As part of southeastern Minnesota, the county is in the “Driftless Zone,” which is marked by the absence of glacial drift and presence of bedrock cut by streams into steep hills. The plateau that surrounds Caledonia includes flat, fertile farm land and hilly, verdant pasture land.
|Figure 10. Mississippi transportation, undated.|
|Figure 11. Mississippi ferry at Redwing, about 1900.|
|Figure 12. Harvesting flax.|
 The town of Caledonia has grown steadily, although slowly. La Crescent growth began only in the middle of the 20th Century, and its growth has been the driver of county growth since then. Of the other villages and townships, only Spring Grove village, Houston village, and La Crescent township have 1000 residents or more. The remaining 19 villages and townships have not grown much beyond populations of 500 each.
|Figure 13. Root river in Houston county.|
The southwestern two-thirds of the county populate the rolling plateau above the Mississippi. Caledonia (population 2,868) sits in the center. The other towns on the plateau are Yucatan (unincorporated, township population 351), Sheldon (unincorporated, township population 289), Black Hammer (unincorporated, township population 326), Riceford (unincorporated), Newhouse (unincorporated), Spring Grove (population 1,330 and Spring Grove township population 422), Wilmington (unincorporated, township population 472), Eitzen (population 243 and Winnebago township population 257), and Freeburg (unincorporated, Crooked Creek township population 323).
|Figure 14. Map of Caledonia, 2001.|
|Figure 15. Caledonia downtown, 1907.|
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