MPR’s Molly Bloom visits Northfield for their ‘Get Out There’ segment

More than a few Northfielders got this email recently from Molly Bloom, Public Insight Analyst for MPR News and their Public Insight Network:

Molly Bloom, Public Insight Analyst, MPR NewsI’m writing today because you’re a source in our Public Insight Network and you’ve told us that you live in Northfield. We’re working on a series of stories that we think you might be able to help us with.

MPR News is been doing a series of stories called “Get Out There,” in which we profile Minnesota towns (you can see them here). We want to find the places, eateries, and activities that might be hidden gems. So we’re coming to you to see what you think people should see, do or eat when they’re in Northfield. If friends were visiting from out-of-town, where would you take them? Please tell us here.

Griff intrudes on Almanac tapingMolly heard from 35 Northfielders and graciously let me follow her around yesterday while she visited some of the recommended "hidden gems."

I promised that A) I wouldn’t make any suggestions on where she should go; and B) that I’d try not to get in the way like I did the last time a public media journalist visited.

Chip DeMann, Molly BloomChip DeMann, Molly BloomMolly Bloom, Hayes Scriven, Brad Ness
Her first stop was the Northfield Historical Society where Chip DeMann, Hayes Scriven and Brad Ness tried to impress her with, what else, lots of old stuff.

Molly Bloom at the NAGMolly Bloom at the NAGMolly Bloom at CakeWalkMolly Bloom at CakeWalk
After a quick couple of photos at the NAG, she bought a cupcake at CakeWalk and forced me to eat half of it.

Catherine Dominguez and Molly BloomMolly Bloom and Nathan NelsonMolly Bloom at the Weitz CenterMolly Bloom at Chapati
She chatted with Catherine Dominguez at GBM and took a photo of Nathan Nelson reading newspapers there, a quaint activity that they probably don’t see much of any more in the public media empire. After a visit to the Weitz Center (alas, closed for the summer), she had lunch at Chapati, and then ventured–no further stalking by me–to the Brick Oven Bakery and the Northfield Farmer’s Market in Riverside Park.

Molly Bloom, Victor Summa, Paul HagerShe also was witness to how much I get abused by the citizenry on a daily basis, courtesy of Victor Summa and Paul Hager.

Her story should appear on the Get Out There blog on Thursday, at which point, I invite y’all to chime in here with your suggestions on the other places/hidden gems of Northfield that she should also have profiled.

Hayes is not foggy about this. He wants you at ‘Hops, Grapes & History’ tomorrow night at the Grand

Hayes Scriven

NHS ED Hayes Scriven stopped by my table at GBM on Wed. morning to promo the Hops, Grapes & History event at Grand Event Center on Saturday.

I didn’t realize till later that my smartphone camera lens had gunk on it, making for a foggy photo.

His blog post says:

The evening includes a beer and wine tasting from 6 to 8 p.m., featuring a hand-selected variety of Minnesota craft beers and wines; hors d’oeuvres; and a silent auction with a chance to bid on numerous goods and services from local businesses. Then from 9 to 11:30 p.m., the event concludes with a not-to-be-missed performance of “Guaranteed Cash,” a tribute to the songs and sounds of Johnny Cash, performed by legendary guitarist Bob Wootten (lead guitarist for Johnny Cash’s band for over thirty years) and country rockers, Six Mile Grove. (Continued)

New shelving in this basement really is a big deal

Hayes Scriven, NHS Executive DirectorCathy Osterman, NHS curatorcompact shelving at NHScompact shelving at NHScompact shelving at NHS

Hayes Scriven, big cheese at the Northfield Historical Society, gave me a tour this morning of the new compact shelving being installed in the archives and collection rooms in the basement of the Scriver Building. Cathy Osterman, the new NHS curator, showed me the room where she has everything stacked neatly during construction.

Normally, new shelving is right up there with new waste paper baskets on my excitement meter. But while these shelves might not rock, they do roll (see the short video clip below) and you can understand why Hayes has been foaming at the mouth about them on the NHS Facebook page (photo albums here).

