Tag Archives: Northfield Historical Society

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. 

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: