Taylors Falls Historical Society

Taylors Falls Historical Society Consider joining the Taylors Falls Historical Society. For membership information, call 651-329-0985 today.
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Visit the Historic 1855 Folsom House and the 1852 Town House School while you're in Taylors Falls! Open Memorial Day Weekend through September, Fridays-Sundays, and holidays from 1pm to 4:30pm. General Information: Adults $5.00, 6-17 yrs $1.00. Children under 6 get in free. Members of the Minnesota Historical Society and the Taylors Falls Historical Society get in free. Pre-arranged group tours (10 or more guests) available at other times." Owned by the Minnesota Historical Society and operated by the Taylors Falls Historical Society. Also, stop in to see the Visitor Center which is located just down the hill from the Folsom House in the lower level of the community center (the old train depot - 312 Government Street, Taylors Falls, MN 55084). The Visitor Center is open Saturday, Sunday and Holidays from 1:00 to 4:00 P.M. No entrance fee. Lower level of the Taylors Falls Memorial Community Center.

Postcard view of camping in the Minnesota Interstate State Park's lower park in Taylors Falls in the 1920s. -- jpl
07/07/2020

Postcard view of camping in the Minnesota Interstate State Park's lower park in Taylors Falls in the 1920s. -- jpl

The accompanying image of the Taylors Falls High School's boys basketball team of 1922-23 is shared from David Anderson'...
06/25/2020

The accompanying image of the Taylors Falls High School's boys basketball team of 1922-23 is shared from David Anderson's post of today in the Old Chisago County Minnesota facebook group. – jpl

In March 1923, the Taylors Falls High School boys basketball team played in the state tournament at Hamline. The TF team (in new red and black uniforms) lost to Bloomington by one point (25-24), after two overtime periods. As a result, the TF team won a small, silver-plated loving cup for "good conduct and appearance." That loving cup (shown on top of the basketball) was still around in the 1960s but eventually disappeared.
The school colors of blue and white, as well as the name "Bluejays," were not adopted until 1940.
The coach of the pictured 1922-23 team, Taylors Falls Public School Superintendent Walter B. Juhnke (1896-1985), is in the middle of the back row. – jpl (BTW, the local school board had refused to purchase new basketball uniforms to replace the old and badly worn ones so many of the TF businessmen went together and purchased new uniforms in time for the tournament.)

March 20, 1948 photograph by Ronald V. Nixon of the 328 facing south on the last (fifth) turntable in the Taylors Falls ...
06/21/2020

March 20, 1948 photograph by Ronald V. Nixon of the 328 facing south on the last (fifth) turntable in the Taylors Falls railroad yard near the river dike. Image from the Iron Horse Central Museum collection. – jpl

Taylors Falls Historical Society
06/16/2020

Taylors Falls Historical Society

Taylors Falls Historical Society's cover photo
06/16/2020

Taylors Falls Historical Society's cover photo

Postcard view looking west up First Street in 1908. It is likely that many of the pedestrians were railroad excursionist...
06/14/2020

Postcard view looking west up First Street in 1908. It is likely that many of the pedestrians were railroad excursionists.
At the extreme left is the Hotel Cocheco, which was a hotel that at various other times had five other names and was torn down in 1936. Just beyond the Hotel Cocheco are the two 1880 Caspar Hauser buildings, which were torn down in 1962 (east one) and 1967 (west one).
In the center background and behind the First Street railroad trestle is the 1870 Peter Trump building, which still stands and is part of a bed and breakfast establishment. Mostly hidden from view next door south (left) of the Trump building is the 1884 Taylors Falls Jail, which also still stands and is part of a bed and breakfast establishment.
The large white building at right is the 1851 Chisago House/Dalles House hotel building (which had other names) that was torn down in 1956. At the extreme right is a portion of the still-existing 1903 Otto Agrell building that in 1908 housed in part Martin A. Tangen's drug store. – jpl

Circa 1901 photograph of four Taylors Falls young people. The original oval image is very small, measuring just 1-1/4" x...
06/04/2020

Circa 1901 photograph of four Taylors Falls young people. The original oval image is very small, measuring just 1-1/4" x 1-3/4". The occasion for taking the photograph is unknown.

