Mankato native’s ‘One Minute Tours’ go viral on TikTok

A Mankato native has gained thousands of followers on TikTok by giving one-minute tours to his followers.
Published: May. 24, 2022 at 11:17 PM CDT|Updated: May. 24, 2022 at 11:22 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - John O’Sullivan has traveled the world. Now, he’s back home giving tours that teach people about the rich history of the areas he knows so well in Minnesota. It all started right here in Mankato.

“Minnesotans are humble Scandinavian people,” O’Sullivan said. “We are a people that do not like to talk about themselves, and that means, sometimes, we do not appreciate all the time the incredible history we have here”

O’Sullivan has amassed a following on social media with his one-minute tours. His TikTok, One Minute Tours, has gained more than 12,000 followers in just a few short months. He finds little interesting details everywhere he goes.

So what can you tell me about our big classic Coca-Cola sign that we have here?

“This is a ghost sign,” O’Sullivan said. “A ghost sign is a sign advertising a product that may not exist anymore, or it reflects a time where the building was in a different period of history and the way we know it’s a ghost sign is, sold everywhere 5 cents and if Coca-Cola was sold for 5 cents I would be happy.”

O’Sullivan traveled abroad, working in Australia as a tour guide, before returning home in November. He now lives in St. Paul, a city with lots of rich history, but it’s his connection to Minnesota that drives his tours.

“We come from a state that is filled with the most fascinating history from pre-colonial times all the way from the Scandinavian immigrants even more recently with the Hmong and Somali people here, we have so many amazing stories here,” O’Sullivan said.

O’Sullivan is hoping his account continues to reach more history buffs or those interested in the information regarding the land of 10,000 lakes and beyond. Taking lessons from our history into the future.

“We are a place that has always welcomed outsiders, and it is an interesting lesson as we look forward into the future about this feeling of hospitality that I think Minnesotans have, I think that if we look at our past we can pretty well predict what the future holds for us of being a welcoming place in the future,” O’Sullivan said.

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