In 1855 James Clark, the great-great grandfather of the men responsible for Olde Towne Center, Was busy plowing this very land you are on with a team of oxen. James and his wife, Margaret, were young farmers who came to America from Ireland in 1849 when they were in their twenties.
The railroad came to the area in the early 1880's, and business soon followed. A saloon and depot were two of the first few buildings to appear along the west side of this dusty main street in 1882. In 1883, a blacksmith shop was the first business to be built on the east side of the road right here on this land.
THe blacksmith shop was soon followed by a general store, which burned down but was rebuilt in 1904. The general store served as a grocery and dry goods store. In the 1980's that building was converted into apartments and was later demolished in 2006 for the new Olde Towne Center building that stands here today.
The Olde Towne Center building is a blend of new and old construction methods and materials. The building skeleton is a modern steel structure wrapped with proven old-world brick, stone, and mortar. We have intricately incorporated tvarious stone products including: limestone from Indiana and Minnesota; granite from Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Texas; brick from Colorado and South Carolina; and sandstone from Utah.
We invite you to wander the building, enjoy the architecture and veiw the many historic pictures of the Cottage Grove area. We would like to thank the Cottage Grove Historical Society for their cooperation in providing these glimpses of the past.