The four young people, moving clockwise from the top, are: Robert W. Agrell (about 15), Florence A. "Flora" Agrell (about 18), William Henry Sargent (about 19), and Maud M. Mullen (about 17, later Mrs. Sanford J. Carlgren).

Much could be written about each of these young people but the focus of this post is on Miss Flora Agrell (on the right). Flora and her brother Robert were among the six children of Otto Agrell who was a Swedish immigrant saloonkeeper in Taylors Falls. Otto's wife, Helen (Christopherson), was an immigrant from Oslo, Norway.

Flora (1883-1945), as a young adult, worked as a nurse for many years and did not marry until 1926 at age 43. She was the first wife of Fred. W. Schmid who was of Swiss ancestry and was a salesman of bakery products. Flora and Fred Schmid resided mainly at St. Cloud, Minnesota but were frequent visitors back to Taylors Falls. They had no children. In the 1930s, Flora and Fred built and sold several river cottages a short distance north of Taylors Falls.

During the Spanish Influenza epidemic of World War I, Flora (then about 35) was the Village-paid nurse who cared for my maternal grandfather, the only member of my mother's family to catch that flu. My mother's family was always grateful to Flora for her excellent care that helped my grandfather (and others) recover. - Jack P. Liljenberg

05/28/2020

The new photo is of a group of ladies taken in front of the 1851 Chicago House/Dalles House building. Then called the Northlanding, or the Green Feather Cafe. Ca. 1932. The lady on the left is listed as Leona Carlson (Harold's sister), and the middle ladies is Named Wilma Dahlquist. Does anyone recognize the other ladies, or can give information about Leona and Wilma? Thank you for your help! --Fay Candy

Taylors Falls Historical Society's cover photo
05/28/2020

Taylors Falls Historical Society's cover photo

65 years ago – marching east down First Street on Memorial Day (May 30) 1955. This was during Taylors Falls' traditional...
05/23/2020

65 years ago – marching east down First Street on Memorial Day (May 30) 1955. This was during Taylors Falls' traditional Memorial Day march to the interstate bridge, from which a wreath or other tribute is dropped into the river in honor of our nation's maritime dead (our armed forces personnel who have been lost or buried at sea).
On Memorial Day 1955, the present/fifth/1955 bridge (which was opened December 29, 1955) was not yet completed. Therefore, the parade was marching to the fourth/1911 bridge that was a short distance downstream and is not visible off to the right.
At left are three buildings that then stood on the north side of First Street. The first two buildings from the left then comprised the Nelson's Garage & Tire Shop complex. The two-story building originally was the 1903 Oswald Hoffman livery stable, and the one-story building adjacent to it was built as an auto repair garage and probably dated from the early 1920s. Those two buildings were demolished in August 1956 to make way for the 1956 Standard Oil Company gas station building that was torn down in 2014. The third building (with the light-colored sign on the roof) was the former King Tut Inn restaurant building that was built in 1923. It housed Christenson's Café during the tourist season of 1955 and subsequently stood unused for a few years until it was demolished in April 1958. -- jpl

TFHS classes of 1950 and 1948 -- from Shelley (Dale) Museus: "I thought I would post a couple photos I found. First phot...
05/21/2020

TFHS classes of 1950 and 1948 -- from Shelley (Dale) Museus: "I thought I would post a couple photos I found. First photo [graduates with caps] is the Class of 1950. My Mom Margaret (Olson) Dale is bottom row 1st on the left, right next to Charlotte (Robinson) Herberg, Ferol Bartley is in row 2, 4th from the left. The next picture is the class of 1948. My Dad's class, Cecil Dale is in the top row 1st on the right. Both classes are from Taylors Falls. I thought someone else may enjoy seeing these."

