Chaska, Minnesota

Chaska (/ˈæskə/ CHASS-kə)[4] is a city and the county seat of Carver County, Minnesota, United States. An outer ring suburb of the Twin Cities, Chaska is home to the Hazeltine National Golf Club and is known for its historic downtown area located on a bend of the Minnesota River.[5] The City of Chaska merged with Chaska Township in 2006. The city still has some remaining agricultural land.

Buildings in downtown Chaska
Buildings in downtown Chaska
"A Quality Small Town"[1]
Location in Carver County, Minnesota
Location in Carver County, Minnesota
Coordinates: 44°47′N 93°36′W / 44.783°N 93.600°W / 44.783; -93.600Coordinates: 44°47′N 93°36′W / 44.783°N 93.600°W / 44.783; -93.600
CountryUnited States
 • MayorMark Windschitl
 • Total17.84 sq mi (46.20 km2)
 • Land17.02 sq mi (44.09 km2)
 • Water0.81 sq mi (2.11 km2)
732 ft (226 m)
 • Total27,810
 • Density1,633.48/sq mi (630.70/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP Code
Area code952
FIPS code27-10972
GNIS feature ID0641129[3]

The population was 28,047 at the 2020 census.


Guardian Angels Catholic Church in Chaska was built with the characteristic yellow Chaska brick.

Chaska's history reflects the influence of the Native American culture.[6][7] The first inhabitants are believed to be the Mound Builders, whose ancient communities are marked by mounds in City Square.[6][7] Later, the Dakota (commonly known as the Sioux) were the primary nation in this region known as the Big Woods.[6][7] Although the Indian mounds located in Chaska City Square indicate the immediate area was inhabited years before 1769, the year Chaska's recorded history began.[6]

In 1776, Jonathan Carver explored the lands along the Minnesota River and chronicled his journeys.[6][7] French Canadian fur traders traveled the waterways, trading with the Dakota in the early 19th century. During this time, Jean-Baptiste Faribault established a trading post in Chaska.[6]

In 1851, the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux officially opened Little Rapids, as Chaska was then known, to settlement.[6][7] Soon after, speculators moved into the new territory. Among the earliest was Thomas Andrew Holmes who, in August 1851, claimed a 20-acre (81,000 m2) clearing as the Chaska townsite.[6][7]

The name "Chaska" is derived from a Dakota word often given as a name to the first born male child.[6][7] Records show that David L. Fuller purchased the "Shaska" townsite from Holmes in 1852. In 1857, the townsite was platted by the Shaska Company.[6] In the same year, construction began on the original Carver County Courthouse located where the post office and KleinBank now stand in downtown Chaska.[6] Chaska was incorporated as a village in 1871 and, by special legislative charter, as a city in 1891.[6]

An abundance of high quality clay led to the start of brick making in 1857.[6][7] By the 1880s, as a result of the clay resources, Chaska was a thriving brick manufacturing center.[6][7] Bricks were shipped by boat to Saint Paul and, although the city grew as a result of steamboat trade, it was not until the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway was built through town in 1873 that rapid expansion began.[6][7]

With the advent of the 20th century came other industries, including the processing of beet sugar and other agricultural products; flour making, butter making, the canning of peas, corn, and tomatoes, and the curing of sauerkraut and pickles.[6]

National polls named Chaska the eighth-best city in the United States in 2007[8] and 20th best in 2009.[9]

In September 2016, Chaska hosted the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Course,[10] and in March 2018, the PGA of America, with help from the U.S. Curling team, announced Hazeltine would be the first American venue to host a second Ryder Cup in 2028.[11][12][13]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.77 square miles (46.02 km2), of which 16.97 square miles (43.95 km2) is land and 0.80 square miles (2.07 km2) is water.[14] The downtown portion of Chaska lies on the Minnesota River.

Chaska Boulevard (Old Highway 212), Pioneer Trail, U.S. Highway 212, and Minnesota State Highway 41 are four of the main routes in Chaska.

Climate data for Chaska, Minnesota
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 22
Average low °F (°C) 4
Average precipitation inches (mm) .73
Source: The Weather Channel[15]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[16]
2018 Estimate[17]
Chaska Community Center

Throughout the first half of the 20th century, Chaska's population averaged about 2,000 and the nature of the city remained unchanged. The city retained its small-town image until the 1950s when the transition to a metropolitan community began. The expansion of the seven-county metropolitan area reached Chaska in the 1960s. With that expansion came the introduction of the Jonathan New Town design concept in 1966. The Jonathan "new town" development within Chaska brought new land, new jobs and new people to the community.

This period of transition and expansion continues today. Dozens of modern industries have located to Chaska and continue to do so; residential construction adds 300 to 400 new homes per year; commercial business continues to expand offering a variety of retail and service opportunities to its residents; redevelopment of commercial areas in the downtown began in the 1980s and still continues. Although the community has seen much growth, development regulations and sound planning have ensured Chaska's small sense of community and the preservation of its rich heritage.

