A Colorful Town Located on an Island in the Mississippi River
Hager City, located on an island in the Mississippi River, is surrounded by channels and backwaters. Its origins are with the railroad. The town itself was founded by the Chicago, Burlington & Northern Railroad in 1886. The advent of the railroad in the late 1800s brought a sharp decrease in riverboat traffic as rail replaced boats and barges as the main form of transportation along the river.
The most well-known feature of Hager City is known as the Bow & Arrow formation. Just east of Hager City, you’ll see a set of boulders that the first people to survey the area thought resembled a large bow strung with an arrow and aimed at Lake Pepin. There is an historic marker located along the road that gives details about the rock formation. The rock formation was a well-known landmark and would have been a point of reference for travelers along the Mississippi River for thousands of years.
Houseboats and marinas make Hager City a community on the water. With its many places to hide Hager City has a history of bootlegging during prohibition and even the rumor that Jesse and Frank James hid out here for two weeks after the Northfield raid, as well as vistors such as Al Capone, John Dilinger and Pretty Boy Floyd.