05/21/2020

Sad news: Margaret "Maggie" Olmschenk of Hugo, former Taylors Falls postmaster (for 16 years; 1983-1999), passed away this week of CNS lymphoma, at the age of 83. Her husband, Ralph (who passed in 1991), is buried in the Franconia Cemetery. -- jpl

1953 photo of the Taylors Falls Memorial Community Center, which has now been in use for community functions for 70 year...
05/18/2020

1953 photo of the Taylors Falls Memorial Community Center, which has now been in use for community functions for 70 years. The building was built in 1902 and served as the fourth and last building used as a railroad station in Taylors Falls. Local railroad service was discontinued in 1948, and in 1949 a multi-year project was started to convert the building into a community center. The first meetings were held in the converted though unfinished building in early 1950. In 1953, the building was formally dedicated in remembrance of five local servicemen lost in World War II: John Gordon Folsom (Marines), Chester Garfield Marmon (Navy), Kenneth Falk Tesch (Army), Roger Richard Turner (Air Corps), and John Nelson Tuvey (Army). -- jpl

The 2020 spring issue of Life & Times in Taylors Falls has been sent to the printer. Lead article is about football team...
05/16/2020

The 2020 spring issue of Life & Times in Taylors Falls has been sent to the printer. Lead article is about football teams. It celebrates the mighty, mighty Bluejays.

Taylors Falls Historical Society's cover photo
05/11/2020

Taylors Falls Historical Society's cover photo

Attached is a snapshot (photographer unknown) of a truck accident in downtown Taylors Falls on Thursday, August 15, 1946...
05/11/2020

Attached is a snapshot (photographer unknown) of a truck accident in downtown Taylors Falls on Thursday, August 15, 1946. The snapshot looks to the southwest. The truck was driven by Kenneth Rivard, then 32. Riding with Kenneth was Richard "Dick" Bartley, then 18.

Kenneth and Dick had been out to the Taylors Falls Airport ("Rivard's Airport") southwest of town to get hay off the airport's runways and were to return to "Rivard's farm" north of town. Coming back through the park on Hwy. 8 and nearing downtown, Kenneth realized the truck's brakes had gone out so he told Dick to jump out, which Dick did. Then Kenneth jumped out.

The then-driver-less truck hit some of the large chunks of trap rock that used to ring the traffic island in the main intersection in downtown Taylors Falls. The truck also took down the flag pole on the island. The broken flag pole is quite visible in the snapshot. The mangled truck cab is behind the stop sign. (Remember when stop signs were yellow, not red?)

At right in the snapshot, a truck not involved in the accident is being loaded with hay bales dumped from Kenneth's truck. In the foreground is Albert Bartley – the man with the broom – who was Dick's father and the local barber. Dick was not hurt but Kenneth received leg injuries so he spent a couple of weeks at St. John's Hospital in St. Paul.

Snapshot courtesy of Clayton Rivard, a nephew of Kenneth Rivard. – jpl

August  1958 . . . first Taylors Falls Wannigan Days . . . 8-year-old Randy  Schwegman as a contestant in the Huck Finn ...
05/05/2020

August 1958 . . . first Taylors Falls Wannigan Days . . . 8-year-old Randy Schwegman as a contestant in the Huck Finn contest. (Bill Dial won that contest.) -- jpl

June 1915 – Mrs. Sarah B. (Anderson) Fredeen (then 88) demonstrating the use of her spinning wheel during a local (Taylo...
05/02/2020

June 1915 – Mrs. Sarah B. (Anderson) Fredeen (then 88) demonstrating the use of her spinning wheel during a local (Taylors Falls) celebration. Sarah (1827-1920) was the widow of Daniel F. Fredeen.
Sarah and Daniel Fredeen had six children:
a) Andrew Edward "Ed" – married Ella A. Soderlind
b) Johanna M. – married the Rev. Adolph F. Tornell
c) Peter Franklin "Frank" – married Louise Stenberg
d) Mathilda C. – died at seven months
e) Amanda E. – married Leslie W. Marston
f) Charlotte B. "Lottie" – married Anton F. Swenson.

Taylors Falls Historical Society's cover photo
04/23/2020

Taylors Falls Historical Society's cover photo

1856 view First Street looking toward Wisconsin.
04/23/2020

1856 view First Street looking toward Wisconsin.

