Monday, January 16, 2017

Five Reasons to Love Mississippi AND Cover Reveal!

by Pam Hillman

Having been born and raised in Mississippi, I’d like to share FIVE reasons that make Mississippi an amazing place to set an entire series in my home state.

1) Mississippi River - The Mississippi River runs North/South all the way from Minnesota along the western border of Mississippi to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Native Americans, mostly hunter-gatherers and Mound Builders formed agricultural societies up and down its banks.

The river was (and still is) a major transportation hub as well as a barrier and boundary for those without the means to cross. Farms, plantations, cities, shipping, barges, flatboats, riverboats all vied for a place on or near the Mississippi River.

2) Natchez Trace - The Natchez Trace, also known as the "Old Natchez Trace" and “The Devil’s Backbone”, runs roughly 440 miles from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee.

The Old Sunken Trace and Cole's Creek

The trail follows a ridge line, and animals naturally followed the pathway to distant grazing lands, the salt licks in Tennessee, and to the Mississippi River. Native Americans, then European and American explorers, traders, and settlers followed in their paths, improving and widening the road with each passing year.

3) Natchez, MS - Natchez, at one time the capital of the Mississippi Territory, is one of the oldest and most important European settlements in the lower Mississippi River Valley. Changing hands from France, Spain, Great Britian and eventually becoming part of the United States of America, the city is a smorgasbord of nationalities, cultures, and architecture.

The strategic location on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River and at the Southern end of the Natchez Trace ensured its place as a center of trade and commerce for well over two centuries from its founding.




4) Plantations - Plantations are self-sustaining and self-contained settlements. The proximity of the Mississippi River and the Natchez Trace, and later, the invention of the steamboats plying the river in conjunction with the vast tracks of fertile land in the surrounding lowlands enticed wealthy Southern planters to take up residence, growing cotton and sugarcane and to lesser degrees, indigo and tobacco. Natchez became the principal port from which these crops were exported, both upriver and downriver to New Orleans and to Europe.

5) Highwaymen - Highwaymen weren’t confined to the English countryside. Because of the high rate of traffic on the Natchez Trace before the steamboat was launched on the Mississippi River in 1811, thieves and robbers plied the trace, stealing and killing unsuspecting travelers.

With all these fascinating people, places, events within a few hours of me, how could I not write about them? So I did.


The Promise of Breeze Hill - Available for preorder from your favorite Retailer


The Promise of Breeze Hill, A Natchez Trace Novel
Natchez, MS; 1791

Anxious for his brothers to join him on the rugged frontier along the Mississippi River, Connor O’Shea has no choice but to indenture himself as a carpenter in exchange for their passage from Ireland. But when he’s sold to Isabella Bartholomew of Breeze Hill Plantation, Connor fears he’ll repeat past mistakes and vows not to be tempted by the lovely lady.

The responsibilities of running Breeze Hill have fallen on Isabella’s shoulders after her brother was found dead in the swamps along the Natchez Trace and a suspicious fire devastated their crops, almost destroyed their home, and left her father seriously injured. Even with Connor’s help, Isabella fears she’ll lose her family’s plantation. Despite her growing feelings for the handsome Irish carpenter, she seriously considers accepting her wealthy and influential neighbor’s proposal of marriage.

Soon, though, Connor realizes someone is out to eliminate the Bartholomew family. Can he set aside his own feelings to keep Isabella safe?


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Visit Pam at www.pamhillman.com

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Conrad Weiser

Conrad Weiser Statue
Conrad Weiser is one of the most remarkable and influential figures in colonial Pennsylvania history. Beginning at the age of 17, he served variously as a diplomat and interpreter for his fellow Germans and the Indians, Pennsylvania’s Indian agent, and colonel of the militia. A close friend of powerful Indian and colonial leaders, he was also a faithful husband and father of 14 children, a farmer, a tanner, a founder of the town of Reading, a monk at the Ephrata Cloister, a leader in the Lutheran Church, a promoter of Moravian missions, a hymn-writer, and a woodsman. He appears several times in Northkill and the forthcoming The Return, Books 1 and 2 of the Northkill Amish Series, coauthored by me and Bob Hostetler. I’ve been fascinated by Weiser since I first discovered him while researching the series.

