Runestone Museum Foundation

Runestone Museum Foundation Regional History Museum with audio tour stops, children's activities, movies, historical buildings and more!
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Welcome to the Runestone Museum, located in downtown Alexandria, Minnesota. We invite you to stop by and tour historic Fort Alexandria, take your picture with the country’s biggest viking, and see the world famous Kensington Runestone. For awhile you will live in the past, so walk a little slower, talk a little slower, and enjoy the exhibition on Norse history, the Native American exhibit, the Minnesota wildlife display, the display of early pioneer life, and the hands-on children’s area. Enter Fort Alexandria and visit several authentic log buildings, an 1880 country school house, and view the forty-foot viking ship, the Snorri. Experience the changing of the seasons in the display of tools and farm equipment used by an earlier generation. The Runestone Gift Shop features Minnesota and Alexandria souvenirs, viking and runestone information, books, t-shirts, viking helmets and swords, and unique gifts, which many of them are by local artists, authors, and craftsmen. Admissions Adults: $8.00 Seniors: $7.00 Student (High school or College): $5.00 Family: $20.00 Group Rates: Contact Runestone Museum

Sweet-n-Savory will be parked outside of the Runestone Museum THIS Friday the 5th from 10am-4pm. Come on buy support a l...
06/02/2020

Sweet-n-Savory will be parked outside of the Runestone Museum THIS Friday the 5th from 10am-4pm. Come on buy support a local business and pick up a delicious crepe or taco in a bag. Have a wonderful week 😁

Everyone in our museum family say a big hello to our new employee Aaron Swedberg! We are so excited to have Aaron on our...
05/26/2020

Everyone in our museum family say a big hello to our new employee Aaron Swedberg! We are so excited to have Aaron on our team here at the Runestone Museum. As you can see we got our plexiglass up today and we are hoping to open the gift shop very soon! We miss you all and can not wait to see you back in here! 😁

Look who I found walking around the Fort Alexandria, anyone remember Ole & Lena from last year?! They came back! 😁
05/22/2020

Look who I found walking around the Fort Alexandria, anyone remember Ole & Lena from last year?! They came back! 😁

05/06/2020
#MNMuseums We had planned on opening the new 4H Exhibit on April 1st when our outdoor campus opened for the season, but ...
04/27/2020

#MNMuseums We had planned on opening the new 4H Exhibit on April 1st when our outdoor campus opened for the season, but since we are still closed to the public, we'd like bring the exhibit to you this week. Douglas County 4-H moved this exhibit in last fall. Look for new photos and information all week and we'll announce the grand opening later this year!

Be sure to check out all the great online resources Minnesota History Center has! This is a picture from our Alex GLAM t...
04/26/2020

Be sure to check out all the great online resources Minnesota History Center has! This is a picture from our Alex GLAM trip down there in February to check out the new "Our Home" Exhibit and to attend the Grants Open House. GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives & Museums) group pictured: Brittany Johnson from the Douglas County Historical Society MN Kaci Johnson from the Legacy of The Lakes Museum and Amanda Seim from the Runestone Museum Foundation

#MNMuseums Although, this technically isn't a "building" wagons were often used as houses when settlers were homesteadin...
04/25/2020

#MNMuseums Although, this technically isn't a "building" wagons were often used as houses when settlers were homesteading. They would build their house or cabin around their wagon, especially when winter came early. Can you imagine living with your family in this wagon?

#MNMuseums This is our Smokehouse on campus here at the museum. Usually, a separate building like this was used to smoke...
04/24/2020

#MNMuseums This is our Smokehouse on campus here at the museum. Usually, a separate building like this was used to smoke, cure and store meat. One of our volunteers replaced the door for us last year!

#MNMuseums This historic building was used as a laundry building (notice the dowels where linens hung to dry. The other ...
04/23/2020

#MNMuseums This historic building was used as a laundry building (notice the dowels where linens hung to dry. The other pictures are from our History Live Event, where we had demonstrators interacting with visitors and doing laundry the old fashioned way!

#MNMuseums This historical building many of you may recognize...an outhouse! Before running water, many families did not...
04/22/2020

#MNMuseums This historical building many of you may recognize...an outhouse! Before running water, many families did not have indoor toilets. In fact, outhouses are still used in some campsites and at some cabins in Minnesota! When was the last time you used an outhouse and where?! Do you know why many outhouses had crescent moons carved in the door?

04/22/2020
#MNMuseums This is our Country Church in Fort Alexandria. Learn about this church as well as the role of churches in rur...
04/21/2020

#MNMuseums This is our Country Church in Fort Alexandria. Learn about this church as well as the role of churches in rural Minnesota by calling 320.345.7419 and entering 11.

