getting around

Weird … there is (or was) a place in Minnesota called Swastika Beach

This is quite the find by someone on Reddit, who came across an old map of Minnesota showing a place called Swastika Beach.

Dontjoshme1979 posted the map on the Minnesota subreddit, showing the unusually-named location name off of Highway 71, southeast of Windom.

The map is of Jackson County, and as the Redditor says, he hasn’t been able to find it on any other maps he’s seen.

There are a few references to it on search engines though, one of which is a link to a copy of a map of Jackson County dating back to 1914.

It also makes an appearance in the book Minnesota Place Names: A Geographical Encyclopedia, where it is described as ” a village in section 5 of Christiania Township, on the southwest end of Fish Lake.”

The Reddit post received more than 250 comments, including one from user Dannei who said said Swastika Beach was still appearing on U.S. Geographical Survey maps in the 1950s.

And another eagle-eyed Redditor noted that the land is still referred to as Swastika Beach on a current property search.

GoMN contacted the Jackson County Historical Society, who said: “There are probably still some that call it Swastika Beach.

“Located on Fish Lake; it once was a resort with a pavilion,” they added. “The place faded away once the pavilion burned,” noting that “a couple picture postcards” from back then have survived, and that it was still mentioned on this map from 1954.

It should be noted that before the rise of the Nazi Party in 1920s and 30s Germany, the Swastika didn’t provoke the same revulsion it does today.

There’s an old auto trail in southeast Iowa called The Swastika Trail, with the state’s Department of Transportation explaining that when it was named, the symbol was recognized for “its attributes as a charm or amulet, as a sign of benediction, blessing, long life, good fortune and good luck.”

It was also a peace symbol among Native American tribes.


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