My hometown’s first city website

Nov. 8, 2019
by Mark Ollig

While serving on the Winsted City Council, Nov. 4, 1997, I presented to Mayor Don Guggemos and city council members the final proposal for a City of Winsted website.

Council Member Gary Lenz motioned to proceed with establishing the website, and Council Member Bob Kegler seconded. The motion was unanimously carried.

In this week’s column, I include parts of the “City of Winsted on the World Wide Web” article I wrote Nov. 10, 1997, which begins as follows:

At last! The city of Winsted is a part of cyberspace!

Winsted is now officially on the Internet for the entire world to see.

Bookmark this URL address into your Netscape 3.0 or compatible web browser: http://www.winsted.mn.us.

Visitors are welcomed to the new website with a recognizable view of the city taken from the east side of Winsted Lake.

The city website contains many webpages of information and services Winsted offers to its citizens, and is an excellent resource for others wanting to know more about the city.

The webpages are well-organized and easy to navigate using hyperlinks for opening reference sources with the click of a mouse.

The city website includes official city notices, meeting agendas and times, community information, and many color photographs.

City services and policies, along with aerial maps and directions, complement this website.

Use your computer mouse to click the What’s Happening webpage to see a list of current city projects, such as 157 housing units to be built for the ‘Winsted on the Lake’ project.

Local community pictures of interest are on the website’s Photo Gallery webpage.

The Parks and Recreation webpage includes information on Mill Reserve Park, Southview Park, Westgate Park, Hainlin Park, Northgate Park, the Luce Line Trail, and city athletic facilities. A map showing their locations is on the webpage.

A picture of Winsted taken from the air presents how the city looked when viewed looking north, where it appears similar to the shape of Minnesota. Winsted Lake borders the town on the northeast side, comparable to how Lake Superior borders our state.

Another photo shows the historic Winsted City Hall building, which is currently unoccupied due to its present physical condition. The Lake Mary brick building served the community well over the years and still visually retains its rich history.

Other photos include picturesque sunrise and sunsets over Winsted Lake.

The new city website lists city meeting schedules, notices, and special announcements.

A Who’s Who webpage lists the names, telephone numbers, and addresses of the federal, state, county, and locally-elected officials serving on various commissions, committees, departments, councils, associations, and other organizations.

The Services and Policies webpage contains a wealth of information. From building permit requirements, dog licenses, utilities serving the city, local regulations, and more – you will find them all here.

The Community Info webpage provides a hyperlink to the Winsted Guidebook, which contains a list of local businesses and industries.

Data about the Winsted Airport is accessible using its hyperlink from the home page of the city website.

The Maps & Directions webpage provides an interactive Minnesota map with driving directions and street information for the city.

Out-of-town visitors can check the city website for driving directions from the north, south, east, and west.

The City of Winsted website is an online informational resource that will continue to grow and expand in its offerings and services via input from local citizens and city officials.

Having established a city website on the Internet is another first for our hometown.

I have no doubt; we will soon see many local organizations and businesses creating Internet websites.

City residents can now use a local telephone number for accessing the Internet via dial-up. I encourage folks to install a modem on their computer, get online, and explore this new and exciting virtual community.

Be sure your Internet web browser travels include a visit to Winsted’s new website. Don’t forget to leave an email message with your comments and suggestions.

When sending emails over the Internet, you can promote your hometown by including the link to your city website.

The 1997 article ended with: “Winsted; welcome to the World Wide Web of the Internet.”

I hope you enjoyed the “City of Winsted on the World Wide Web” article brought out from the Bits & Bytes column vault. Note, I did exercise a few “author liberties” in making minor additions and corrections.

The Internet Archive’s “Wayback Machine” is a continuously growing digital library. It currently stores many of the images and webpages from the Winsted city website as it appeared Dec. 1, 1998. Use this shortened link to view it: https://bit.ly/2NH5Bdv.

If you are into research, visit the Wayback Machine’s website at https://web.archive.org, where you will find a historical treasure trove of information contained on more than 387 billion website pages it has so far collected.

The Winsted City Council minutes from Nov. 4, 1997, is located at https://bit.ly/32o1DM0.

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