Unknown woman in the 1880s.  S.C. Sargent, photographer.  - jpl
04/21/2020

Unknown woman in the 1880s. S.C. Sargent, photographer. - jpl

Postcard mailed in April 1912.  Happy Easter!
04/11/2020

Postcard mailed in April 1912. Happy Easter!

June 1948 photograph of Alfred W. Hobbs (1877-1957) who from 1911 to 1948 was the last of the 18 railroad station agents...
04/06/2020

June 1948 photograph of Alfred W. Hobbs (1877-1957) who from 1911 to 1948 was the last of the 18 railroad station agents who served in Taylors Falls. Mr. Hobbs is seated facing east in his agent's office, which is now the stage area in the Taylors Falls Memorial Community Center (originally the 1902 Northern Pacific R.R. station). Mr. Hobbs' right hand is at the telegraph key. -- jpl

Miss Hazel V. Thoen – circa 1900 photograph by S. C. Sargent – later, as a 28-year-old married woman, Hazel was a Spanis...
03/22/2020

Miss Hazel V. Thoen – circa 1900 photograph by S. C. Sargent – later, as a 28-year-old married woman, Hazel was a Spanish flu victim in 1918 – Taylors Falls' first of two victims.

Hazel Veneta Thoen was born in Taylors Falls on January 19, 1890. She was the second child of Hans Thoen, a Norwegian immigrant, and his first wife, the former Miss Nannie Lagerwall, a Swedish immigrant. Hans Thoen operated a general mercantile store in Taylors Falls for many years (his last/1903 store building has in recent times housed Schoony's Malt Shop & Pizzeria). Hazel had an older sister she never knew, Gladys "Nina" Thoen, who died at about one year in 1887.

Hazel obtained most of her public education in Taylors Falls but graduated from the Central High School in St. Paul. She attended the University of Minnesota for four years and became a teacher and then taught school in Taylors Falls for two years. In June 1917, she married the Reverend William F. Hood, Jr. (an Episcopalian minister) of Barron Co., Wis. In 1918 (in World War I), Lieut. Wm. Hood was serving as a chaplain with the American Expeditionary Forces in France.

On October 21, 1918, at age 28, Hazel died at her widowed father's home on River Street (now 637 River St.) in Taylors Falls. She was a victim of the Spanish Influenza epidemic of that era. She succumbed to a heart attack, following a severe bout of pneumonia brought on by the flu. Hazel was still without child, and at the time of her passing she was serving as the president of the Taylors Falls Library Association, as well as secretary of the Taylors Falls Branch of the Chisago County Chapter of the American Red Cross. The Rev. Hood never remarried and resided for many years in Door Co., Wis., which is where he died in 1952.

Hazel was the first of only two Taylors Falls residents to die as a result of the World War I-era Spanish flu. The other local victim was 32-year-old Mrs. Carl Edward (Anna) Pearson (the former Miss Anna Christina Nelson) who died on December 10, 1918. Anna was survived by her husband and three young children: Russell, Kenneth and Verna (Verna became the first wife of Alton Berg).

One other Spanish flu victim known to be closely associated with Taylors Falls was Herman A. Williams who died at age 28 about a month before Hazel. Herman, who had been serving in the U.S. Army in Europe, died in a hospital in England on September 28, 1918. Herman was still single, but like Hazel was born in 1890 and died of the same factors. Herman was raised just west of Taylors Falls and attended school in Taylors Falls. His remains were returned to Taylors Falls for burial. – Jack P. Liljenberg

Hazel's obituary said, in part, "Hazel was of reserved disposition and made few close friends but those who had her friendship and confidence were loyal to her and she held these friendships thru the years. . . ."

Taylors Falls Historical Society
03/08/2020

Taylors Falls Historical Society

03/08/2020

The new cover photo is downtown Taylors Falls pre-1970.

Taylors Falls Historical Society's cover photo
03/08/2020

Taylors Falls Historical Society's cover photo

01/19/2020

The photo in the circle is grade school children returning from a trip to the downtown library. Along the way they stop to see a moose that was brought through town. Photo compliments of Clayton Rivard.

Taylors Falls Historical Society
01/19/2020

Taylors Falls Historical Society

01/19/2020

New cover photo: downtown Taylors Falls in the fall of 1939. Photo compliments of Annie Lindgren.