In early 2005, the city of Chaska annexed the remaining portion of Chaska Township. Current plans for the area include a 600-acre (2.4 km2) residential "smart growth"-styled development.

A new spike in the population occurred after the construction of the Highway 212 freeway passing through the heart of Chaska, serving as a fast, direct, link to the heart of the Twin Cities. This freeway includes a bus rapid transit route serving Chaska with fast, efficient mass transit, along with convenient access to the Light Rail system which connects the southwest suburbs to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul.

As of 2000, the median income for a household in the city was $60,325, and the median income for a family was $69,612. Males had a median income of $45,401 versus $32,312 for females. The per capita income for the city was $25,368. About 3.4% of families and 4.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.9% of those under age 18 and 6.4% of those age 65 or over.

2010 censusEdit

As of the census[18] of 2010, there were 23,770 people, 8,816 households, and 6,188 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,400.7 inhabitants per square mile (540.8/km2). There were 9,290 housing units at an average density of 547.4 per square mile (211.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 88.1% White, 2.5% African American, 0.4% Native American, 3.7% Asian, 3.4% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.5% of the population.

There were 8,816 households, of which 41.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.6% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 29.8% were non-families. 23.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.22.

The median age in the city was 33.8 years. 30% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 30.8% were from 25 to 44; 25.7% were from 45 to 64; and 6.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.8% male and 50.2% female.


Starting in 2004, the city government offered low-cost, high-speed wireless internet service for residents, businesses, and government entities throughout the community through a service called, but the program was canceled, after more than 10 years, in 2015 due to a decreasing customer base and large costs to upgrade equipment.[19] Chaska is the home of numerous industrial and manufacturing concerns. Among them are TPI Specialties, Update Ltd, Wigen Water Technologies, Beckman Coulter and Hartman Homes.

Over the years, Chaska has also been the birthplace of several well known products and companies, including Softsoap, NordicTrack,[20] and Heartland America.[21][22] One such company, My Pillow, has received significant media coverage for multiple lawsuits as well as controversial issues focusing on its founder, Mike Lindell.

Opening in December 2015,[23] the Chaska Curling Center has exceeded expectations as becoming a landmark in the city.[24] The Center has helped with not only expanding Chaska community engagement and positively impacting downtown businesses, but also bringing the city national and international recognition as well as tourism.[24] In 2016, to commemorate the start of the international Ryder Cup tournament, hosted in Chaska, the Norwegian and American Olympic teams squared off for an International Bonspiel, again bringing international eyes to the community.[25] In 2018, the Chaska Curling Center was named a USA Curling National Training Center for the United States Curling Association, which means the Curling Center is able to host national events with USA Curling, and the USA Curling High Performance Program and Development Program can use the Chaska Curling Center for practices, camps, and events.[26][27]

Top employersEdit

According to the city's 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR),[28] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Entegris Inc 1,000
2 Beckman-Coulter, Inc 925
3 ISD #112/Eastern Carver County 880
4 TEL-FSI, Inc 850
5 Carver County 700
6 The Bernard Group 646
7 Lake Region Manufacturing Co., Inc 600
8 Old National Bank 560
9 City of Chaska 509
10 Apex International, MFG 400


Chaska City Hall on City Hall Plaza

Chaska is governed through a city council/city administrator system. The council consists of four council members, each representing the residents of a ward that contains approximately 25% of the population of the community, and a mayor who is elected at large. Each council member serves a four-year term, while the mayor is elected for a two-year term. The city council formulates city policy and the city administrator and staff are responsible for city administration. In 2019, the mayor was Mark Windschitl, and the council members were: Jon Grau (Ward I), Taylor Hubbard (Ward II), McKayla Hatfield (Ward III), and Mike Huang (Ward IV).

Chaska is located in Minnesota's 3rd congressional district, represented by Dean Phillips, a Democrat.

In State Government, Chaska is represented by Greg Boe, State Representative for District 47-B, and Julia Coleman, State Senator for District 47.


Chaska city vote
by party in presidential elections[29]
Year Democratic Republican Third Parties
2020 53.19% 8,476 44.27% 7,054 2.54% 404
2016 43.53% 5,827 46.14% 6,176 10.32% 1,382
2012 44.96% 5,727 52.80% 6,726 2.25% 286
2008 46.96% 5,598 51.35% 6,122 1.69% 202
2004 41.10% 4,416 57.82% 6,212 1.08% 116
2000 40.45% 3,121 53.29% 4,111 6.26% 483

After circa 1995 Republicans won presidential elections in the city. In the 2016 United States presidential election in Minnesota, Donald Trump won the city by three points. In the 2020 United States presidential election in Minnesota, turnout increased from 2016 and Democrat Joe Biden won the city by nine points.[30]


Children attend the Eastern Carver County School District (public). The school district used to be called District 112, but the name was changed when the district expanded. Elementary schools located in Chaska include Clover Ridge Elementary, Jonathan Elementary, and La Academia Spanish Immersion. The District 112 middle schools, all of which are in Chaska, are Chaska Middle School East, Chaska Middle School West, and Pioneer Ridge Middle School. Chaska High School and Chanhassen High School are the district's two high schools. Southwest Christian High School, which is a private high school, is also in Chaska. Several private grade schools are also in town, including St. John's Lutheran Church and School, and Guardian Angels Catholic School.