Conrad Weiser was born November 2, 1696, in the German principality of Wurttemberg. After his mother’s death, his father, Johann Conrad Weiser, migrated to America in 1710 with his children and settled on the New York frontier. At the age of 15, Conrad went to live with their Mohawk neighbors at the Indian Castle at the mouth of the Schoharie River in order to learn the language of the Iroquois so he could serve as a go-between for the German community. Under the guidance of the Mohawk chief, Quagnant, Weiser acquired a keen knowledge of the Iroquois language, religion, and social customs and was soon in almost constant demand as an interpreter and negotiator.

Weiser married Anna Eva Fegg on November 22, 1720 and in 1729 moved his family to the Tulpehocken Valley in present-day Berks and Lebanon counties in Pennsylvania, where many Germans from New York were migrating. After they settled on 200 acres near Womelsdorf, Weiser soon became a close friend of Shikellamy, a powerful chief of the Oneidas who had been sent to the area by the Iroquois to rule over the Delaware and Shawnee nations. Shikellamy became a frequent guest at the Weiser home and insisted he serve as interpreter for all negotiations with the provincial officials.

Weiser's signature
Recognizing Weiser’s value, in 1731 the governor placed him in charge of all Indian affairs for the colony. Weiser worked closely with Shikellamy to keep the frontier peaceful and was deeply involved in the implementation of Pennsylvania’s Indian policy, which recognized the dominance of the Iroquois over all other Indian nations in the colony. Weiser was predominantly responsible for negotiating every major treaty between the colonial settlers in Pennsylvania and the Iroquois Nations from 1731 until 1758. He convinced the Six Nations to take no part in the quarrels between the French and the English. This long-standing friendship eventually resulted in the other Indian nations withdrawing their allegiance from the French as well, which contributed greatly to France’s eventual defeat. Weiser’s courage and good will impressed the Iroquois so much that they named him Tarachiawagon, Holder of the Heavens.

When war first broke out along the frontier, Weiser was chosen to be the commander of the local militia. Pennsylvania soon formed a provincial militia and built a line of outposts, and in 1756 Weiser was commissioned as lieutenant colonel in command of the 1st Battalion, Pennsylvania Regiment, which was responsible for manning the line between the Delaware and Susquehanna Rivers. He held this post until he retired 1758. That same year General John Forbes’s expedition to Fort Du Quesne forced the French to abandon and burn this great stronghold. Weiser was instrumental in negotiating the 1758 Treaty of Easton, which ended the great majority of Indian raids in eastern Pennsylvania.

Ephrata Cloister
Anna Eva bore Weiser 14 children, seven of whom lived to adulthood. Although a Lutheran, Weiser joined the monastic community of Ephrata Cloister between 1735 and 1741, intermittently withdrawing from family and political life to live there. He eventually became disillusioned with the Cloister’s leader, however, and returned to the Lutheran Church. He helped found Trinity Church in Reading, and his daughter Maria married Henry Melchoir Muhlenberg, a leading minister of the Lutheran Church in Pennsylvania. Weiser also actively promoted the missions the Moravian Church established to the Indians in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Conrad Weiser Homestead
A major landholder, farmer, tanner, and businessman, Weiser remained active in local affairs until the end of his life. He served as a magistrate for Lancaster County and helped to found the town of Reading in 1748 and Berks County in 1752, which he served as its first justice of the peace. He established a general mercantile in Reading, the first in the community, and built a home there in 1758 after turning the management of his farm over to 2 of his sons. He died at his farm on July 13, 1760, at the age of 63.

Weiser’s influence was so great that after his death relations between the colonists and the Indians rapidly began to decline. The most fitting tribute to this remarkable man was given by an Iroquois leader speaking to a group of colonists: “We are at a great loss and sit in darkness … as since his death we cannot so well understand one another.” How different might the relations between the new United States and the Native Americans have been if he had lived long enough to serve through the Revolution!

Unfortunately, no known portaits of Weiser survive. However, you can visit the Conrad Weiser Homestead at Womelsdorf, managed by the Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission, which interprets his life and preserves the restored structures and graveyard. The park contains statues of Weiser and Shikellamy as a memorial to Weiser’s great friendship with the Indians.