Taylors Falls Historical Society's cover photo
01/19/2020

Taylors Falls Historical Society's cover photo

Charles "Charlie" Lutz (one of the Taylors Falls constables) directing parking in the upper Interstate State Park's park...
01/18/2020

Charles "Charlie" Lutz (one of the Taylors Falls constables) directing parking in the upper Interstate State Park's parking lot about 1925. This view looks northeast and visible in the extreme left is a portion of the still-existing 1920-21 "Women's Rest Room" near the park's entrance. -- jpl

Minnesota celebrated its statehood centennial in 1958.  In preparation for that centennial, "the powers that were" sugge...
01/15/2020

Minnesota celebrated its statehood centennial in 1958. In preparation for that centennial, "the powers that were" suggested that every community in Minnesota plan on celebrating the centennial. Heeding that "directive," Taylors Falls created Wannigan Days, which was first celebrated that year, 1958. Wannigan Days subsequently became an annual event, and in 1962 neighboring Saint Croix Falls, Wis. became a sponsoring partner in the annual event.

Pictured in the attached item are Richard "Dick" Graff who had a jewelry store and watch/clock repair business and C. E. "Eddie" Gustafson who had an insurance agency – and who was mayor during the years of 1958 through 1961. – jpl

Frank L. “Gabe” GibbsDecember 31, 1871 – October 25, 1918Frank L. “Gabe” Gibbs was one of the Taylors Falls men who join...
01/02/2020

Frank L. “Gabe” Gibbs
December 31, 1871 – October 25, 1918

Frank L. “Gabe” Gibbs was one of the Taylors Falls men who joined the Alaskan Gold Rush of 1898. Remaining in Alaska thereafter, he was employed for twenty years as a government mining engineer with the Pacific Coast and River Service. Gabe, a bachelor, had just embarked upon a vacation to Taylors Falls when, on Friday, October 25, 1918, the ship upon which he was sailing, the SS Princess Sophia, sank in the stormy waters of the Lynn Canal about sixty-five miles south of Skagway, Alaska. All 379 passengers and crew drown, making the SS Princess Sophia tragedy that region's worst maritime disaster. One account says only 343 were aboard. Gabe's body was one of the few recovered, allowing his remains to be returned to his hometown for burial in the Gibbs family block in Kahbakong Cemetery.

Gabe was the first-born of the four children of Francis S. “Frank” Gibbs and his wife, the former Miss Mary A. Kelly. Gabe's father, a Civil War veteran, was a locomotive engineer who often worked on the local railroad line. The four Gibbs children were: Frank L. “Gabe”; Burton W. “Bert”; Helen Rachel “Nellie” (Mrs. Ernest Murdock Child of Kalispel, Montana); and Edward H. None of the Gibbs sons married, and there were no grandchildren. The Gibbs family owned and occupied the 1854 Walter and Ruth (Ayers) Carrier house at what is now addressed as 549 River Street. The 1854 Carrier-Gibbs house, what little may remain of that one-and-a-half-story Greek-Revival house, is buried within the south part of the greatly expanded building that has in recent decades been known as the Pines Apartments. -- jpl

Bench Street . . . looking south . . . about 1920.  Reportedly, the boys in the foreground are Wm. Carson Strand (left) ...
12/14/2019

Bench Street . . . looking south . . . about 1920. Reportedly, the boys in the foreground are Wm. Carson Strand (left) and Robert Wm. Gleason (but the names might be reversed?). -- jpl

