Sperling's Best Places.

From 2004 through 2009, local property taxes decreased as property values increased overall, a nice draw for new residents. Unemployment has remained lower than the national average (3.5% compared to 5.2% in June 2017), indicating a need for new workers to move into town. Chanhassen has ample room to expand its population within its 24-mile radius.

Chanhassen is located near Eden Prairie, a famously strong local economy in Minnesota.

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Chanhassen, MN, USA
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Patining by Henry Schwabe in 1902: "The siege of New Ulm, Minnesota." Battle date: August 19,1862. USA won.
Patining by Henry Schwabe in 1902: "The siege of New Ulm, Minnesota." Battle date: August 19,1862. USA won.

20th Century Growth

This town among sugar maple forests was a small farming community from before the Civil War to 1960, when it began to grow significantly with a shopping mall and an influx of residents, as larger cities lost residents from their inner cities.

Native American land ownership ended here in 1853 and additional white settlers moved in after a wave of German immigrants arrived.

In the 1890s, manufacturing businesses arrived and brought a demand for taverns and hotels for their workers, owners, and families. After the first shopping mall was built, a large home builder arrived, increasing the numbers of houses in the city to accommodate new residents. Popular dinner theaters followed closely, including the largest professional dinner theater in the USA.

The 1970s saw revitalization to Downtown Chanhassen, with still more room remaining for expansion, planned by local elected leaders year to year.

Chanhassen Dinner Theatre Exhibit; Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.
Chanhassen Dinner Theatre Exhibit; Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. | Source

An Interesting and Diverse Population and Business

The local population is largely descended from the German, Norwegian, Irish, Swedish, and English, with nearly 3% Native Americans - a larger proportion than found in many other US States.

Genealogy is traced for some of these groups at the Chanhassen Historical Society, which provides a large online gallery of old photos as well documents and records. The Minneapolis Genealogy Society also examines and keep many such records.

The Dakota of the Sioux Nation was a large local indigenous group here, but most moved westward after the 1862 Sioux Uprising. This tragedy resulted when certain US agents withheld annuity payments to the reservations and caused starvation.

One non-native man said that the Sioux should go eat "grass or there own dung."

Reservations were eliminated, but today the local Sioux maintain several successful businesses, including:

The Sioux Nation has also installed wind turbines as a wind farm to successfully access alternative energy since 2009.

Largest Employers in the Chanhassen Area 2006 - 2016

  1. Rosemount Inc.
  2. Super Value Food and Drugs
  3. General Mills: Foods, research.
  4. Instant Web Companies: Direct mail and marketing.
  5. Lifetime Fitness
  6. RR Donnelley
  7. Independent School District 112 in Eastern Carver County
  8. Chanhassen Dinner Theatres: Largest in America.
  9. Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
  10. Byerly's Upscale Grocery Stores

Well Paying, High Demand Jobs Expected to Expand to 2024

  1. Registered Nurses (RNs); Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses
  2. Computer Software Applications and Systems Software Engineers; Systems Analysts, Computer Specialists
  3. Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts and Administrators
  4. Accountants and Auditors
  5. Salespeople and Sales Representatives
  6. Mainstream Elementary and Secondary School Teachers
  7. Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Professionals
  8. Industrial Engineers
  9. Human Resources, Employment & Training Professionals
  10. Insurance Sales Agents

Top Hiring Companies

  1. Public School Systems in the Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs
  2. Allina Hospitals & Clinics
  3. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  4. Thomson Reuters
  5. Medtronic
  6. Boston Scientific Corporation
  7. Robert Half Finance & Accounting
  8. Holiday Stationstores: Convenience and Gasoline
  9. Horizontal Integration
  10. Target Stores; Lunds & Byerlys upscale supermarkets

Chanhassen Biotechnology: Medtronic

Major employers like IBM and Medtronic in Chanhassen and the Twin Cities specialize in techniques, tools, and equipment that increasingly improve healthcare and lengthen the healthy lifespan.

Together, Healthcare and Information Technology comprise the most important industrial fields full of employment opportunities in this part of Minnesota today. Resisting economic deterioration via continued development, even in the Great Recession, Chanhassen experienced a median household income of over $90,000.

IBM DNA Transistor

Diverse Higher Education

Chanhassen schools K-12 spend the enormous amount of $12,249 per student annually. The high level of education received prepares students to enter one of the local post-secondary schools or any other educational facility in the country:

Chanhassen residents include 61% who have earned either a bachelors or higher college or professional degree. Another 37% have some college, up to an associate degree.

Sources

  • City of Chanhassen. www.ci.chanhassen.mn.us/1348/50th-Anniversary Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  • Indian Country Today. indiancountrymedianetwork.com/history/events/native-history-dakota-uprising-begins-with-let-them-eat-grass/ Retreived June 10, 2016.
  • Southwest Chamber of Commerce. swmetrochamber.com/ Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  • Sperling's Best Places: Chanhassen, Minnesota. www.bestplaces.net/city/minnesota/chanhassen Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  • The US - Dakota War of 1962. www.usdakotawar.org/history/andrew-myrick Retrieved July 27, 2017.

© 2009 Patty Inglish

Comments and Additions

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    • Steve Meyer profile image

      Steve Meyer 7 years ago

      Patty,

      I've read several local job hubs. They are excellent, "on-the-ground" business analysis. Thanks for your fine work.

      Steve

    • VivBounty profile image

      VivBounty 7 years ago from Canada

      Great hub, timely and amazingly choc-a-block with fantastic content and media. I'm impressed. Well done.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
      Author

      Patty Inglish 7 years ago from North America

      Ambition398 - surely, these will help a few people at least. I have heard from some that have found jobs and/or moved. Hope to hear fomr more.

      Don - Thanks for all that information; makes a nice addition.

    • dusanotes profile image

      dusanotes 7 years ago from Windermere, FL

      Patty Inglish, what a nice Hub. Thanks. I lived in Minnesota for eight years and I know what a great place it is. Minneapolis has a bedroom community next to it called Richfield, then comes Bloomington, then Edina - where I worked - and close to it is Eden Praieie and next to it is Chanhassen. The latter is maybe 45 minutes from Minneapolis. The roads are very good, even in winter. Even the Russians came to Minnesota one year to find out how they maintain their highways in all the ice and snow they get. They use a lot of chemicals, but their major routes are always open. Seldom do they get 3 feet of snow as they did on the night of Haloween, year 2001. We had been there only a month and were hit with a wet snow first, that stuck on the roads for two months (because we were just getting into the really cold weather)and then two feet of snow. It was terrible getting from our apartment which at that time was in Plymouth, north and west of the Twin Cities. I have been to a show at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater. We even looked for a home there as it is a newer area than Eden Prairie with about the same home prices. Most of the links and places you refer to are not in Chanhassen proper. I never saw hotels or taverns there - it is primarily just a residential area and you really can't tell when you leave Eden Prairie and when you arrive into Chanhassen, it's that dense now. Maybe the hotels and taverns were an 1890s phenomenon, I don't know. Great Hub. Don Whie

    • Ambition398 profile image

      Ambition398 7 years ago

      I love these Jobs Hubs. You make it so easy for people to who are in need of jobs to really be able to figure out if this is the right place for them to start looking or move to. Great job...as always :)

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image
      Author

      Patty Inglish 7 years ago from North America

      When I first began, it took quite a while to complete a good Hub. With practice and some solid reources, it becomes easier. Plus, HubPages has offered so many new features regarding editing and the Hub capsules, that writing becomes easier every week. Thanks for reading and commenting, Cheeky Chick!

    • Cheeky Chick profile image

      Cheeky Chick 7 years ago

      Wow! Two well written, information packed hubs in one day? I'm impressed! How do you do it? With all the research, writing, photos, video clips, and graphics, it would have taken me a week.

      Well done!