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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  1. Thank you for sharing. I'm not a member of a historical society, but we do have one locally. That may be something to consider after I retire.

  2. Tennessee does have a historical society. It was formed in 1849 I am not a member, but as yet have not joined. I have looked into our local historical society and when I can find the time will join it.