Did you know that the Alexandria Downtown Merchants Association is a volunteer lead organization that the museum is a pa...
04/20/2020

Did you know that the Alexandria Downtown Merchants Association is a volunteer lead organization that the museum is a part of? One of the many things they do for the downtown area is to purchases these beautiful flower baskets every year! The city of Alexandria helps hang them and waters them throughout the season.

May is fast approaching, which means we are excited for the arrival of the flower baskets along Broadway! They help create a welcoming entrance to our amazing downtown! Although downtown might not look the same right now, it can still be beautiful!

The flower baskets, and proposed additional flowers for the planters, are sponsored and funded by the Downtown Merchants Association, community businesses, and other individuals who have helped keep the flower project going. With the fire, and now COVID-19, businesses have been hit hard. Normally, a sponsorship cost is $100 a basket, but any donations to the project this year would be greatly appreciated! #DowntownAlexMN

If you would like to donate, please send donations to:
Alexandria Downtown Merchants
Attn: Flower Baskets
P.O. Box 344
Alexandria, MN 56308

#MNMuseums The Blacksmith Shop, often referred to as a Forge, has traditionally been very important. Not only did homest...
04/20/2020

#MNMuseums The Blacksmith Shop, often referred to as a Forge, has traditionally been very important. Not only did homesteaders rely on blacksmiths--but ALL metal forging cultures relied on these talented individuals for tools (like spear points and axe heads) to survive. The last picture is from our History Live Weekend (typically held in June) where students used clay to practice basic forging skills.

#MNMuseums today's featured building is our General Store. General Stores were one of the most important buildings in ea...
04/19/2020

#MNMuseums today's featured building is our General Store. General Stores were one of the most important buildings in early setter days on the frontier. Not only did they have necessary supplies homesteaders needed, they also often acted as the community Post Office--keeping immigrants in touch with family members from overseas and back east.

#MNMuseums today's historic museum building is our Log Cabin. Originally built in 1867 by Norwegian immigrants, it's bee...
04/18/2020

#MNMuseums today's historic museum building is our Log Cabin. Originally built in 1867 by Norwegian immigrants, it's been tenderly cared for and repaired over the years by our wonderful volunteers!

#MNMuseums is focusing on historic buildings. This is the 1868 Miltona Stage Coach Stop that is part of our outdoor camp...
04/17/2020

#MNMuseums is focusing on historic buildings. This is the 1868 Miltona Stage Coach Stop that is part of our outdoor campus here at the museum. We've been working to update this exhibit (we need to replace the west wall and we're creating new panels and displays for inside), but plans have had to be put on hold for now. Original stage coach buildings are hard to come by in general, so we're very proud of this one! Originally operated by the Jerome Family, the building was donated to the museum by the Blank Family of the Miltona Golf Course.

This had to have been a tough decision to make...
04/16/2020
Minnesota History Center

This had to have been a tough decision to make...

For the continued safety of our staff and visitors, we have decided to keep our historic sites, museums, and library closed and cancel all in-person events, field trips and rentals through June 30. This is in response to ongoing concerns over maintaining recommended social distancing practices in our public locations.

MNHS will also furlough a number of staff starting May 1 through June 30. To learn more visit our website at mnhs.org/covid-19.

#MNMuseums is focusing on historic buildings. This schoolhouse was rescued and brought to the museum and is now part of ...
04/16/2020

#MNMuseums is focusing on historic buildings. This schoolhouse was rescued and brought to the museum and is now part of our outdoor campus. Our outdoor campus has nine historic buildings (guess how many of these posts we'll be doing) as well as a large agricultural building. Learn more about this schoolhouse by dialing 320.345.7419 and entering 38.

Check out another great Word Search about our Douglas County Lakes! Print it off and give your brain a little exercise.
04/15/2020

Check out another great Word Search about our Douglas County Lakes! Print it off and give your brain a little exercise.

Word Search Wednesday! We've got another one for you, and its a bit more difficult than last week - featuring 38 of the many, many Douglas County Lakes. Words may be backwards, horizontal, vertical, and diagonal. We do have a cheat sheet if you need help ;) Link to a printable PDF is in the comments. Enjoy!

Fantastic!
04/13/2020

Fantastic!

Here's something a little different... Word Puzzle Wednesday! We put together a word search to help you "travel" the communities of Douglas County while many of us are at home.

We're putting together more digital content to help people stay engaged with history at home. What topics would you like to see covered?

(Printable PDF in the comments. )

Be sure to check out this Big Ole Coloring Contest! We LOVE it!
04/13/2020
Color Big Ole!

