Surprise! There’s A Cold War Missile Site An Hour from Rochester
Right in the middle of Dakota county, farm fields will be full of growing crops, and right across the dusty road is a former missile site in use starting in 1959 to protect Minnesota's Twin Cities during the cold war.
Over 150 people lived and worked at the base, an unassuming collection of boring-looking buildings, three large radars, and, underneath the surface, missiles ready to be launched at whatever might attack us.
How many missiles? No idea, that's still classified.
The 31-foot tall missiles, stored in a cavernous underground area, were kept at the ready until 1972 when the site was decommissioned. According to the Library of Congress, "Nike Battery MS-40, in Farmington Minnesota, is the best-preserved Nike installation in Minnesota." (All black and white photos also from the Library of Congress)
The current owners turned the administration building into their home (very modern looking, check out the video above) and hope to open a cooking school there.
What Is That Video Down There?
According to the description, "This 1960 color public relations film by the U.S. Army is to educate the public on the benefits of having the Nike-Hercules (MIM-14) surface-to-air missile system as protection against nuclear attack."
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100 Years of Military History
While the story is about one particular Minnesota spot with military history, the gallery below is chock-full-o great history.