Douglas County Historical Society MN

Douglas County Historical Society MN We are on Twitter too! Follow us at twitter.com/dchsmn

The mission of the Douglas County Historical Society is to discover, preserve and disseminate the history of Douglas County, Minnesota. DCHS is headquartered in the historic home of Douglas County's Statesman, Sen. Knute Nelson, a two-term MN State Legislator, the State's only foreign-born Governor, and also United States Senator for 28 years. Located at 1219 Nokomis Street, Alexandria, MN, visitors enjoy selected exhibits as well as a public history and genealogy research center. The Douglas County Historical Society has a wealth of information about the county’s history with resources for individuals, families, businesses, organizations, schools, churches and more. It is also a warm and welcoming environment for special events and small group gatherings. The Douglas County Historical Society (DCHS) is a non-profit organization which relies on your donations to support programs, preservation, research and Knute Nelson's Historic House and Spruce Hill Church.

Map Monday strikes again! We love the different colors blocking out subdivisions in this 1912 map of Millerville.
07/08/2019

Map Monday strikes again! We love the different colors blocking out subdivisions in this 1912 map of Millerville.

With Carlos Daze kicking off this weekend, now is a good time to see who remembers the Valhalla Water Slide!
07/05/2019

With Carlos Daze kicking off this weekend, now is a good time to see who remembers the Valhalla Water Slide!

Happy Independence Day! We will be closed today and tomorrow (Friday) so that our staff and volunteers can celebrate the...
07/04/2019

Happy Independence Day! We will be closed today and tomorrow (Friday) so that our staff and volunteers can celebrate the holiday with their families. Thank you, and stay safe out there! (4th of July, 1903 - float representing Anton H. Gregerson’s general store in Alexandria, MN)

Everyone knows the best way to start the week is with Map Monday! Here's a look at 1912 Brandon.
07/01/2019

Everyone knows the best way to start the week is with Map Monday! Here's a look at 1912 Brandon.

07/01/2019

“Like” if you remember some of the words to Alexandria, MN’s school song. (“Rah, Rah, Rah” counts.) Here is the Alumni Band playing our rouser at the 2019 Vikingland Band Festival on Broadway.

The annual Vikingland Band Festival (2019 edition) really shows off Alexandria’s beautiful, historic Broadway. Good th...
07/01/2019

The annual Vikingland Band Festival (2019 edition) really shows off Alexandria’s beautiful, historic Broadway. Good thing the original city planners made it so wide.

The Vikingland Band Festival kicks off today! Have fun and stay hydrated, folks!
06/30/2019

The Vikingland Band Festival kicks off today! Have fun and stay hydrated, folks!

We invite you to join our additional page called Douglas County MN History Sharing & Discussion.  Many of our F...
06/25/2019

We invite you to join our additional page called Douglas County MN History Sharing & Discussion. Many of our Facebook followers here have interesting stories, memories, and photos of their own, and we have loved your comments and contributions to our posts. The new page encourages our Facebook followers to post their own photos about Douglas County MN. Please join the new Facebook group, and help add to the historical knowledge of Douglas County, Minnesota. You just need to answer yes to a couple of questions, which helps us keep out spammers. From Taryn's photos: This photo is a 4th grade group from the future Alexandria High School class of 1938. (Her dad is row 2, 2nd from left.) The assignment: Build a Birdhouse. Notice anything interesting, or know anyone else in the photo?

The Johnson sisters of Nelson, Minnesota, Easter 1952.
06/25/2019

The Johnson sisters of Nelson, Minnesota, Easter 1952.

Map Monday! Hello, Forada! (1912 Douglas County Plat Map)
06/24/2019

Map Monday! Hello, Forada! (1912 Douglas County Plat Map)

Happy National Selfie Day from your friends at Douglas County Historical Society! #NationalSelfieDay
06/21/2019

Happy National Selfie Day from your friends at Douglas County Historical Society! #NationalSelfieDay

How many of you went to summer camp in Douglas County?
06/20/2019

How many of you went to summer camp in Douglas County?