These movable shelving units cost several tens of thousands of dollars. Where did the money come from? The generosity of Minnesota’s taxpayers.  See this blog post: Northfield Historical Society awarded $79,000 grant to enhance archives.

Legacy Amendment logoThe Northfield Historical Society is pleased to announce that it has received a $79,000 Legacy [grant] from the Minnesota Historical Society’s Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant Program.

The grant will fund much-needed improvements to the society’s archival/collection facilities, including the installation of movable shelving that will better preserve the more than 15,000 historical artifacts in the society’s collection.

Tim Madigan wants to tell you about the U.S.-Dakota Conflict of 1862. My ancestors will be listening.

Tim MadiganI stopped by Tim Madigan’s office at Anna Dee’s Cafe in Faribault this morning to get a promo photo.

At 6:30 pm next Thursday, October 18th, he’ll be removing his Northfield City Administrator hat and putting on his history teacher hat for his Northfield Historical Society presentation titled The Fog of War: Perceptions and Realities of the US Dakota Conflict of 1862:

This presentation, given by local amateur historian Tim Madigan will focus on the prism used by various groups and individuals to view the Conflict and its aftermath. Madigan was a history major in college, and Tim taught high school history and social studies for four years before entering the city management field. Three years of his teaching experience was in Morton MN, site of the start of the US Dakota Conflict. While at Morton he designed a local history class and became familiar with many of the sites and events of the Conflict. He has also lived in Mankato and Faribault, cities with close ties to the events of the Conflict.

US-Dakota War of 1862I’m 1/16 Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota so I’m keenly interested in this.  Was it a war or a conflict? What role did the ‘loyal Mdewakanton’ play and was it significant? Was there a ‘concentration camp’ and ‘ethnic cleansing’ after it was over? If it had never happened, what might have been the result?

I’m hoping to get to the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 exhibit at the MN History Center before Tim’s presentation. 

Citizen outlaws on the run: your motorcycle rally is Saturday

Citizen outlaw: Hayes Scriven Citizen outlaws: Suzette and Mark Taylor Citizen outlaw: Griff Wigley
I can’t insist that Hayes stop by my corner office at the Java Moose Espresso Café here in Grand Marais so I can take his photo to promote the NHS Outlaw Run on Saturday. So these photos from my 2009 Outlaw Run photo album will have to suffice.

Chip DeMann and Northfield featured in the Sept. issue of True West magazine

Jerry Bilek and Chip DeMann Sept. 2012 cover of True West magazine IMAG0238
Whenever I run into Northfield Historical Society Museum Store Manager Chip DeMann on the streets of downtown Northfield, he’s got something to show me. Last week, it was the Sept. 2012 issue of True West magazine which features the 1876 Northfield bank raid:

Cover: A painting by magazine editor Bob Boze Bell with the captions: "The Heroes of Northfield Still Stand Tall" and "Jesse James Messes with the Wrong Town."

Editorial, page 9: Chip DeMann is the Man, by Bob Boze Bell

Article, pages 26-31: The Great Northfield Raid Revisited: New research that changes our understanding of the James-Younger debacle, by Johnny D. Boggs

Article, pages 32-37: Northfield Revelations: A Northfield historian shares his lifetime of research into the 1876 bank raid, by Chip DeMann

The issue is not yet on the True West magazine website but here are some poor quality photos I took of the print coverage:

IMAG0239 IMAG0240 IMAG0241

IMAG0242 IMAG0243 IMAG0244

Editor Bob Boze Bell has a blog. Here are links to some of his Northfield-related blog posts:

The penis has been saved and is being reinstalled on Bridge Square

Carleton College - penis pavers 2 Carleton College - penis pavers 3 Carleton College - penis pavers 1 
Back in 2008, Carleton College installed cement sidewalk pavers at the corner of 2nd and Division.  The phallus design soon became controversial and plans to remove it were met with a ‘Save the Penis’ campaign that ultimately failed.