What is your favorite era in history to read about, and who is your favorite real-life hero of that era?

~~~
J. M. Hochstetler is the daughter of Mennonite farmers and a lifelong student of history. She is also an author, editor, and publisher. Northkill, Book 1 of the Northkill Amish Series coauthored with Bob Hostetler, won Foreword Magazine’s 2014 INDYFAB Book of the Year Bronze Award for historical fiction. Book 2, The Return, releases in Spring 2017. Her American Patriot Series is the only comprehensive historical fiction series on the American Revolution. One Holy Night, a contemporary retelling of the Christmas story, was the Christian Small Publishers 2009 Book of the Year.



Saturday, January 14, 2017

Charles A. Lindbergh: A Legacy and an Enigma

Gabrielle Here:

Yesterday, Erica Vetsch shared a little about our amazing Minnesota Historical Society and the twenty-five sites that dot the map of our beautiful state. One of those sites is the Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site in Little Falls, Minnesota.

I'm especially fond of this historic site because it sits right across the river from where I live in my hometown, and I spent ten years of my life working there as a site guide, an assistant site manager, and later as an interim manager.

Charles Lindbergh is one of the most fascinating men I've ever studied. On the surface, many people know him as the shy, handsome hero who made the first non-stop, transatlantic flight in his monoplane, The Spirit of St. Louis, in May 1927.





Others may know him as the father of the baby who was kidnapped and murdered on March 1, 1932. The horrible event became known as The Crime of the Century and an important law, known informally as the Lindbergh Law, was enacted from that event, which allows federal authorities to step in and pursue kidnappers once they cross state lines with their victim.


Some may be more familiar with Charles Lindbergh's wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, who wrote several books, her most famous being A Gift from the Sea. It continues to change women's live, over half a century after it was written.


And, yet, many others remember Charles A. Lindbergh for his stance on America's entry into WWII and his connection with Nazi Germany.


For a few, when they think of Charles Lindbergh, they think of his conservation work toward the end of his life, his design of the perfusion pump, which was the first apparatus to keep organs alive outside of the body, his work on the first rocket with Robert Goddard, and the routes he and Anne mapped out for air traffic, many of which are still used to this day.





Still others see Lindbergh as the father of illegitimate children in Germany, who came forward in 2003. DNA test proved their story was true, and they are now able to claim one of the most famous men in history as their father.


But, for me, I see Charles Lindbergh as a young boy, growing up on the banks of the Upper Mississippi River in Little Falls, Minnesota. A quiet, curious boy whose father was a lawyer and U.S. Congressman, and whose mother was a school teacher. He loved nothing better than working on the family farm until he left for college in 1920.



If you thought of any of those things, you'd know exactly who Charles Lindbergh was--yet, how many people really knew him? I spent ten years studying his life, reading his journals, letters, biography, and autobiographies--yet, I learned something new about him all the time.

He was a quiet, reserved man who was thrust into the world's spotlight as the first super-hero. He became the most famous person in the world in 1927, and despite his attempts to "retire" from his public life, he could never escape the fame. Very few people know what it was like to be Charles Lindbergh. He was hounded his entire life. Out of desperation and survival, he learned to keep things hidden, to shy away from reporters, and he drew into himself more and more.

There are points in his life that I admire--and others that I abhor. He was an American icon, a role-model for millions, yet he did unthinkable things throughout his life. He invented devises that saved lives, he was a pioneer for aviation, and he was tireless in his work for conservation efforts--yet, his respect for Nazi Germany is questionable, his marital affairs were deplorable, and his relationship with his wife and children was less than commendable.

Lindbergh is an American Legacy, and I applaud him for the great advancements he made. I even understand a few of the choices that shaped his life. But I still like to think of him best as the young man who made the transatlantic flight in 1927, or the child who roamed the woods of his family's property in Little Falls, before fame changed him forever.

He's also an enigma. A man hard to understand, who led a life that few will ever experience.

When I look at his life, I have to look at it through the lens of all these things. Not one individual moment, but the accumulation of seventy-two years of remarkable events that changed the world forever.

Gabrielle Meyer
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Friday, January 13, 2017

Women Outlaws of the Old West

By Miralee Ferrell

My recently republished book, Outlaw Angel (first published as Love Finds You in Sundance, Wyoming) has been optioned as a movie. No, that doesn't mean it WILL happen, but there's a chance. So in celebration, and since the heroine of the book was raised in an outlaw camp and took part in rustling cattle, I'm featuring women who were actual outlaws in the Old West. You may recognize
