This 1873 Novel’s Location Was Based On This Rice Co. City
Rice County is rich in Minnesota history, but did you know it also has its place in literary history? Cannon City is the real-life town that the 1873 novel 'The Mystery of Metropolisville' written by historian and novelist Edward Eggleston was set in.
You may have never heard of the novel 'The Mystery of Metropolisville' before and that's ok. The book is about the real struggle that rural towns dealt with in regards to handling whether or not the railroad was going to stop there. The story deals with the fictional town based on Cannon City located just 5 miles from Faribault dealing with the fact that the railroad was not going to be stopping in town.
In the book, Eggleston wrote that "Metropolisville is only a memory now. The collapse of the land bubble and the opening of railroads destroyed it. Most of the buildings were removed to a neighboring railway station."
It was a real fear for towns that their very existence was hanging in the balance if the railroad failed to build a station there. But regardless of a railroad stop Cannon City is still in existence but maybe not as big as it could have been had the railroad stopped there.
To learn more about Rice County's history you should stop by the Rice County Historical Society.