Popular cultureEdit

In the 1996 film Fargo, written by Minnesota's own Joel and Ethan Coen, Chaska was represented by two of the supporting characters, real-life Tony Denman (who played Scotty Lundegaard), a Chanhassen native, attended Chaska High School, and a young prostitute (played by Larissa Kokernot) who claimed not only to have serviced Carl Showalter (played by Steve Buscemi), but also to be from Chaska, Minnesota.

Chaska was also featured in the film Drop Dead Gorgeous. The scene in the furniture store takes place at the old Schniedermen's Furniture store in downtown Chaska. The building has since become a fitness center and was razed in 2018 to make way for a small strip mall.[31][32]

Hank Snow refers to Chaska in his popular song "I've Been Everywhere" as a place he has visited.

Cheryl Strayed briefly lived in Chaska during her early life, and mentions so in her popular book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Chaska is also home of the "World's Largest" 3D printed "Mustache" found at 516 N Pine St.[33][34] in downtown Chaska. The mustache is nearly 12 feet wide and took over 300 hours to print.[35] Previously a bright red, the mustache was painted purple as the first contribution to the “painting the county purple” public art project honoring Prince.[36]

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "City of Chaska Minnesota". City of Chaska Minnesota Minnesota. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
  2. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "Minnesota Pronunciation Guide". Associated Press. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved July 4, 2011.
  5. ^ Jen. "Visit Downtown Chaska, MN". Downtown Chaska. Retrieved 2022-04-01.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "History". City of Chaska, MN. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Swanson, Tracy; Oberski, Lisa. "Chaska". Carver County Historical Society. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  8. ^ "MONEY Magazine: Best places to live 2007: Top 100". CNN.
  9. ^ "Best Place to Live:Top 100". CNN/Money Magazine. 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-16.
  10. ^ "An Event Like No Other: 1927-Present". Ryder Cup. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  11. ^ Olson, Mark (March 26, 2018). "Ryder Cup is returning to Chaska ... in 2028". SW News Media. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  12. ^ PGA of America (March 26, 2018). "PGA Of America Announces 2028 Ryder Cup To Hazeltine With Help From The US Curling Team". Ryder Cup. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  13. ^ PGA of America (April 10, 2018). "Hazeltine National Golf Club To Host Its Second Ryder Cup In 2028". Ryder Cup. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  14. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
  15. ^ "" Retrieved 2012-03-20
  16. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  17. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  18. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
  19. ^ Feyder, Susan (December 16, 2014). "Chaska powers down as an Internet provider". Star Tribune. Star Tribune. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  20. ^ "NordicTrack History". Funding Universe. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  21. ^ "Google Maps". Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  22. ^ "Heartland America". Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  23. ^ "Welcome to the Chaska Curling Center". Chaska Curling Center. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  24. ^ a b Scoggins, Chip (February 2, 2016). "Popularity of Chaska curling club has blown away expectations". Star Tribune. Star Tribune. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  25. ^ Chhith, Alex (September 28, 2016). "International spotlight on Chaska's curling". SW News Media. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  26. ^ "Chaska Curling Center Named National Training Center for USA Curling". Around the Rings. January 2, 2019. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  27. ^ DeCandido, Marisa (January 3, 2019). "Chaska Curling Center to serve as USA Curling National Training Center". Kare 11. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  28. ^ "City of Chaska 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report". City of Chaska, MN. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  29. ^ "Election Results".
  30. ^ Eligon, John (2020-11-16). "How a Minneapolis Suburb Turned Blue, Despite Trump's Law-and-Order Pitch". The New York Times. Retrieved 2020-12-15.
  31. ^ "Downtown look is going to change in a big way". SW News Media. SW News Media. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  32. ^ "Dunkin' Donuts building going up". SW News Media. SW News Media. Retrieved 23 January 2021.
  33. ^ "World's Largest Mustache Facebook". Facebook. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  34. ^ "World's Largest Mustache". Archived from the original on 2017-03-23. Retrieved 2017-03-22.
  35. ^ "Largest mustache: Minnesota breaks Guinness World Records record". World Record Academy. October 22, 2015. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
  36. ^ Olson, Mark (May 18, 2021). "Painting the county purple". Retrieved May 20, 2021.

External linksEdit