Be sure to check out this Big Ole Coloring Contest! We LOVE it!

#MnMuseumAlphabet 'Z' is for Zipper! Zippers are not easy to come by in our museum--but we found one! This zipper is fro...
04/13/2020

#MnMuseumAlphabet 'Z' is for Zipper! Zippers are not easy to come by in our museum--but we found one! This zipper is from a WWII paratrooper suit we have hiding in our collection room. The suit, along with a silk parachute, was donated to the museum in 2017.

#MnMuseumAlphabet 'Y' is for 'Yoke' This is a Dakota beaded yoke from our clothing collection. Yokes are still used in t...
04/12/2020

#MnMuseumAlphabet 'Y' is for 'Yoke' This is a Dakota beaded yoke from our clothing collection. Yokes are still used in today's fashions--traditionally fitting around the shoulders or the hips. To learn more about bead work and stitching from one of our exhibits, dial 320.345.7419 and enter '37'

#MnMuseumAlphabet 'X' is for X-Ray. Did you know that we have a medical exhibit? In that exhibit is an "X-Ray Project" t...
04/11/2020

#MnMuseumAlphabet 'X' is for X-Ray. Did you know that we have a medical exhibit? In that exhibit is an "X-Ray Project" that visitors can do. Follow these easy steps to make your own x-rays or negative x-rays at home!
1. You will need paper, a glue stick, cotton swabs and a crayon, chalk, marker, etc.
2. Trace your hand and part of your forearm onto the paper
3. Using the glue stick and cotton swabs, attach your "bones" to your tracing
4. Have fun and get creative--post your creations below!

#MnMuseumAlphabet 'W' is for 'War Ration Book' These belonged to Loren Erickson who grew up here in Alexandria, they wer...
04/10/2020

#MnMuseumAlphabet 'W' is for 'War Ration Book' These belonged to Loren Erickson who grew up here in Alexandria, they were used during World War II. To learn more, dial 320.345.7419 and enter '111'

#MnMuseumAlphabet 'V' is for Viking! Big Ole, currently our only physically accessible artifact--stands proud in Big Ole...
04/09/2020

#MnMuseumAlphabet 'V' is for Viking! Big Ole, currently our only physically accessible artifact--stands proud in Big Ole Park on North Broadway. Visit Big Ole and post YOUR pictures below!

#MnMuseumAlphabet Shhhh...we've got a secret...promise not to tell? 'U' is for Undergarments. This is a lovely collectio...
04/08/2020

#MnMuseumAlphabet Shhhh...we've got a secret...promise not to tell?
'U' is for Undergarments.
This is a lovely collection of historical undergarments donated by the Andria Theatre in 2019. Do any of you remember wearing something similar to these? Or knowing someone who did?

#MnMuseumAlphabet 'T' is for Turtle Amulet. Many Great Plains Nations, used these turtle amulet pouches for something ve...
04/07/2020

#MnMuseumAlphabet 'T' is for Turtle Amulet. Many Great Plains Nations, used these turtle amulet pouches for something very special associated with infants. To find out what that special something is, dial 320.345.7419 and enter 30. #MNLocalHistory #MNMuseums #OneMinnesota

04/06/2020
'S' is for Spotty the Dog

'S' is for Spotty the Dog. Dial 320.345.7419 and enter '18' to learn more about Spotty the Dog!

'R' is for Rune Stone. Do you know the story?In 1898, farmer Olof Ohman found a stone in the roots of an aspen tree. It ...
04/05/2020

'R' is for Rune Stone.
Do you know the story?
In 1898, farmer Olof Ohman found a stone in the roots of an aspen tree. It was 31" X 16" X 6" and weighed 202lbs. On the stone were Nordic runes with the date 1362.
The stone became known as the Kensington Rune Stone. Since its discovery, there has been controversy surrounding the stone's authenticity.
The only confirmed Norse site in North America is in Newfoundland and dates to about CE 1000. Archaeological studies suggest the site at L'Anse aux Meadows served as a based and winter camp for expeditions to the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Hudson Bay.
Around 1355, King Magnus Erickson sent an expedition to Greenland. They discovered the settlement had immigrated to the mainland.
Vikings and Norse explorers traversed thousands of miles all across the globe. We know they were in Baghdad (5,600 km from Norway). Could Norse explorers have made their way to Minnesota (6,200 km from Norway)?

We provide the chalk--you provide the positive messages--thank you! And thank you to Helping Hands Of Alexandria, MN for...
04/04/2020

We provide the chalk--you provide the positive messages--thank you! And thank you to Helping Hands Of Alexandria, MN for starting this fantastic movement!

