It’s all right here in Sleepy Eye…from specialty shops and crafts to groceries, gifts and fine furniture. But Sleepy Eye is even more. We’re home to service people, craftsman and professionals due to our quality of life, first rate education and profitable business opportunities. You get professional care at home town prices. It’s all right here in Sleepy Eye!
Sleepy Eye was established in 1872 when the railroad came through. The village was named for the beautiful lake which borders on the north and west. The lake had been named for the chief of a band of Sisseton Dakota, “ISH-TAK-HA-BA”, or Chief Sleepy Eye, friend to all men. His bones lie beneath the granite obelisk monument erected in his honor, which stands beside the historic railroad depot. The restored depot is home to a museum operated by the local historical society.
White settlers began a community in this Indian Territory around 1860. During the Indian War of 1862, the major battles were fought at FortRidgely, just 10 miles north of Sleepy Eye. The InterpretiveCenter at FortRidgely houses displays and provides a slide program that explains the history of the site.
From 1883 until 1921 the flour mill at Sleepy Eye drew many people to the area. The promotional items given away by the mill have become a favorite of collectors who frequent many of the area auctions. The “Old Sleepy Eye Collectors Club” has over 1000 members nationally.
Sleepy Eye is located in the rich agricultural heartland of our country and supports numerous agribusinesses. Several industries are located in Sleepy Eye, including the nation’s largest manufacturer of specialty advertising calendars. The service and retail businesses that serve the community offer a wide variety of shopping experiences. You will find several specialty shops featuring gifts, crafts, souvenirs and antiques. Are you hungry?...Sleepy Eye visitors may enjoy excellent eateries of all types – fast food chains, old-fashioned family cafes and fine dining restaurants.
SleepyEyeLake lies within the city and boasts two swimming beaches, two parks containing playgrounds and picnic shelters, a boat landing and inexpensive campsites. There are several other parks in Sleepy Eye with shelters and playgrounds.
The new “Linus” statue can be seen from highway 14 as you drive by the Dyckman Library. This statue pays tribute to a Sleepy Eye native, Linus Maurer, and is the newest in our collection of attractions. Just blocks from highway 14 you can also visit the ChiefSleepyEyeMonument, the SleepyEyeDepotMuseum, and the Chief Sleepy Eye Statue.
Visitors are welcome at several special events in Sleepy Eye. An old-fashioned 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION is an annual event along with fireworks over the lake. On the third Friday in August we hold BUTTERED CORN DAYS. Steamed corn is dipped in tubs of butter for a gigantic FREE corn feast. The festivities continue on through Saturday with a waffle feed, coed volleyball tournament and a parade. The last Sunday in September thousands of people gather for the GREAT GRASSROOTS GATHERING, a flea market and craft show.
For more information, please contact the Sleepy Eye Convention & Visitors Bureau at: