Rushford Area Historical Society

Rushford Area Historical Society Historic railway depot still standing on its original foundation in Minnesota. Listed on National Registry of Historic Places. Built in 1867 in Rushford Minnesota, and now on National Register of Historic Places, the Depot houses an extensive inventory of artifacts and documents relating to the history of the city and area.

Tour guides on hand for individual and group activities and questions. Visitors and donations welcome. Visiting hours may change occasionally.


This page is scheduled to be deleted because the self-appointed Administrator refuses to name another Administrator to take over when she deletes her personal FB page and she has them tied together. She refuses to communicate. One of the downfalls of Facebook! Beware!!


By agreement at the last RAHS monthly meeting, there will be no September RAHS meeting - Hoping everyone has a safe and enjoyable Labor Day Weekend!!


Was wonderful to meet a great-granddaughter of William W Webster of Rushford Woolen Mills fame on Friday!! So thankful she let us know she was coming in advance so we were able to have information available for her and that made her day as well! We now have more Webster family information/genealogy and she has Dr Droivold’s information! Great day for all! It was a pleasure meeting you, Cathleen and John!


August meeting starts at 7pm tonight at the Depot Museum! Come and learn a little bit about the Orphan Trains from New York to the Midwest! Is there an Orphan Train Rider in your ancestry?! Come and share what you know! See you tonight!


Come down to the Rushford Depot tomorrow 11:30-Noon for a small ceremony for the new Underground Railroad sign! Thank you to the Episcopal Church and friends!!


FYI: There will not be a July meeting of RAHS Members.
We hope you all will attend the Fillmore County Relay for Life on the Depot grounds July 13th from 5PM to 2AM. Cancer seems to touch us all in one form or another - we need your support! Survivors and Caretakers are encouraged to attend the free Survivor’s Tea at 4PM at Rushford Lutheran Church (RSVP to 507-424-4617 by June 30, if possible) See posters for more information.


Rushford Area Historical Society has T-shirts and Totes on sale! Royal Blue T-shirts (adult sizes S thru 2XL and children's Med) regularly $12, on sale for $10! Cream-colored mesh Totes regularly $10, now $5! Help support your local Depot Museum! Stop in and look them over! Live too far away? We can mail them!


Rushford Area Historical Society will hold its Annual Meeting on March 5, 2018 at 7 PM at the Depot Museum, 401 S Elm, Rushford. Three director positions will be voted on at this meeting. Directors whose terms are expiring are Margaret Boehmke, Karrol Gielow, and Anne Spartz. All directorships are for three-year terms. These directors have agreed to serve again, if elected. Only members who have paid their membership dues for 2018 will be eligible to vote.
Yearly membership fees are as follows: Student $10.00; Sr Citizen (60+) $10.00; Individual $15.00; Family $25.00; Organization $50.00; Business $75.00; Patron $125.00; Life-Time $1000.00. Our mailing address is P.O. Box 98, Rushford, MN 55971-0098. Donations are always welcome! Please include your Name(s), Mailing address, Telephone numbers, and e-mail address on any correspondence. Or stop into the depot museum for a Membership application!


Many of us are sick (or have been sick) these days, with variations of flu, colds, pneumonia, and so on. I spent the past six weeks or so recovering from whatever it was I had, and I’ve had a lot of time to wonder about how the pioneers weathered such long and difficult illnesses. After all, I visited my doctor each week and I could get the medicines and equipment I needed to be more comfortable, and I had running water, whole-house heating and the internet, and still it took six weeks!
During the time I was sick, I recalled a story from my family about the flu pandemic of 1918. A sister of my mother, pregnant with twin sons, died in late 1918 of influenza. Of course, it was a blow to the family to be sure, but years later when I learned of this aunt whom I never knew, I recall that my mother and grandmother and aunts and uncles seemed rather matter-of-fact about it all, since everyone in those months in 1918 was sick and many whom they knew had died. This led me to want to know how things were in Rushford and Fillmore County during the pandemic. In my research, I found that there are some data but few actual stories from families from that era.
So it occurred to me that perhaps some of our Depot Tracks readers have stories from their families that are from the 1918-1919 flu epidemic period, and might want to share those stories with the rest of us.
We are asking you to poke around in your family stories and try to find something to contribute to this project.
If you would like to share these stories, you can send them to us by US Mail to Box 98 Rushford, MN 55971, or you can email them to us at [email protected]. Then, as your stories come in, I can add what data I have about the pandemic in Minnesota, and we’ll have a picture of life during this difficult era in our social history.
So, let’s write some history together!!
Carolyn Dunham, Rushford Depot Museum Assistant


We resume our regular schedule of Mon-Wed-Sat-Sun hours of 10 am-3pm on January 3rd. If we're not here, please know that you can always call us at 507.864.7560 if you'd like to make an appointment for a visit. Until then, stay warm and stay healthy, and
Happy New Year to everyone!


Rushford Area Historical Society will meet Monday night December 4 at 7PM at the Depot Musuem (401 S Elm). Bring a favorite Christmas memory to get in the Christmas mood. New members will receive a copy of our latest RAHS Newsletter.


Here is a copy of our September 7th Depot Tracks published in the TriCounty Record:

The opening of the Rushford Depot in 1867 was a BIG DEAL for the folks who decided to settle in and around Rushford.

The railroad provided Rushford with the chance for “the small settlement of two small stores that did an aggregate of less than $10,000 a year” morph into a ‘metropolis’ that included “12 stores with general stocks, two hardware stores, two drugs, two boot and shoes, two jewelers, two harness shops, two wagon shops, three agricultural stores, three lumber yards, seven warehouses, four hotels, eighteen saloons, three churches, six mills, a bank, and ‘various other commodities’.’”

And, “there were seven grain buyers and as many warehouses. And they are shipped ten to twelve carloads daily”!
The depot was a popular gathering place and became the center of excitement and activity on the arrival and departure of the trains. Upon hearing the whistle of [an] approaching locomotive, few could suppress the desire to go to the depot and watch the . . . locomotives . . . pulling into the station, usually on time. [Every day,] city ‘philosophers; and ‘self-appointed superintendents gathered about the depot stove to exchange views and the news of the day. . .

And, the red hot stove was often the target of tobacco chewers who seemed to get special gratification in watching their issue sizzle on the fire box.

But by 1911, the depot agent posted this notice in the waiting room:
Persons in the habit of making hogs of themselves in public places are requested not to expectorate on the floor or to mark the stove in the waiting room of the depot. We are trying to keep the place neat and clean and will be justified in prosecuting any party for violating the law in such a manner.
Sounds like some things don’t change, do they? (304 words)

From Alden O. Droivold’s The History of Rushford: The First Decade, 1986. Published by The Rushford Area Historical Society, pp. 229-230.


Thank you to all the people who made our 150th Birthday Party for the Depot such a success! Wow!! It was a beautiful, fun-filled day! We know there were many other worthwhile events happening that afternoon, so know we really appreciated those that came down for as long as they could!
Someone left a lightweight, grey cardigan sweater behind, so if you know who it might belong to, please ask them to stop down and claim it!


Our November meeting of Rushford Area Historical Society is Monday the 6th at 7PM at the Depot Museum. We will be learning more about the Holverson family that lived in Rushford and their ties to the sinking of the Titanic in 1912! Come and join us!


Do you want to help us celebrate our 150th birthday? If you are so inclined, why not bake a birthday cake that we can serve with ice cream? Contact Carolyn Dunham 5074584938 if you'd like to do this, and we'll work with you on how to do this -- Thank you!!😋


Remember the September member meeting is Monday the 18th at 7PM at the Depot Museum! Still lots to do before the 150th Birthday Celebration for the Depot on the 30th!! Plan on attending!




The September RAHS meeting will be Monday, September 18, at 7PM at the Depot Museum! We will need many helpers for the September 30th Birthday Party for the Depot! Should be a fun celebration!!


Here is our August 24th DEPOT TRACKS published in the Tri County Record:
When you first come into the Depot Museum, your attention is at once drawn to an elegantly dressed mannequin standing beside the big black pot-bellied stove. Visitors usually remark on the dress: its beauty, its ‘attitude,’ and, its delicacy. The dress was donated to the Museum by Alta Mae Vier before her death in 2015. She was told that the dress belonged to Mina (Kopperud) Tagland Krockow and that it was purchased in Chicago at a cost of $57.00.

The significance of this single dress is not only that it is old, or a true work of art from the very early 1900s, but it also suggests that folks could buy their best dresses from as far away as Chicago in those years. And, with a little digging, we find that this dress links the histories of at least three Rushford families, the Taglands, the Krockows, and the Viers. Mina Tagland married Ernest Krockow in 1903, and one of their three children, Marian, was a friend of the late Mrs. Vier.

Then, in 2016, a visitor stopped by to show us a portrait she found in a picture frame she liked. On the back of the picture in the frame was written ‘Mrs. Ernest Krockow, Rushford, Minnesota’, and she was wearing that same dress!

And that’s what’s so exciting about having a community museum right here in Rushford that’s dedicated to preserving Rushford’s past for the future.

When you visit the Depot Museum, you can see the portrait of Mrs. Krockow and a child, probably her daughter, Marian, who died at the age of 99 years in 2004.

The Museum is open Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays from 10 am to 3 pm.


We have FREE copies of the Rushford Flood of 2007 DVD available at the Depot. Stop in between 10 am and 3 pm on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays to pick up your copy.


Come late September, we'll be calling on folks to donate birthday cakes for our Depot Museum Birthday celebration on the 30th. If you'd like to participate, please call us at 507.458.4938 or stop in any Saturday, Sunday, Monday, or Wednesday between 10 am and 3 pm. More details to follow. Have a GREAT day!!


Watch for our next Depot Tracks column in the Tri County Record this week! It's all about a dress . . .


