The Dakota Sioux were the first inhabitants of the Eagan area along the upper Mississippi. They had been driven from their traditional homeland and were attracted to the nearby trading posts. European interest in the area came primarily from France and Spain, but the United States eventually acquired the land as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. It wasn't until 1851, after the Sioux moved further west, that Eagan and the rest of southern Minnesota were opened to westward expansion. Settlers then came from Ireland, Germany, Canada and the eastern part of the U.S. Most were farmers who made agriculture the area's main industry. Eagan's famous onion production began in the late 19th century and lasted through approximately 1930, when it was halted due to poor harvests and competition.
Once modern highways were built, Eagan gradually transformed itself from a farming community into a suburban area replete with cultural and recreational appeal, quality commercial and industrial development and outstanding education. The city of Eagan is served by Independent school districts 191, 196 and 197. Eagan's several elementary schools boast a favorable student-teacher ratio of 25:1. Secondary school class sizes are slightly larger and SAT scores are much higher than the national average.
Eagan provides plenty of attractions for the whole family to enjoy. The city is home to the Cascade Bay outdoor water park, the Grand Slam USA indoor amusement park, a pioneer heritage village called Dakota City, and the Scherer Flower Garden (offering nature trails and picnic areas). Local annual events include the Eagan Art Festival, the Lone Oak Days heritage celebration and December's Candy Cane Corral. Of course, the nearby Twin Cities offer an array of exciting attractions, from the Minnesota Zoo to the Baseball Museum to the Science Museum and Omnitheater. Popular area professional sports teams include the NBA's Timberwolves, MLB's Twins, NFL's Vikings and NHL's Wild.
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