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Minnesota Local History News

Published: July 5, 2006

A weekly publication by the Minnesota Historical Society for professional local historians and historical organizations.


Annual Survey Due Soon

Responses to the 2006 Annual Survey of Minnesota Historical Organizations continue to arrive in St. Paul. So far 37 percent, or 120 organizations have responded. "That's a very good start," said Tim Glines, manager of outreach services at the Minnesota Historical Society. "This year we are aiming for 100 percent to come back." Glines noted that surveys are used to keep communications between local historical organizations and the Minnesota Historical Society clear and accurate. Plus, this year the survey is hoping to learn how volunteers are used by local historical organizations. The results will be in a future issue of the Minnesota History Interpreter. If you have not returned your survey please do so soon. If you don't think you ever received one, or would like to be part of the count, please contact David Grabitske at 651-297-4416.

CAP Grants Announced

Five Minnesota organizations recently received a Conservation Assessment Program (CAP) grant. The organizations are Glensheen Estate (Duluth), McLeod County Historical Society (Hutchinson), Betsy-Tacy Society (Mankato), Rochester Art Center, and White Bear Lake Area Historical Society. For more infomation see the Heritage Preservation website.

AASLH Award Winners in Minnesota

Eight Minnesota organizations garnered National Leadership in History Awards of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History. The following awards will be presented at the AASLH annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, at a ceremony on Saturday September 16, 2006. Come see your colleagues collect their awards by registering for the annual meeting.

Milwaukee Elevator listed in National Register of Historic Places

Milwaukee Elevator located on Fillmore Street and the Root River State Trail in Preston, Fillmore County was listed in the National Register on May 31, 2006.  It was built in 1902 by L. O. Hickok for Loomis and Company, a major Minnesota grain buyer. The Milwaukee Elevator is a country elevator. Unlike terminal elevators, country elevators were located in small towns where they collected grain in wagonloads delivered by individual farmers. Country elevators then shipped the grain on to the larger terminal elevators. The Milwaukee Elevator, located on the Chicago Milwaukee and St. Paul rail line, is significant as an example for its distinctive design and construction that characterizes country grain elevators in Minnesota. It retains the grain elevator layout with a central working floor for mechanical equipment, and two rows of storage bins built of cribbed construction, the predominant building method used in many of Minnesota’s country elevators. The Preston Historical Society is working to convert the elevator into an interpreted site for users of the Root River State Trail, once the Chicago Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad.  Mathew Ottinger with Susan Granger (Gemini Research) prepared the nomination.

Grant Deadlines

NEH Interpreting America's Historic Places

Places where history was made have a special power to connect people to the past and to impress upon us the deeper lessons of our history.  The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) invites proposals for public programs that exploit the evocative power of historic places to address themes and issues central to American history. Are you preserving an historic place?  If so, you might also want to think about exhibits, interpretive materials, heritage tourism partnerships, or other strategies for helping the public to learn more about your historic place, and the people, stories, events, and ideas that make it a significant part of American history. “Interpreting America’s Historic Places” grants support public humanities programs that use one or more historic sites to interpret important topics in American history.  Projects can interpret a single historic site, a series of sites, whole neighborhoods, communities or towns, or larger geographic regions. September 12, 2006, is the deadline for proposals for both Consultation Grants and Planning Grants for Interpreting America’s Historic Places. January 23, 2007, is the deadline for proposals for Implementation Grants. For guidelines and further information see the above websites. Contact a program officer about an Interpreting America's Historic Places proposal, or call 202-606-8269.

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops

2006 MCN Conference

The 34th Annual Museum Computer Network Conference, “Access to Assets: Return on Investment” will be held November 8-11, 2006, in Pasadena, CA. At MCN 2006 in Pasadena, we will explore ways we’ve found to demonstrate useful, successful methods for accessing technology; we’ll share our challenges and triumphs as we network together to creatively and effectively improve our bottom lines. We’ll discuss the many ways we’ve found to maximize the compelling value of our technology collateral, keeping in mind that the bottom line is not always financial, sometimes it’s intellectual, and sometimes it’s just for the greater good. View the preliminary program and find information about how you can join us this fall in Pasadena.

PastPerfect Museum Software Training

PastPerfect Museum Software training classes have been added. The classes will be held at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul on September 19-21, 2006. Space is limited for this popular program. Please see the website for registration information.

Field Note

Anoka County Historical Society's exhibition on agriculture, 1900-1945, is closing on July 15. During the Depression, farm women were taught to make their own dress forms.

Dress forms helped farm wives make quality clothing, economically.

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