Cannon Falls, at the junction of the Big Cannon and Little Cannon Rivers, was settled in 1854. American Indians and traders hid their canoes here, away from the busier Mississippi. French traders called the hiding spot "Riviere aux Canots," meaning River of Canoes. Easterners mistook "canots" for "cannon."

Milling was an important early industry. Today only the ruins of the Oxford Mill remain. Located on private property 2 miles south of Hwy. 19 on Oxford Mill Road, the site is closed but worth the drive for a glimpse of the structure.


Cannon Falls is about 40 miles southeast of the Twin Cities. Take Hwy. 52 south to Hwy. 19, turn left and drive east a mile. A Cannon Valley Trail parking lot is just before 4th and Main Streets.


A few blocks north of downtown, Burly Coffee Cafe (1108 5th St. N.; 507-263-0905; is a favorite stop for coffee, sandwiches, salads and baked goods. Lunch is served daily, breakfast on weekends.

The Old Market Deli (331 Mill St. W.; 1-507-263-8888; features locally grown, from-scratch fare including salads, sandwiches, coffee drinks, desserts, wines and beers. For the fun of it, order an old-fashioned shake or malt.

MORE INFORMATION; 1-507-263-2289.