Bridge Square excavationThe Northfield Arts and Culture Commission, together with the Northfield Historical Society and the Downtown Streetscape Task Force, have pooled their public art monies to fund the reinstallation of the phallus design on a section of Bridge Square.

Yesterday, workers began excavation.  The bulbous shape of the excavated area will be reshaped into a phallus, designed by members of the Old Sculptors Project, the complementary group to the Young Sculptors Project that has installed a sculpture in front of the Northfield Library.

"We felt it was important to save a piece of Northfield history and to have it stick out right outside our door," said Hayes ‘Gabby’ Scriver,  Northfield Historical Society board member. 

"There was stiff opposition to the project for a while," wrote Ava Gina, Chair of the Northfield Arts and Culture Commission in an email to Locally Grown. "We went to great lengths to make our case. It was hard. In the end, we believed strongly that inserting this design into the most pubic [sic] space of Northfield was in the best interest of all."

Earl Weinmann and his posse: to Missouri and back

Earl Weinmann & Jr. PosseAfter taking photos of the CVVC riders departing Bridge Square last Saturday, I noticed Earl Weinmann standing in front of the Northfield Historical Society museum, surrounded by a gang of outlaws group of high school students. 

They were on their way south to Missouri but I didn’t get all the details. When he returned, he emailed me this:

Every year, I invite the participants in the Jr. Posse Program to go to Missouri on the day after the last day of school. (The Jr. Posse are the 8th and 9th graders who go through a two month training program to become summer tour guides at the museum).

In Missouri we visit the childhood home of Frank and Jesse James in Kearney.  At St. Joseph we visit the Patee House (the home office of the Pony Express) and the home in which Jesse was assassinated.  We also stop at an Antique Market and the 2nd highest point in Iowa (Pilot Knob Park).  The trip is two days with one overnight in a hotel. 

This was the 20th year of the annual "Magical Missouri Tour."  The purpose of the trip is for students to see the places, artifacts, and environment where the Kansas-Missouri Border War took place.  They have studied and discussed these places for two months and this trip allows them to become a bit more well-rounded tour guides. 

By the way, the school district pays for the transportation (this year the historical society helped out with the bus payment because we needed a larger bus).  This year we had the largest group ever.  23 students attended.

Photo album: Northfield Historical Society’s 37th annual meeting

NHS President Scott Richardson with David, Marion, and Susan HvistendahlThe Northfield Historical Society held its 37th annual meeting last night at Carleton’s Great Hall.

The NHS honored the Hvistendahl family at the event (Marion, David and Susan Hvistendahl) for being long-time supporters. The blog post by Executive Director Hayes Scriven has more on their contributions over the years.

See the large slideshow of 10 photos (recommended) or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:

Heather Scott is the NHS MVPosse Tour Guide for 2011

NHS gathering at the Rueb Hayes Scriven, Earl Weinmann, Heather Scott  Heather Scott
At a Northfield Historical Society holiday gathering at the Upstairs Rueb last night, Executive Director Hayes Scriven and Earl Weinmann presented the 2011 NHS MVPosse Tour Guide award to Heather Scott.

I asked Earl for the text of his remarks about Heather. Here’s the transcript:

When I first met this year’s Most Valuable Posse recipient it was early in April during the first Adult Posse training session. By the time the training sessions ended, I knew it was a uniquely talented and unselfish member we were welcoming into our ranks. 

The level of commitment that they brought to creating a personalized tour was inspirational.   This person looked the part, acted the part, and took visitors on a wonderful journey back in time. But it went far beyond that.  In gaining an Adult Posse Member we also received an excellent ambassador for the Historical Society. 

There was hardly a Northfield Historical Society event – at least none that I can remember – where this person wasn’t volunteering their time; be it at the annual meeting, during a presentation at the Historical Society, Cemetery Stories, Defeat Days or any function that would further the mission of NHS.  The only downside I experienced in knowing this person was the feeling of guilt that I, in comparison, wasn’t doing enough for the society.