DEPOT TRACKS by the Rushford Area Historical Society

It’s time to celebrate at the Rushford Depot!!

That’s right – it’s the Depot’s 150th birthday and we’re having a party! The date has been set for Saturday, September 30th from 1 to 5 pm on the Depot grounds.

The Depot museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is believed to be the only two-story railway depot still standing on its original site in the state of Minnesota. In its heyday, the railroad made Rushford a commercial and agricultural center for folks moving to settle at points west and north.

So, you might ask, why Rushford? It was all a matter of timing and the need for the first folks who settled in the Rushford Peterson Valley to move their grain, livestock and lumber more easily and efficiently out of the valley rather than by using the rivers and creeks for barges and boats to transport or by traveling overland across marshy bottom lands or dense undergrowth on the primitive Indian and oxcart trails to get to other towns.

The first Rushford settlers claimed land at the Upper Fork of the Root River in the 1850s, and by January first, 1867 the city of Rushford was chartered (1854) and the railroad to Rushford was complete, linking it to Houston, Minnesota and points east. Rushford became a booming commercial center, the last stop at the time west of the Mississippi for west-bound settlers to stock up on wheat, lumber, livestock and dry goods.

The rest, as they say, is history, much of which can be seen at the Rushford Area Historical Society’s Depot Museum Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. When you visit, be sure to ask how Rushford got its name and sign our guest book. See you soon.

SOURCE: Droivold, Alden O. 1966. The History of Rushford: The First Decade. Rushford Area Historical Society: Rushford MN.


Big news! The Rushford Area Historical Society Depot Museum is celebrating its 150th year anniversary!! We are planning a special event for September 30, 2017 from 1 to around 5 pm on site at the Depot!

So mark your calendars, plan to make a birthday cake to share, and come ready for music, games for everyone, and even a traveling medicine show! And, dress in the fashion of the 1860s if you can.

More news to come!


Hello, friends!! It's been over a month since we posted to our Rushford Area Historical Society page. However, we have not forgotten you.

Were you on our mailing list to receive April's 2017 Membership announcements? If not, pleases send us an email at [email protected] to request a form to make your 2017 donation. In fact, on this page, we do not have a 'friends' section, so all conversation needs to be via the [email protected] site.

And, did you know that we are planning a 150th Birthday celebration for the Depot on September 30th? If not, we can send stuff to you about this, as well. For now, just reserve the date (a Saturday) for an afternoon of fun, games, trains and RAHS history -- and a Traveling Medicine Show! We'll also be asking you all to submit a birthday cake for the celebration--details to follow.

In the meantime, please join RAHS and please save the date. More interesting stuff to follow! And please stop in on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays between 10 am for a chat!


Well, it's the time of the year for our annual Membership Drive, and we've been busy preparing to mail packets to many folks in the area.

If you'd like to join RAHS to help us continue our work here, please let us know by calling us, IM-ing us on this page, -- or better yet, stop in any Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, or Sunday between 10 am and 3 pm.

Family memberships are $25, Individual memberships are $15, Seniors (60+) memberships are $10, and students can become members for only $10. Of course, we won't turn away any larger donations, either, you know.

And what do you get in return for your Membership? Just the great satisfaction of helping us preserve our history!


Looking for volunteers to help stuff envelopes on Wednesday, March 15th between 10 am and 3 pm. Bring a coffee cup and let's get to work!!


We are always looking for new members, so consider joining us for 2017 at the Depot! Annual Meeting tonight at 7PM at the Depot Museum!


And now it's six days after the beginning of 2017! We hope you all had a very nice set of holidays. For us here at RAHS, it's been a cold, cold month so far, and we are reassessing our plans for our first 'Coffee With the Old Folks' event. It just might be too slippery, cold, and even rainy/snowy to get folks out this month. So, we are contemplating beginning these coffee parties in February. What do you think?


We here at the Rushford Area Historical Society's Depot Museum want to wish all of you a happy holiday season and a new year filled with happiness, health, and (maybe) even a visit to our museum!


Can anyone tell us about Magelsson's Cave or Pigtail Ridge?


Our deepest sympathy to the families of Margaret Johnson, Andrew Grinde, and Jeanne Herlihy whose loved ones passed away recently. Rest in peace.


Coming in 2017: 'Coffee with the Old Folks' beginning in January.
Picture Day at the Depot

Watch our page for announcements as to dates and times.


When you visit us here, won't you share our page with your facebook friends as well?



Welcome to the Rushford Area Historical Society's Depot Museum page!!

If you'd like to comment or share new information, do so. At least, though, like our page as it develops in the days and months to come.

Don't forget to stop in for a visit on Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays, 9 am to 3 pm. We can always brew a cup of coffee so we can settle down for a great chat!!


PO Box 98, 401 S Elm Street
Rushford, MN

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 15:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 15:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 15:00
Saturday 10:00 - 15:00
Sunday 10:00 - 15:00


(507) 864-7560


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