Address

272 West Government St.
Taylors Falls, MN
55084

Opening Hours

Saturday 13:00 - 17:00
Sunday 13:00 - 16:00

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I thought I would post a couple photos I found. First photo is the Class of 1950. My Mom Margaret (Olson) Dale is bottom row 1st on the left, right next to Charlotte (Robinson) Herberg, Ferol Bartley is in row 2, 4th from the left. The next picture is the class of 1948. My Dad's class, Cecil Dale is in the top row 1st on the right. Both classes are from Taylors Falls. I thought someone else may enjoy seeing these.
Will always be home no matter where I am.
Earlier Post Partially solved: On his 1 Jul 1863 Civil War Draft record, his occupation is listed as: Photographist
I have been working on the 1860 US Census for Taylors Falls and I have added Edward A Beach 30, born in New York. His occupation is listed as a Caguerian Ast or Oaguerian Ast. Searching google, I do not find a description of any kind. Any chance you might know the correct spelling of and what this occupation is? Maybe a carpenter's assistant? Listed with Edward is his wife, Mary 25 and daughter Estella 6 months old.
I placed this MNHS photo on the Old Stillwater Mn FB page and a question was asked if this building still exists. Wondering if anyone knows? Thanks in advance
I am curious if you have photos of the railroad presence at the North end of town. There was a turntable, engine house, rail yard etc. just West of the dam. Here is a photo of a locomotive on the turn table the site is now a circular pond. Any photos, maps or information is appreciated. Thanks!
First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Taylors Falls, MN. 1960. Can anyone identify the others?
First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Taylors Falls, Minnesota. 1940. I do not have a complete photo of the whole crowd. I identified the people I know in this photo. Can anyone identify the others?
Some readers should still recall the Carl "Park" and Anna Peterson concession stands on the west side of the upper parking lot in the Minnesota Interstate State Park. Carl was often referred to as "Park" Peterson in order to differentiate him from the several other Carl and Charles Petersons in Taylors Falls and nearby areas. Carl "Park" Peterson (1863-1942) was born in Denmark to Swedish parents. He came to the U.S.A. and directly to Taylors Falls in early 1881, shortly before his 18th birthday. For many years he worked in logging camps. In 1889-90, he helped build Nevers Dam, which until 1955 stood several miles upstream from the local 1905-06 hydroelectric dam upon which Carl also worked. In 1885, Carl married Miss Ella/Ellen Hendrickson (1862-1891), a Swedish immigrant. Ella bore Carl four children but died of consumption at about 28 years. In 1908, Carl married Miss Anna Carlson (1876-1961), another Swedish immigrant, who bore Carl three more children: three sons. When Carl died in 1942, Anna and four of his seven children survived him: two sons from each marriage. In 1895, an auction was held to sell many of the buildings that then stood within the boundaries of the new Minnesota Interstate State Park. Carl, then a widower, bought a house in what we now call the lower park. That was the circa-1858 James A. Woolley family home that stood on lot 1 of Block 127 in the 1867 "School Land Addition" to Taylors Falls. Carl had the Woolley house moved to about where is now the park sticker stand on the west side of the upper park's parking lot. Twenty years later, in 1915, Carl and second wife Anna built a concession stand on one side of their house (the former Woolley house). Ten years later, in 1925, they built another concession stand on the other side of their house. The story was that Carl and Anna argued too much to both work in one stand, but it was just good business to expand their enterprise. Carl and Anna also often had summer guests stay in their home. One of those guests was an artist of regional note, Dewey Albinson, who in the 1930s spent several summers in Taylors Falls. After Carl died in 1942, Anna continued to rent out rooms and (with help) operate one of the concession stands. She did so until shortly before her passing in 1961. Delbert Longnecker and Mr. and Mrs. Marvin (Frances) Weller subsequently owned and operated Anna's concession stand and rented out rooms in the Woolley/Peterson house. In late-1968 the park purchased the Woolley/Peterson house, which was demolished and burned on Monday evening, April 28, 1969. Attached is an undated (circa-1940?) photograph of Anna and Carl "Park" Peterson in front of their home and concession stands. The view looks to the southwest. This photo appeared in the 1980 issue of The Dalles Visitor, courtesy of Mrs. Everett (Bernice) Peterson, daughter-in-law of Carl and Anna. – Jack P. Liljenberg
A reminder of why the expression 'logjam' is useful
Can anyone tell me about this little old house on the east side of Folsom Street between 1st and Walnut Streets?
Blast From The Past....LLoyd And Leland Rivard Along With Don & Dick Bartley.. Suzy Bartley, Kevin Rivard, Todd Rivard, Mary Palmer Rivard, Lisa Rivard