It's a common misconception that old photos aren't as good quality as modern photos - and we're happy to say that's not ...
06/19/2019

It's a common misconception that old photos aren't as good quality as modern photos - and we're happy to say that's not the case! With a high resolution scanner like ours, an IMMENSE amount of detail can be pulled out of old "true photos" made from well-focused actual photographic exposures. Take a look at this example - the original photo is only about 5x7 inches. But by scanning at 1200dpi, we can EASILY read the labels on the canned and boxed goods. High resolution photo scans of our images are available for purchase for your historic decorating or research needs!

In 1911, Senator Knute Nelson enjoyed a summer stroll at his home in Alexandria, Minnesota. This home is now the headqua...
06/19/2019

In 1911, Senator Knute Nelson enjoyed a summer stroll at his home in Alexandria, Minnesota. This home is now the headquarters of DCHS MN. Check out our Summer 2019 newsletter for some fun, family friendly activities coming up. Did he just get a cool dipper of water from his well behind him?
https://www.dchsmn.org/2019/06/18/summer_2019_newsletter/

Welcome back to another Map Monday! Today we have another view from our 1912 Atlas, this time from the shores of Lake Ge...
06/17/2019

Welcome back to another Map Monday! Today we have another view from our 1912 Atlas, this time from the shores of Lake Geneva and Lake Victoria.

Today is Father's Day and the final day of Kensington's Runestone Days. If you need a last minute gift, why not a wonder...
06/16/2019

Today is Father's Day and the final day of Kensington's Runestone Days. If you need a last minute gift, why not a wonderful Monarch oven from the old Solstad-Osterberg Hardware Store?

Runestone Days continue in Kensington today. This photo shows Main Street with a mix of horse & cart and automobiles. Pa...
06/15/2019

Runestone Days continue in Kensington today. This photo shows Main Street with a mix of horse & cart and automobiles. Parking in the middle of the street back then was less of a risk than it would be today!

Kensington Runestone Days kick off today, so watch our page for some beautiful old photographs as we appreciate K-Town t...
06/14/2019

Kensington Runestone Days kick off today, so watch our page for some beautiful old photographs as we appreciate K-Town this weekend!

Did you know the duck pond at Noonan Park actually has a name? It's called Lake Phil-Up, after Phillip Noonan!
06/12/2019

Did you know the duck pond at Noonan Park actually has a name? It's called Lake Phil-Up, after Phillip Noonan!

We are very excited to announce our new Facebook group, Douglas County MN History Sharing & Discussion! Group is in the ...
06/11/2019

We are very excited to announce our new Facebook group, Douglas County MN History Sharing & Discussion! Group is in the comments below.

Inside this group we encourage Douglas County history lovers to share their own photos and memories. We also hope it will be an interactive place to ask and answer questions about our community's history.

This group is managed by the Douglas County Historical Society and information you post in this group may be shared or archived by the Douglas County Historical Society as part of our mission to preserve and share our history.

It's Map Monday! Here's a neat map of Evansville from our 1912 Plat Book.
06/10/2019

It's Map Monday! Here's a neat map of Evansville from our 1912 Plat Book.

Wow! We had no idea we were featured in Alexandria-Opoly! But we love living that Blue Property Life
06/09/2019

Wow! We had no idea we were featured in Alexandria-Opoly! But we love living that Blue Property Life

This weekend (June 7-9) is Minnesota's Take a Kid Fishing Weekend! Minnesotans 16 or older who take a child 15 or younge...
06/07/2019

This weekend (June 7-9) is Minnesota's Take a Kid Fishing Weekend! Minnesotans 16 or older who take a child 15 or younger fishing don't need a license on this special weekend.

Today is the 75th Anniversary of D-Day - the largest invasion to have ever taken place by air or sea. At this link from ...
06/06/2019
'Lest We Forget' documentary on 75th anniversary of D-Day

Today is the 75th Anniversary of D-Day - the largest invasion to have ever taken place by air or sea. At this link from MPR you can hear "Lest We Forget", a documentary from 2004 that features the voices and recollections of WWII veterans.

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2019/06/06/lest_we_forget

From the Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress, "Lest We Forget" is a documentary that features the voices of World War II veterans talking about their efforts to protect the world from tyranny.

Sent to us by Facebook follower Tracey:   This picture was left at the Rummage Sale at New Life Christian Church in Alex...
06/05/2019

Sent to us by Facebook follower Tracey: This picture was left at the Rummage Sale at New Life Christian Church in Alexandria, MN by someone who does not know this family. Does anyone recognize this family? It appears to be taken in the 1940's. The photographer was Vernon Studios in Glenwood - Alexandria (Minnesota). Please share this picture and let's see if we can get it back in the hands of a family member!

Have you heard the buzz? This year DCHS has planted the front garden bed with a number of Bee-Friendly wildflowers from ...
06/05/2019

Have you heard the buzz? This year DCHS has planted the front garden bed with a number of Bee-Friendly wildflowers from North America. We're seeing sprouts already!

06/04/2019
Runestone Museum Foundation

What should the Fort Alexandria Ducks be named???

TAKE THE POLL!
What do we name the ducks that live in the Fort Of Alexandria!

Did you know that June is also National Dairy Month? Dairy has always been an important industry in Douglas County, with...
06/03/2019

Did you know that June is also National Dairy Month? Dairy has always been an important industry in Douglas County, with most of the towns having their own creamery. Pictured here is an old photo of the interior of the Carlos Creamery.

Summer resort season in Douglas County, MN was groovy and exciting in this 1971 era booklet given out at the grand openi...
06/02/2019

Summer resort season in Douglas County, MN was groovy and exciting in this 1971 era booklet given out at the grand opening of Arrowwood Resort on Lake Darling near Alexandria. It was also a new source of employment for local residents, from teens to adults. Do you know of anyone who worked here? What years and what jobs?

June is National Country Cooking Month! Barbecued meat, fried vegetables, apple pies, and homemade delights abound! Here...
06/01/2019

June is National Country Cooking Month! Barbecued meat, fried vegetables, apple pies, and homemade delights abound! Here's a chance to share your favorite county cooking recipes, especially the ones passed down through your family!

The weather is BEAUTIFUL! Join us at 5:30 TODAY for our Planting Party with heirloom plants for our Victory Garden!  (PS...
05/31/2019

The weather is BEAUTIFUL! Join us at 5:30 TODAY for our Planting Party with heirloom plants for our Victory Garden! (PS, there may be ice cream sandwiches!!!!)

Occasionally we have a photo or an artifact we can't name!  This photo shows a man using some kind of sock or tube like ...
05/29/2019

Occasionally we have a photo or an artifact we can't name! This photo shows a man using some kind of sock or tube like device to make it easier to look into the water and search for fish below his boat. We've been scratching our heads all day and don't know what to call this interesting piece of fishing equipment - do you know what it's called? Legacy of The Lakes Museum, any ideas?

Today marks Memorial Day, a time when we remember those who died in active military service. Thank you for your service ...
05/27/2019

Today marks Memorial Day, a time when we remember those who died in active military service. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.

Photo is from a Brandon Memorial Day Parade, possibly from the 40s.

We have a visitor from the Runestone Museum Foundation! Little Big Ole has gone adventuring!
05/23/2019

We have a visitor from the Runestone Museum Foundation! Little Big Ole has gone adventuring!

Thank you, Discovery Middle School Eighth Graders for helping us on your Day Of Caring!
05/17/2019

Thank you, Discovery Middle School Eighth Graders for helping us on your Day Of Caring!

Runestone Museum Foundation
05/16/2019

Runestone Museum Foundation

Be sure to join us for Mai Fest this Saturday! Events are happening up and down Broadway street. The Alexandria Downtown Merchants Association is co-hosting this wonderful community event. PS: this kransakake, donated by Barb Bowman of Osakis will be our dessert at the museum luncheon Saturday! You can find more kransakake at Scandinavian Gift Shop on Saturday!

It looks like a great day to get out on the Central Lakes Trail, which has an interesting history as a railroad line. He...
05/15/2019

It looks like a great day to get out on the Central Lakes Trail, which has an interesting history as a railroad line. Here are Frances and Myrna Johnson, sisters from Nelson, MN in the mid-1940’s, standing on the wooden trestle bridge on Liberty Road, their location indicated on the map by the red pin. A face-full of coal soot was the reward for standing there as the train went underneath. The bridge was removed and the road lowered after the railroad was changed to a trail.

Happy Mother's Day from your friends at the Douglas County Historical Society. Mothers are often the ones who tell us th...
05/12/2019

Happy Mother's Day from your friends at the Douglas County Historical Society. Mothers are often the ones who tell us the stories of our heritage and impart the precious knowledge of our family history. Often we are too young to begin to appreciate the gifts they give us. Thank you to mothers everywhere and in every time!

On this day in 1858, Minnesota became the 32nd state to enter the Union! Maybe we're a little biased, but we couldn't im...
05/11/2019

On this day in 1858, Minnesota became the 32nd state to enter the Union! Maybe we're a little biased, but we couldn't imagine a better state to live in.

We've put some antique items for sale to participate in the garage sales this morning! Stop by 1219 Nokomis Street to se...
05/11/2019

We've put some antique items for sale to participate in the garage sales this morning! Stop by 1219 Nokomis Street to see what catches your eye!

Did you know this week is also National Nurses Week? Time to thank and appreciate the nurses you know!June M. (Johnson) ...
05/09/2019

Did you know this week is also National Nurses Week? Time to thank and appreciate the nurses you know!
June M. (Johnson) Hanson from Nelson, MN, graduated from Alexandria High School in 1940. June trained as a nurse after WW2 broke out, at (Abbot) Northwestern in Minneapolis. Shown here in her cadet nurse’s uniform, June was not deployed, but began her early career at St. Luke’s Hospital in Alexandria, at 9th and Elm Street. In 1946, she married her Alex high school sweetheart - returning GI Ronald Hanson, and moved to North Dakota, and spent the rest of her career in Crosby, ND.

Today we'd like to remember Ida Hanson, a teacher at District 82 south of Brandon, MN. On May 15, 1902, she and one of h...
05/08/2019

Today we'd like to remember Ida Hanson, a teacher at District 82 south of Brandon, MN. On May 15, 1902, she and one of her students were killed when a tornado struck the schoolhouse, completely destroying the structure. The other students miraculously survived the schoolhouse being picked up "like a paperbox" and tossed into a nearby hollow. Thank you for your work, Miss Hanson, you are still remembered over a century later! And thank you to teachers everywhere who are charged with the safety of their students.

Today is National Teacher Appreciation Day - time to thank the teachers in our lives, past and present! This photo shows...
05/07/2019

Today is National Teacher Appreciation Day - time to thank the teachers in our lives, past and present! This photo shows the Douglas County Teachers Institute of 1916. #NationalTeachersDay #TeacherAppreciationDay

Welcome to National Teachers Appreciation Week! We'll be sharing information about school teachers in Douglas County all...
05/06/2019

Welcome to National Teachers Appreciation Week! We'll be sharing information about school teachers in Douglas County all week - but first, lets remind ourselves what the rules are. (No pools, no barber shops, and maybe a 25 cent raise after five years!)

Teachers Rules, 1872, District 17 - Osakis
1. Teachers each day will fill lamps, clean chimneys
2. Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day’s session.
3. Make your pen carefully, you may whittle nibs to the individual taste of the pupils.
4. Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly.
5. After ten hours of school, the teachers may spend the remaining time reading the Bible or other good books.
6. Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed.
7. Every teacher should lay aside from each pay a goodly sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years so he will not become a burden on society.
8. Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents a pool or public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity, and honesty.
9. The teacher who performs his labor faithfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase of twenty-five cents per week in his pay, providing the Board of Education approves.

Today is National Scrapbook Day! DCHS is home to many historic scrapbooks as part of our collections, covering everythin...
05/04/2019

Today is National Scrapbook Day! DCHS is home to many historic scrapbooks as part of our collections, covering everything from beach resorts to families. They're a great way to preserve history! Some contain only the most important facts and photos with no decoration. Some are very fancy and well decorated. No matter how you scrapbook, know it plays a very important role in preserving family history and moments!

Address

1219 Nokomis St
Alexandria, MN
56308

Opening Hours

Monday 08:30 - 16:00
Tuesday 08:30 - 16:00
Wednesday 08:30 - 16:00
Thursday 08:30 - 16:00
Friday 08:30 - 16:00

Telephone

(320) 762-0382

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