'Q" is for questions--these are the top 4 questions we get asked at the museum every year. What are some questions YOU h...
04/04/2020

'Q" is for questions--these are the top 4 questions we get asked at the museum every year. What are some questions YOU have? Write them below and we'll make a post addressing them!

Address

206 Broadway St
Alexandria, MN
56308

Near the Central Lakes Bike Trail

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As a long time researcher of the KRS I support the authenticity of the stone, however my recent study with support from THOR (The Hunters of Ohio Rock) group have found many issues related to the stone that should be included in the academic research in the future. Attached is an updated link to the 3D or panoramic view of the KRS. If you are interested in the new facts that needs consideration in future study of the stone please contact me by email ([email protected]). Please confirm your name if you wish a reply.
Angels McGregor provides important services for senior citizens in the McGregor Minnesota area!!
Little Big Ole with the Little Big Snow ;)
Wow! What am amazing town! SKOL Michelle McDougald Weller
Big Ole had a grand time in Alaska!!
Thanks for showing us around. Loved the kids area.
Hello faithful Minnesotans! Our 7th episode of Minnesota Mysteries is on the origins of the Kensington Runestone! If you like Vikings, Minnesota history, or cryptically engraved runestones, then give us a listen!
Disappointed when we stopped by Sat afternoon to view Parade of Trees....did not know it was only open one night. Hasn't it been open longer other years?
Full size Red River Cart. Museum quality replica. One just like it is at the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul. For Sale.
Casting Season 10 of “Alt for Norge”. Open Casting Call in Minneapolis on Sat. Nov. 3rd. All info here:
Casting Season 10 of “Alt for Norge”. Open Casting Call in Minneapolis on Sat. Nov. 3rd. All info here:
Todays Thursday Sept 27th Leif Erickson History and settlement North America “The possible new Point Rosee Vinland site has NOT BEEN CONFIRMED, sorry Vinland fans!” OCTOBER 9th IS FAST APPROACHING “LEIF ERICKSON DAY” Leif Erikson Day is a observance and not a federal public holiday in the United States. Norwegians across North America put out their flags for the observance and hold celebrations. Leif Erikson Day doesn’t get as much recognition because it’s overshadowed by Monday’s Columbus Day—which, unlike Erikson’s day, is a federal holiday, meaning government employees get off work, as do many students and private-sector workers. In 1929 the Wisconsin Legislature passed a bill to declare it Leif Erikson Day and in 1964 the US Congress authorised and requested the President to proclaim each year that October 9th be Leif Erikson day, but. More in depth article about the day: https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/10/151011-columbus-day-leif-erikson-italian-americans-holiday-history/ Leif Erikson is the common English spelling, the surname can also be spelled Ericson. In Norway, it's much more common to see the Norwegian variant Leiv Eiriksson, or even the Norse variant Leifr Eiríksson. HERE’S TODAYS LEIF ERICKSSON ARTICLE The possible new Point Rosee Vinland site has not been confirmed, sorry Vinland fans!” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point_Rosee In a November 8, 2017 report, that was submitted to the Provincial Archaeology Office in St. John's, Newfoundland, wrote that they "found no evidence whatsoever for either a Norse presence or human activity at Point Rosee prior to the historic period" and that "None of the team members, including the Norse specialists, deemed this area as having any traces of human activity." No one has applied for any new archaeological permits to excavate at Point Rosee since 2016. For a more in depth article why post Rosee it has been ruled out as a viking settlement. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point_Rosee Here’s the video that got everyone excited a few years back about the Rosee site. Since then it has proven to be a false lead for a settlemeant. “Another possible new Viking Site in Canada - Post Rosee” Video 12:27 Archeologists are exploring a possible Viking site in Point Rosee, Newfoundland. It was originally spotted with the help of satellite technology. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAOVRhfJQ2A In the video hope was the site was where Vikings mined bog iron. Article: “Thor loser: Vikings likely didn’t live on south coast of Newfoundland, study finds” https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/05/31/thor-loser-vikings-likely-didnt-live-on-south-coast-of-newfoundland-study-finds.html Article: “Archaeology report confirms no evidence of Norse presence at Point Rosee in southwestern Newfoundland” http://www.northernpen.ca/news/archaeology-report-confirms-no-evidence-of-norse-presence-at-point-rosee-in-southwestern-newfoundland-214092/ Now a third site Article: “Mystical Viking settlement - home to wild grapes and lots of salmon - is in Canada's New Brunswick, claims top archaeologist” https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5474113/Viking-settlement-Hop-New-Brunswick-claims-archaeologist.html