I’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.
Molly heard from 35 Northfielders and graciously let me follow her around yesterday while she visited some of the recommended "hidden gems."
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.
After a quick couple of photos at the NAG, she bought a cupcake at CakeWalk and forced me to eat half of it.
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.
She 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.
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)
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).
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.
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.
I’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?
"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."
After 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.
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.
This year the two organizations are introducing a James-Younger 1876 Rye Ale, also complete with its own Facebook page. Some members of the James-Younger gang were reportedly intoxicated during their bungled robbery attempt on that fateful day in 1876, so it’s especially fitting that:
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.
I’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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Helen Albers: A big Tree Hug to all of our town tree-lovers! With thanks to all who have responded to express their appreciation of trees! Happy Holidays! Helen Albers
Beth Kallestad: Thank you Helen for your tree planting and reminding us of the need to protect those trees!
John S. Thomas: It truly is a beautiful tree. I am still “sick” of the way the trees on Fourth Street look. It will be MANY years before they mature… and I hope they do!
Marsha Kitchel: What a lovely photo of Helen Albers, beautiful in red, hugging her red maple. Hold on for dear life if “new and improved” means touching this gorgeous tree or any of the trees on Bridge Square. Northfielders would be...
Griff Wigley: Northfield City Engineer Joe Stapf sent me these photos today of the repairs to Armstrong Road and the adjacent Mill Towns Trail. Joe wrote: The trail paving is complete (still being rolled so not yet open), and the roadway is...
Doug Peterson: Hi Griff, After reading Jan Hill’s reply, I realize my mis-understanding on “riding the rails”. You got me. Can I blame that on getting old?
Jan Hill: I knew this was a send-up, Griff, having investigated possible routes ourselves (and knowing you!) But I thought for sure the cyclist on the rail was a fake–until I watched the video. Now that’s scary.
Griff Wigley: Nick, I’ve heard from another Northfielder on this who wrote via email: The part where you suggest that riders go on to the active rail line does not make good common sense to me. I have worked on the railroad as a head...
Nick Benson: Your non-pussy readers should note that trespassing on railroad tracks, as shown there, is both dangerous and illegal; trains can be surprisingly quiet when approaching on smooth welded rail like that, which doesn’t...
Ross Currier: I just walked through Bridge Square and ALL THREE of the tables were occupied. It didn’t look like they were playing chess, though, more like eating lunch… …and what a day for it, in beautiful downtown Northfield,...
Griff Wigley: The three picnic tables were installed last week. Each has an inlaid backgammon and chess/checkerboard. I’ve added photos to the blog post above.
Griff Wigley: Joe, thanks for that explanation. And if your eighth grade English teacher, Mrs. Gentilini, is still around, I think she might approve of your communications style.
kiffi summa: Joe or Mr. Stapf… Thanks for the explanation; I think its/they’re great, and long overdue… I just didn’t want anything to put off the Bridge Square redesign implementation … and often it’s...
Joe Stapf: Ah-h-h-h, yes, The Gaming Tables… Question #1) Who authorized them!!!??? I did. The picnic tables (if you recall, a trial) were deemed by me to have been a success. We received absolutely 100%, pure, unadulterated positive feedback...
Griff Wigley: Two new parking-related blog posts: A bicycle field trip with Dale Gehring to get smarter about ‘making the connections’ http://northfielddowntownparki ng.org/2013/08/30/a-bicycle-fi eld-trip-with-dale-gehring-...
Griff Wigley: New blog post: Proposed layout of directional and way-finding signs for public parking
Griff Wigley: New blog post: Washington St. lot restriped to optimize parking spaces
Griff Wigley: Blog post update: recommended downtown parking management action steps for Aug. 13 Council work session
Griff Wigley: Blog post update: July 31 parking management planning meeting at City Hall
Griff Wigley: There is a Prayer Walk for the Northfield School District today, 4-8 pm: By Maria KayLynn Olson and Kiersten-Kiwi Williams Bielenberg Schedule: 4:00-4:25 Prairie Creek 4:30-4:55 Arcadia 5:00-5:25 Greenvale 5:30-5:55 Sibley 6:00-6:25...
Griff Wigley: Hi Marie, thanks for asking. I’ll contact you via email.
Marie Wright: I’d like to use this photo on my website. My theme is vintage Main Street USA. I feel that I need your permission to copy this photo and use it. (Julia Rose Grey is my pen name for my genre of novels.)
Griff Wigley: Dave, I like the two-prong attack, too. Can you let us know when the short-term task force is due to meet? I’d like to attend, and I’m sure some of the neighbors would as well. And make sure that pizza with mushroom...
Griff Wigley: Nfld News article on Tuesday’s Council action on this issue: Subcommittee to explore fixes for tax-forfeited land acquired by Northfield During heavy rain, water has overtaken the yards and basements of Karen Moldenhauer and...
David DeLong: Griff, I’m told there’s over 50,000 cubic yards of dirt in the pile which translates to over 2,500 dump truck loads. I think there’s enough to go around. The problem is moving all that over residential streets, if we sell it or...
Griff Wigley: At last night’s meeting, the City Council opted to A) form a 4-week task force of 3 council members plus engineering staff and citizens to deal with the runoff problem in the neighborhood; and B) ask the Parks & Rec...
kiffi summa: good to know, Griff… I trust that you’re correct about the amount of dirt needed for the create of a bike park. Maybe if there’s so much more than needed, a berm could be created between the park and the houses, if...
Nancy Averill: Ah KDWB. THE best radio station ever. We had the KDW-Beatles. We had the KDW-Beach Boys. We were color radio. We had leaky billboards. I maintain that Professor James Francis Patrick O’Neill is the very basis of my humor. We...
Griff Wigley: Paul/George, they reopened the old culvert and put in a new larger secondary one. I’ll try to get photos.
Griff Wigley: Thanks everyone for your kind comments about the photos. I’ve added a few of downtown to the blog post above. See Rob Hardy’s comprehensive listing of links related to the flooding on Northfield.org.