one or two and not others, but I had fun researching and learning about these unorthodox women.

First is Pearl Hart, a Canadian born in 1871. 
At the age of 17, she eloped to Chicago with gambler Frederick Hart. However, after suffering abuse at his hands, she left him at age 22. She migrated to Arizona and met miner Joe Boot. They couldn't make enough mining so they turned to common robbery. However, when Pearl was almost caught two times after luring men into her room so Joe could whack them over the head and rob them, they gave that up and tried their hand at robbing stage coaches. Pearl cut her hair short and posed as a man, and they successfully robbed one stage before they were caught. They took $400 total from the passengers, then returned a little of the money to each person, to assure they weren't completely broke.

At her trial Hart is famous for saying this phrase, "I shall not consent to be tried under a law in which my sex had no voice in making." Unfortunately, the judge didn't care and Hart was tried and convicted anyway.

Being the second woman to rob a stage coach and the first woman not to die doing it, she instantly became the most famous woman in Arizona.

Belle Siddons was a southern belle raised on a plantation. 
When the Civil War broke out, she used her good looks to work as a spy at the
http://pioneerpieces6.blogspot.com/
2010_12_01_archive.html
age of 25. She was arrested and served 4 months, then was pardoned and released. Not long after, she married a gambler who taught her to play cards. She became a dealer until her husband died, then she followed the gold rush to South Dakota. She bought a saloon and gambling establishment where she changed her name to Madame Vestal and fell in love with an outlaw/stage coach robber.

Again, she used her skill and beauty to help her husband by working as a spy, getting information from drivers about future shipments. Unfortunately for her, she talked too much one time and let it slip that she had information ahead of time. Her husband was caught and hung, and she became a wandering drunk who died in jail. 

Credit: Ft. Smith National Historic Park
Outlaw Belle Starr with Deputy U.S. Marshal Benjamin
Tyner Hughes, at her arraignment in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

A much more well-known outlaw is Belle Starr. 
She was born in 1848 and died at the young age of 41 in 1889.
Myra Maybelle Shirley started dreaming of an outlaw’s life when Jesse James’s gang hid out at her family’s farm when she was a child, and she willingly joined her first husband when he enlisted in Thomas Starr’s lawless clan. After his death, Belle married Sam Starr, the son of her first husband’s criminal partner. Known for her dead-aim, velvet riding habit, and the ostrich plume she wore in her Stetson, Starr went out true to form: shot in the back while galloping away.

Rose Dunn (1878–1955) became an outlaw after her brothers taught her to ride, rope, and shoot when she was young. 
Dunn became an outlaw when she fell in love with George Newcomb, a member of the Doolin Gang. Dunn participated in the gang by providing them with ammunition and supplies when members could not go to town. When they joined George “Bittercreek” Newcomb’s band of outlaws, she quickly became the darling of the gang. She fell in love with Newcomb, and once saved him from a posse of U.S. Marshals. As he sat wounded, Dunn ran through open fire to supply him with ammunition, then held off the Marshals with shots from her rifle until he could limp to safety. Dunn’s brothers, who were bounty hunters, eventually turned Newcomb in and Dunn settled down with a politician.

Outlaw Angel, available in ebook and print.

Angel Ramirez has been on the run for years disguised as a boy. She wants a
fresh start, but can she learn to live like a lady? On the run from a dangerous outlaw, Angel works her way across several states disguised as a boy and working as a varmint tracker and horse wrangler. After taking a job on a Wyoming ranch owned by a bachelor and his widowed sister, she finally reveals her true identity and must fight to prove her worth as a ranch hand while somehow discovering her role as woman. 

Hiring a woman doesn’t sit well with Travis Morgan, and the dark-haired beauty is causing a ruckus among his cowboys. Just as Angel decides she’ll never be able to please her boss, an unexpected surprise arrives from across the ocean and makes trouble on the ranch. Will Angel leave with the person who’s come so far to claim her?

Miralee Ferrell is a best-selling, award-winning author with 20 books in print. 
She has three more books releasing during 2017. Her primary love is writing Old West romances, but has also branched out to writing children's fiction containing horses, adventure, mystery and family values. She has a brand new children's series for ages 6-8 releasing in February in the Kate's Friends series, starting with Kate's Big Dream. It is heavily illustrated with color pictures and will be available in both print and ebook. These early readers will then lead children on to the middle-grade series, Horses and Friends, with 5 books in the series and one more coming. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Sesqui-what? Nebraska's 150th and Nebraska Women

A footnote from history by Stephanie Grace Whitson

Sesquicentennial: A word that would stump many a spelling bee contestant ... and the thing my home state is celebrating this year. Because Nebraska history fuels much of my historical fiction, the 150th anniversary holds special meaning for me.  Nebraska will officially be 150 years old on March 1, 2017.

Three amazing women who played significant roles in Nebraska history:


Susette La Flesche Tibbles (Inshata Theumba or Bright Eyes), who "learned the legends, songs, sacred ceremonies, and ancient wisdom of the Omaha people in her grandmother's earth lodge, was educated in the East by missionary friends, and then returned to the reservation to teach. Along with her brother and her future husband Thomas Tibbles, Susette campaigned for Native rights in the case of Ponca Chief Standing Bear. She testified before Senate committees and was feted at the White House. In a day when women had no political rights, Susette La Flesche Tibbles challenged the United States government and won a measure of justice for the Ponca. She went on to lecture in England and fought for Native citizenship.



Susan La Flesche Picotte, the first Native American woman to become a physician in the United States. After graduating from the Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania, she returned to the reservation and practice medicine there until 1894. In 1913, she founded the reservation hospital that bears her name. 


Luna Kellie, who became State Secretary of the Nebraska Farmers Alliance (while raising eleven children on the farm) and published an alliance newsletter on a borrowed portable printing press poised on her kitchen table. Kellie was invited to speak at an alliance conference and was an outspoken on behalf of rural reform movements. She was also active in the Temperance Movement of the Methodist Church and, when she was a widow in her 80s, homesteaded alone near Phoenix, AZ. 





I love learning about Nebraska women--especially the largely forgotten ones who formed aid societies across the state to shelter the homeless, build parsonages, feed the hungry, buy hymnals, support missionaries, nurse the wounded, etc. Their tireless efforts inspire me--and challenge me to be part of making the world a better place. 

Happy Birthday, Nebraska! 
Here's to 150 more years of incredible women. 

______________________________


Stephanie Grace Whitson's life as a fiction author began over 20 years ago when she was inspired by the lives of Nebraska's pioneer women. 

Her novel Karyn's Memory Box tells the story of German mail order bride, Karyn Ensinger Ritter, a sod house homemaker who marries a stranger and then must cope with life in a place that is, in comparison to her home in Germany, a desert. 

Find it here:  https://www.amazon.com/Karyns-Memory-Box-Keepsake-Legacies/dp/1523637498/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483828029&sr=8-1&keywords=Karyn%27s+Memory+Box

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Bishop's Palace

More Than a Home
by Martha Rogers


When I was a child, we visited Galveston several times. I remember driving by Bishop’s Palace on Broadway and thinking what a grand place it was for church bishops to live. Later, as a teenager, I asked my dad how many bishops lived there and why it was so large. He then told me the story of the Palace. Because it didn’t become available for tours until the sixties, I wasn’t able to tour the building until 2001 when my sister and I took my aunt and nephew on the tour. What delightful surprises we found in the beauty of the home.

Now over 120 years old, the house is listed as a National Historic Landmark. The building began as a home for Colonel Walter Gresham, his wife Josephine and their nine children. 
Gresham was an attorney and politician as well as the founder of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad and worked to bring about the merger of the line with the Atchison and Topeka Railroad. Gresham served in the Civil War and also served in the Texas Legislature.

He commissioned architect Nicholas Clayton to design and build the home in 1887. A huge house built on a small lot, it is very different from other Victorian style homes of the area. Although classified Victorian, the style is more like a Chateau.

The home consisted of a combination of materials from cast iron, solid wood, and native stone. Clayton expanded on the Victorian style by using stones of irregular shape and color as well as Tudor arches, towers with pointed roofs, and ornate carvings of animals and vegetation. Because of its structure of steel and stone, it survived the 1900 Galveston hurricane, and the Gresham’s welcomed hundreds of survivors into their home as a shelter from the ravages of the storm.

It soars three stories over the street below with a raised basement level giving it four floors. The basement once housed the kitchen and servant’s areas but now contains the store and gift shop. Three formal floors rise above this level.
 
Mrs. Gresham played a part in the décor by painting the fresco of cherubs on the ceiling in the dining room.














 My favorite room is also on this floor. I call it a garden room, but I believe it is the Conservatory on the tour.
This floor also has the parlor, music room, kitchen, library, and servant’s vestibule.

The second floor had a bathroom with a tub that had three spigots for hot, cold, and rain water. Also on this floor were Mr. and Mrs. Gresham’s rooms, the daughter’s rooms and a guest bedroom.  The fourth floor was reserved for the boys’ bedrooms, Mrs. Gresham’s art studio, and storage.

