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.

Building 154 missile assembly building Photos from Survey HAER MN-100 service-pnp-habshaer-mn-mn0500-mn0595-photos-197870pv
Building 154 missile assembly building Photos from Survey HAER MN-100 Library of Congress, link in story.
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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)

Overall view of entry to launch pad from inside gate with building 157 sentry control box on right, looking northeast Photos from Survey HAER MN- COPY
Overall view of entry to launchpad from inside gate with building 157 sentry control box on right, looking northeast Photos from Survey HAER MN-  Library of Congress link in story.
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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.

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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."

As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know: james.rabe@townsquaremedia.com

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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.

LOOK: 100 years of American military history

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