Counties in Minnesota with the most pre-war homes

Written by:
June 22, 2022
Jet Lowe // Wikimedia Commons

Counties in Minnesota with the most pre-war homes

Pre-war homes—those built before 1939—are architectural gems. They are sturdy, charming, and often what people are referring to when they look at the prevalent colorless, linear designs of today and lament “they just don’t make them like they used to.”

In some ways, that’s a good thing. Pre-war homes often contained materials we know to be hazardous today, like asbestos and lead. But their signature characteristics, including hardwood floors, nickel accents, ornate crown molding, and high ceilings, are among the features many people look for in a dream home.

Preserving the history of these properties, many of which you’ll find on the National Register of Historic Places, is labor that often extends beyond the scope of an individual homeowner. Depending on where these homes are located, special permission by local historic commissions may be required before renovations can be done in an effort to preserve their historic architectural integrity.

Stacker compiled a list of counties in Minnesota with the most pre-war homes using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the highest percent of homes that were built before 1939 based on 2020 5-year estimates.

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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Waseca County

- Homes built before 1939: 25.4%
- Homes built since 2000: 11.6%
- Median year built: 1969
- Total homes: 7,933
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Mulad // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Ramsey County

- Homes built before 1939: 25.7%
- Homes built since 2000: 9.5%
- Median year built: 1964
- Total homes: 221,092
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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Houston County

- Homes built before 1939: 25.9%
- Homes built since 2000: 13.1%
- Median year built: 1970
- Total homes: 8,762
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Darb02 // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Mower County

- Homes built before 1939: 26.1%
- Homes built since 2000: 11.0%
- Median year built: 1956
- Total homes: 17,100
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Chippewa County

- Homes built before 1939: 26.6%
- Homes built since 2000: 8.9%
- Median year built: 1958
- Total homes: 5,681

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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Freeborn County

- Homes built before 1939: 27.0%
- Homes built since 2000: 8.6%
- Median year built: 1959
- Total homes: 14,371
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Gobonobo // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Grant County

- Homes built before 1939: 27.4%
- Homes built since 2000: 15.9%
- Median year built: 1970
- Total homes: 3,308
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Murray County

- Homes built before 1939: 28.0%
- Homes built since 2000: 11.6%
- Median year built: 1964
- Total homes: 4,657
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Canva

#22. St. Louis County

- Homes built before 1939: 28.6%
- Homes built since 2000: 12.4%
- Median year built: 1962
- Total homes: 105,010
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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Pipestone County

- Homes built before 1939: 28.6%
- Homes built since 2000: 9.0%
- Median year built: 1960
- Total homes: 4,491

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Bobak Ha'Eri // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Swift County

- Homes built before 1939: 28.8%
- Homes built since 2000: 9.5%
- Median year built: 1958
- Total homes: 4,830
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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Red Lake County

- Homes built before 1939: 29.0%
- Homes built since 2000: 13.1%
- Median year built: 1969
- Total homes: 1,940
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Rock County

- Homes built before 1939: 29.6%
- Homes built since 2000: 10.9%
- Median year built: 1958
- Total homes: 4,296
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David Daniel // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Cottonwood County

- Homes built before 1939: 29.6%
- Homes built since 2000: 6.7%
- Median year built: 1957
- Total homes: 5,418
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Mathieu Nicklay // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Norman County

- Homes built before 1939: 29.8%
- Homes built since 2000: 8.7%
- Median year built: 1962
- Total homes: 3,434

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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Big Stone County

- Homes built before 1939: 30.1%
- Homes built since 2000: 8.9%
- Median year built: 1960
- Total homes: 3,124
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Winona County

- Homes built before 1939: 30.3%
- Homes built since 2000: 15.0%
- Median year built: 1971
- Total homes: 21,258
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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Lincoln County

- Homes built before 1939: 30.5%
- Homes built since 2000: 11.7%
- Median year built: 1963
- Total homes: 3,150
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Elkman // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Sibley County

- Homes built before 1939: 31.0%
- Homes built since 2000: 12.9%
- Median year built: 1962
- Total homes: 6,606
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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Martin County

- Homes built before 1939: 31.3%
- Homes built since 2000: 7.6%
- Median year built: 1956
- Total homes: 9,953

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Bobak Ha'Eri // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Brown County

- Homes built before 1939: 31.3%
- Homes built since 2000: 10.7%
- Median year built: 1960
- Total homes: 11,750
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Traverse County

- Homes built before 1939: 32.2%
- Homes built since 2000: 9.7%
- Median year built: 1960
- Total homes: 2,091
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Redwood County

- Homes built before 1939: 32.4%
- Homes built since 2000: 8.1%
- Median year built: 1957
- Total homes: 7,344
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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Jackson County

- Homes built before 1939: 34.1%
- Homes built since 2000: 7.7%
- Median year built: 1957
- Total homes: 5,068
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Fillmore County

- Homes built before 1939: 34.9%
- Homes built since 2000: 18.4%
- Median year built: 1963
- Total homes: 10,002

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Jatakuck // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Watonwan County

- Homes built before 1939: 35.9%
- Homes built since 2000: 8.5%
- Median year built: 1955
- Total homes: 5,054
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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Yellow Medicine County

- Homes built before 1939: 36.3%
- Homes built since 2000: 7.1%
- Median year built: 1955
- Total homes: 4,763
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Tony Webster // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Renville County

- Homes built before 1939: 37.1%
- Homes built since 2000: 7.9%
- Median year built: 1956
- Total homes: 7,334
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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Faribault County

- Homes built before 1939: 37.1%
- Homes built since 2000: 4.6%
- Median year built: 1952
- Total homes: 7,034
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Jet Lowe // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Lac qui Parle County

- Homes built before 1939: 40.7%
- Homes built since 2000: 5.5%
- Median year built: 1950
- Total homes: 3,680

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