I was trying to find a befitting way to end this introduction, one that would express our appreciation.  It was given to me today when I talked to her mother on the phone.  When she learned that her daughter would receive this award, one of her first comments was "Her father, Ted, would have been so proud of her. "

It is my honor to introduce to you our 2012 Most Valuable Posse Member, the great granddaughter of Dr. D. J. Whiting and the daughter of one of our founders, Mr. Ted Scott.  Please join me in congratulating Miss Heather Scott. 

Celebrating Jesse James Days with a nod to the ‘defeat’ part

Outlaw Run Every Girl Loves an Outlaw James-Younger 1876 Rye Ale
I love it how the Northfield Historical Society and the DJJD committee are sneaky smart. Yes, they make sure we celebrate the ‘defeat’ part of the Defeat of Jesse James Days, especially with tributes to Joseph Lee Heywood.

But we all know—wink-wink—that the outlaws are the real draw. Heh.

A special preview of the beer will be made available during the Northfield Historical Society’s Outlaw Run motorcycle rally on August 27.

Hopefully, Outlaw Run participants will drink responsibly (for me on a motorcycle, that means non-alcoholic beer) and no one will bungle their ride.

But let’s give props to both the Northfield Historical Society and the DJJD committee for increasingly finding more ways for people celebrate the true fun part of DJJD: mayhem!  And no, I’m not being sarcastic.

Update 8/26:

More progress: The new line of shirts on sale at the Northfield Historical Society Rare Pair don’t use the word ‘defeat’ at all, just the phrase “Jesse James Days.”

Jesse James Days t-shirt 3 Jesse James Days t-shirt 1 Jesse James Days t-shirt 2

Remember those home medical remedies when you were growing up? Earl Weinmann needs your help

I got this email from Earl Weinmann yesterday.  Earl is director of Northfield Historical Society’s SCOPE (Student Community Outreach Program Experience) and also a Northfield Middle School Social Studies teacher.

Earl WeinmannI’m nearing completion of proofreading and editing the latest work by my 8th grade SCOPE students.  As a result of the past two years of research and writing, selected eighth grade students have written a book about the history of Northfield. 

This book (which will be published this fall) will be used as a textbook in the Northfield area elementary schools.  We have 42 chapters that go back to before Northfield was a town to projections about the future of Northfield.  In each chapter we have interesting tidbits or trivia in little boxes to accompany the text. 

I’m writing to you because, in writing the chapter on the history of Northfield Medical Care, my students had difficulty finding any "fun facts" to go with the text.  I was thinking that perhaps I could use Locally Grown to solicit long-time residents to contribute a "home remedy" that they were administered as a child growing up here (we talk about the reliance of home remedies in early medical history).  The idea is, hopefully, to have your contributors jot down a few of the more interesting remedies they were "subjected" to that we could include in the Medical History chapter.

I want to get this to the layout artist by September…so time is limited…but I thought it might be a fun for students to read what the locals had to do in the hopes of "curing" an illness or malady. Of course, it must be made clear that what they contribute would be subject to this publication.  I would like to use their names as well, unless they have an objection.  If you think this sort of inquiry is an appropriate use of your blog, please feel free to submit this appeal on your site. 

Got a home remedy story? Attach it here as a comment or contact Earl via email.

Photo album: Scriver Building renovation open house and volunteer recognition

The Northfield Historical Society held a Scriver Building renovation open house last night. Special recognition awards were given to past Board President Debby Larsen, current Board president Scott Richardson, and "Next Level" campaign co-chairs Brett and Michelle Reese. 

The society also recognized its volunteers of the year, Rachel Wadleigh and Kathy Peterson.

See my album of 43 photos (I’ve added some renovation photos taken/blogged here, here, and here earlier this week), view the large slideshow (recommended), or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:

NHS gets a proper table for its board of directors

Northfield Historical Society board of directors table Northfield Historical Society board of directors table Northfield Historical Society board of directors table Northfield Historical Society board of directors table Northfield Historical Society board of directors table
Just in time for tonight’s open house, the Northfield Historical Society has installed a large table for its board of directors in its new 2nd floor office/meeting room.

Hayes Scriven told me that Gene Jasnoch of Jasnoch Construction donated the wood (red elm and walnut) and that he and his father-in-law, Steve Wille of Nerstrand Custom Cabinets, built it in their spare time.

The inlaid squares on the four corners are stone, taken from the walls of the Scriver Building.

NHS: making public toilets matter

 Hayes Scriven & 'public restrooms inside' sign  installation of a 'public restrooms inside' sign at the NHS installation of a 'public restrooms inside' sign at the NHS installation of a 'public restrooms inside' sign at the NHS 'public restrooms inside' sign at the NHS
Hayes Scriven invited me to witness Bridgette from Graphic Mailbox do the installation of a ‘public restrooms inside’ sign on the door of the Northfield Historical Society this morning.

Why me? I’ve been whining about the need for public toilet signage when the toilets are paid for with public dollars, as is the case for the Archer House and now the NHS. So I had to go. Everything worked out in the end. What a relief.

Hopefully now the Downtown Streetscape Taskforce will do its part to make the changes to the wayfinding signs to point people to the public toilets at the Archer House, the NHS, and Public Library.

When that happens, like Dr. Humphrey C. Cornholt, it will give me "great pleasure to be able to release all that I’ve been holding inside me for so long."

Photo album: renovated Scriver Building at the NHS. Open house this week

Northfield Historical Society's renovated Scriver Building - exterior Northfield Historical Society's renovated Scriver Building - exterior Northfield Historical Society's renovated Scriver Building - interior

Hayes Scriven and Northfield Historical Society's renovated Scriver Building - interior Hayes Scriven and Northfield Historical Society's renovated Scriver Building - interior Northfield Historical Society's renovated Scriver Building - interior Northfield Historical Society's renovated Scriver Building - interior Northfield Historical Society's renovated Scriver Building - interior
Hayes Scriven gave me a tour of the Northfield Historical Society‘s renovated Scriver Building this morning. He’s in preparation mode for the Open house and volunteer recognition wingding on Thursday (link to his blog post).

Hayes Scriven and Northfield Historical Society's renovated Scriver Building - interior Public urination in Northfield Northfield Historical Society's renovated Scriver Building - interior Northfield Historical Society's renovated Scriver Building - interior Future location of Northfield Historical Society's public restroom sign
Hayes quickly pointed out the new men’s urinal to me, knowing my reputation. I was relieved.  He said he was placing the order today for a public restroom sign that will appear in one of the window panes of the exterior door (right photo).

Another volunteer at the Northfield Historical Society: Steve Koktavy

Chip DeMann at NHSWhenever NHS Store Manager Chip DeMann sees me taking photos downtown, he concocts some excuse to drag me into the Scriver Building.

Last week, he just had to show me his burgeoning collection of female mannequins. (Jane, doesn’t this worry you a bit?)

While we were there, he introduced me to Steve Koktavy who had volunteered to paint the inner room of the museum.

Steve Koktavy, Northfield Historical Society volunteer Steve Koktavy, Northfield Historical Society volunteer 
Steve has a commercial & industrial painting business here in Northfield, Koktavy & Daleiden. You can reach him at (612) 865-4733 or via email.

Photo redux: Maggie Lee. Her 90th birthday is Sunday. Party on, Wayne.

poster: Maggie Lee's 90th birthday partyNHS head honcho Hayes Scriven has a blog post up with the details of Maggie Lee’s 90th birthday party on Sunday. I do believe Wayne Eddy is invited.

Who is Maggie Lee? See this NHS oral history of Maggie Lee in which she "talks about her life in Northfield and why the color purple is so important to her."

If your eyes can handle the purple:

See the album Maggie Lee 60th Anniversary At Northfield News (large slideshow) or SLOW CLICK the small slideshow below:

See the album Maggie Lee, Haywood Award recipient 2009 (large slideshow) or SLOW CLICK the small slideshow below:

Photo album: Volunteer demolition crew saves Northfield Historical Society $9,000

A crew of Northfield Historical Society board members, staff, and volunteers took on a nasty task this morning, cleaning out the demolition debris from a second floor office of the Scriver Building.  Their efforts saved the Taking Northfield to the Next Level campaign $9,000 in renovation costs.

Among the crew: NHS Board members Debby Larsen, Scott Richardson, Jodi Lawson, and Heather Scott; store manager Chip DeMann; and Brad Ness, former DJJD chair and most recently, Lena’s main squeeze, Ole.

See my album of 16 photos, the large slideshow (recommended), or this small slideshow:

Recalling the 1985 Demolition of St. Dominic Church

This spring, St. Dominic parish will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone of their church. Nearly forgotten is the old church and the tumultuous debate that preceded its ultimate demolition in the Fall of 1985.  Tradition-minded parishioners joined with preservationists in the community to try to save the old church building. The contest attracted letters to the editor of the Northfield News from around the country, and newspaper articles in the Faribault Daily News and the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

With the help of Hayes Scriven and the Northfield Historical Society, I have assembled a handful of photos that perhaps explain why so many were so attached to the lovely old red-brick building. More photos and analysis of the episode available on my blog.

[All photos courtesy of The Northfield Historical Society]

See the large slideshow or this small slideshow:

Hayes Scriven makes use of a QR code for the NHS ‘Next Level’ campaign

I got an email this morning from Northfield Historical Society Executive Director Hayes Scriven:

Hey Griff, I saw a story over the weekend about a town in Florida using a version of QR Codes for tourism.  That reminded me about your blog post: A QR Code makes its appearance in the January NEG. How else might the codes be used?

So I wanted to look into how they work.  I found out they are really easy, so I did this one for our capital campaign.  Now, that I know how easy they are I am going to do a few more for other areas of the museum.

NHS 'Next Level' campaign QR code flyer NHS 'Next Level' campaign QR code flyer triggers video

Hayes attached a camera phone photo of a Next Level campaign flyer (with QR code on it) in the window of the NHS. I aimed my smartphone at the image attachment on my PC and within 5 seconds (photo above right), a YouTube video started to play, Taking Northfield History to the Next Level, featuring Corrine and Elvin Heiberg.

NHS requests $60K forgivable loan for public toilets. Does anyone give a shit about those $100K public toilets at the Archer House?

Archer House - front entrance Archer House - rear entrance Archer House - lobby level restrooms 
On the agenda at tonight’s City Council meeting:

The Northfield Historical Society (NHS) is adding an elevator to the building that will allow for ADA access to all three levels of the building. This project will also include the addition of six (6) ADA compliant restrooms that will be open to the public. The demand for more public restrooms is particularly important during community events in the Downtown Business District… The Northfield Historical Society’s request to the City is for $60,000.00 from the Master Development/TIF District #4 Fund. The overall project budget is currently budgeted for $700,000.00. The restroom phase of the project will cost $175,000. This project is scheduled to be completed by January 2011.

The Archer House, which got $100,000 last year for public restrooms as part of its renovation, still has not put up any exterior signs alerting the public to their availability.

The owner of the Archer House, Brett Reese, is co-chair of the NHS Next Level Campaign, and will be speaking to the Council tonight on the NHS request.

I support the loan but I think the Council should stipulate that NHS publicize the existence of the public restrooms on the exterior of the Scriver Building, and, retroactively, the Archer House.

Scriver Building: the trees are down but the banner is up

Scriver Building Scriver Building tree stump Scriver Building
The two trees in front of the Northfield Historial Society’s Scriver Building have been cut down (sob!). It looks so bare now from Bridge Square.

Scriver Building with fundraising banner Scriver Building with fundraising banner NHS - Taking Northfield History to the Next Level
But there is now a huge Taking History to the Next Level fundraising banner hanging on the Division St side of the building. For construction updates, see:

Unidentified tree hugger protests during NHS groundbreaking ceremony

Unidentified tree huggerSome poor sap made a fool of himself yesterday after the NHS groundbreaking by hugging one of the two trees scheduled to be cut down in front of the Scriver Building.

He refused to leave until Hayes Scriven fired up his chain saw and threatened to cut his nuts off asked him politely to depart.

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