It is as beautiful today as it was in the early days. Preservation has kept the Palace in very good shape with the beauty of the stained glass windows, intricate carvings in stone and wood, and original furnishings.



The interior rooms are grand and spacious with great carvings and marble columns in the entrance hall. Rooms on the first floor have fourteen foot ceilings and an intricately carved staircase rises from the entrance hall. The decor is abundant with wood carvings, marble columns, and decorative carvings and painting on ceilings and walls.

First know as the Gresham house for the man who built it, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Galveston purchased the home in 1923 as it was situated across the street from Sacred Heart Church. It served as a residence for Bishop Christopher E. Byrne until the diocesan offices moved to Houston and earned the name, Bishop’s Palace. One of the Gresham daughters’ bedrooms  was converted into a chapel.



In 1963 the house was opened to the public with proceeds from tours of the home going to help fund the Newman Center set up in the basement of the home to serve Catholic students from the University of Texas Medical Branch.



Built at a cost of $250,000, the home is said to be worth well over five million today. The house is now owned by the Galveston Historical Foundation and tours are available daily. A portion of the admission charge is now used to help preserve and restore the property.

This is how it appears today with careful preservation and restoration. She's a grand old lady with all the elegance of her original days 

If you are ever in Galveston, this is one place I highly recommend for a visit. 

My latest release is set in Hawaii at the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Be True tells the story of the Benson family with a long history of Navy men. Kari Benson’s Marine fiancé died in Afghanistan and she is determined that won’t happen again. Even though her great-grandfather
, grandfather, father and brother are all military, she vows to stay away from any man associated with the military. While in Hawaii to commemorate her grandparents’ anniversary in the same chapel where they married and Pearl Harbor Memorial recognition of her great-grandfather, she meets Lieutenant Spencer Langston who is the public affairs Navy officer assigned to escort them to all activities. When his kindness and attention to detail for the family begins to rock her boat of resolve, she flees back to New York. Spencer is determined to break down the walls of her heart. When he shows up on Kari’s doorstep on Valentine’s Day, she remembers her grandmother’s advice to be true to her heart and God’s will. Will she be willing to fall overboard to be rescued by Spencer or grab her life-jacket and hang on to the past?




Martha Rogers is a free-lance writer and multi-published author from Realms Fiction of Charisma Media and Winged Publications. She was named Writer of the Year at the Texas Christian Writers Conference in 2009. She is a member of ACFW and writes the weekly Verse of the Week for the ACFW Loop. ACFW awarded her the Volunteer of the Year in 2014. Her first electronic series from Winged Publications, Love in the Bayou City of Texas, debuted in the spring of 2015.  Martha is a frequent speaker for writing workshops and the Texas Christian Writers Conference. She is a retired teacher and lives in Houston with her husband, Rex. Their favorite pastime is spending time with their eleven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. 


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

History in Minnesota

Erica Vetsch here:

One of the things I love the most about Minnesota is the rich and varied history to be found here. From pre-Columbian Native Nations to the New Vikings Stadium, this state is jam-packed with history.

And Minnesotans love their history. So much so, that the Minnesota Historical Society was founded by the Territorial Legislature in 1849...nearly a decade before Minnesota became a state!

From the start, the mission of the MNHS was to collect and preserve Minnesota's stories in all their forms. This is still the mission!

For decades the MNHS had temporary quarters that moved locations in St. Paul, and survived devastating fires in 1857 and 1881. In 1918, the MNHS moved into their first permanent building.


The above building now serves as the Minnesota Judicial Center.  The MNHS now lives in a beautiful building across the highway from the stunning state capitol. The new Minnesota History Center opened in 1992, and it is MASSIVE! I have been privileged to take a behind the scenes tour, and the archives are immense, going down several stories underground.

In addition to the Minnesota History Center, the MNHS owns and operates 25 other historic sites and museums throughout the state.


It is on my bucket list to visit every MNHS site in the state at least once...and I have SIX more to go!

As a history and museum addict, it is such a blessing to live in a state that values and preserves its diverse, colorful, and interesting history. I have been a member of the MNHS for many years, and I am not alone. The MNHS welcomes more than 800,000 visitors each year to their many sites, more than 3 million visitors to their wonderful website, and boasts more than 25,000 members.

Q4U - Does your state have an historical society? Are you a member of an historical society, whether local, state, or national? 


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