Driving through Dassel, Minnesota it’s hard to miss the small, white, cylindrical building with a maroon, half-sphere roof. The building stands in contrast to the modest homes, grocery stores, and churches it neighbors, yet somehow seems to belong in this Minnesota city, where the population is just under 1,500.
The building, now lovingly referred to by Dassel citizens as “the Mushroom Building,” was built in 1931 as a gas station, but has lived more lives than one. Over the years, the Mushroom Building has adapted to the needs of the Dassel community, serving also as a dentist’s and a realtor’s office.
The Mushroom Building, which has been restored by the Dassel Area Historical Society (DAHS) and community volunteers, now serves as a cultural hub where one evening per week during the summer there is live entertainment ranging from local musical groups to dancers to theater troupes. Snacks are also served, and the brownie sundae comes with the highest of recommendations from locals.
Tangible evidence of the Mushroom Building’s past lives remains scarce, although the red Mobil gas pump parked outside is hard to miss, now serving decorative and nostalgic purposes only. Still, the history of the entire community is palpable when standing inside the fungi-shaped nucleus of Dassel on a sunny summer day.
Know Before You Go
Located on the corner of 1st Street and Parker Ave. East Dassel, Minnesota. Hours of operation change frequently.