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Minnesota Local History News

Published: June 14, 2006

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

Discussions and Questions

This section of the newsletter has moved to our blog.  See   You are encouraged to use it to ask questions, offer opinions or comment.  As an example, see Mary Warner's comment on David Grabitske's question about public libraries as models.

Job Announcements


Historic Preservation Specialist, Madison, WI or Minneapolis, MN

Mead & Hunt, a nationally recognized professional services consulting firm in business since 1900, has a full-time position available to work on historic preservation projects in our Madison or Minneapolis office. This position offers excellent potential for advancement and an exciting opportunity to work on a variety of projects in a fast-paced environment.  Some travel will be required.  The successful candidate will possess: a bachelor’s degree plus 2 years of relevant work experience OR a master’s degree and some relevant work experience; must already have or be able to obtain degree by August 31, 2006 at the latest; experience must be in historic preservation or a related field such as history, architectural history, American studies, etc.  Any/all of the following ideal (but not required): demonstrated prior work or education in architectural history; knowledge of or prior work with Section 106 regulations; prior work on transportation projects; knowledge of or prior work with Section 4(f) and/or NEPA regulations; database and/or GIS knowledge. Mead & Hunt offers excellent potential for career growth in a pleasant work environment.  If you are interested in this position, submit a cover letter and resume by June 28, 2006 to the address below.  Interviews will be awarded on our review of your ability to meet the qualifications listed in the paragraphs above describing the “successful” candidate and “ideal” candidate, so be sure to explain in your cover letter how you meet each qualification stated in this ad. Submittals will be reviewed starting June 28.  No phone calls please.  Be sure to prominently state your location preference in your letter.  MEAD & HUNT, Inc., Dept. 201, 6501 Watts Road, Madison, WI  53719-2700.

Interpreter, Wells Fargo History Museum

The Wells Fargo History Museum in Minneapolis seeks a museum interpreter for its downtown location. The position is flexible and therefore ineligible for most Wells Fargo benefits. The position will work an average of 15 hours per week between 9 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday.  Position duties:  conduct tours to elementary school groups, senior citizens, Wells Fargo employees, and the general public; greet visitors, provide information, and answer questions pertaining to Wells Fargo History including the gold rush, stagecoach, and regional history; support museum operations including answering the phone, performing retail duties for small museum gift shop, clerical duties, and light housekeeping; assist with special museum events as needed.  Hourly rate: $11.00 to $13.50 per hour.  Minimum qualifications: Effective written and verbal communication skills and the ability to speak in front of an audience, ability to work under minimal supervision, ability to be flexible and think on your feet.  Experience in education, history, or related field preferred.  To apply, go to and enter requisition number 3055335.  Enter your contact information and qualifications and attach a resume file with cover letter.  Deadline to apply is June 23, 2006.  The Wells Fargo History Museum interprets the history of Wells Fargo since its founding in 1852 as a bank and express company including the gold rush, pony express, and stagecoach.  Exhibits include an original Concord Coach, artifacts and early photos, a working telegraph, and a replica of the Northwestern National Bank Weatherball. The museum is located at 6th and Marquette in downtown Minneapolis.  Open since 2000, the Wells Fargo History Museum is free and open to the public Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Local Events


Minnesota Association of Museums Monthly Museum Sampler for June

Minnesota Association of Museums Monthly Museum Sampler for June is scheduled for Thursday, June 15, 2006 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis.  Visit the expanded MIA with a very special curator's tour of fifteen objects on long-term loan from the Arms and Armor Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Assistant Curator Cori Wegener will present the helmets, swords, mail, and gauntlets on exhibit.  Our visit follows in the immediate wake of the June 11 Grand Opening of the Expansion. Hear from Cori about developments taking place in conjunction with the new 113,000-square-foot wing. Afterwards we'll convene for refreshments and informal discussion at ArtsBreak.   Come early or stay late to visit The Surreal Calder (also opening June 11) or to explore some of the 34 new galleries. The museum is open until 9 p.m. on Thursdays.  Meet in the main lobby by the information desk.   For directions and parking information go to and click on "Visit the museum."  Free and open to museum professionals and volunteers. To RSVP, call Nina Clark at 612-870-3374, or e-mail To become a member of MAM go to

Farming heritage in Kensington area

Sponsored by the Kensington Area Heritage Society, an exhibit featuring the farming heritage of the Hoffman/Kensington area will be on display in Kensington during Runestone Days, June 16, 17, and 18, 2006.  Exhibit hours for "Tilling our Heritage" at the Fire Hall are 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. on Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.  The pioneer and century farms being featured are located in the four-county (Grant, Douglas, Pope, and Stevens) area.  Several farms in the area have been passed from generation to generation since settlement in the 1860s through 1890s.  Pioneering families will tell their individual stories of how farming has progressed since their ancestors first broke sod in this area.  Approximately 40 farm families are participating in this exhibit.  The display will be moved to Hoffman for the Harvest Festival scheduled for August 11, 12, and 13.  For more information contact Mel Conrad, Kensington Area Heritage Society, 320-965-2573.

Steele County Historical Society hosts 20th Annual Extravaganza

The Steele County Historical Society’s 20th annual ‘Extravaganza’ is scheduled for Sunday, July 9, 2006 beginning at 11:00 a.m.  The third annual antique tractor show will also be part of the day, with a parade of tractors, “slow race”, and the opportunity for the public to vote for their favorite tractor. (If you are interested in displaying your tractor please call 451-1420). Other agriculturally related exhibits and demonstrations will also take place.  The Steele County Historical Society operates the Village of Yesteryear May 1 through September 30 with guided tours offered daily at 1:30 Tuesdays through Sundays. Adults $5, children 7-16 $3.00, children 6 and under accompanied by an adult, free. Group tours, and other tour times are available by appointment. The Village’s Saco Church is also available for weddings all year. For more information about Extravaganza call 507-451-1420 or check our website at  For more information contact Laura Resler (507-451-1420,



Ribbon cutting at new Sherburne County History Center

The ribbon was cut last Thursday, June 8 to open the new Sherburne County History Center in Becker. Information about the new center is available at.  The Sherburne County Historical Society raised more than $3 million for the project.  The public open house on Saturday, June 17.

Exhibits at new Sherburne County History Center


IRS Busts Historical Society for Payroll Tax Nonpayment

From Charities Blog website:  The Summit Daily (Colorado) reports that the board of the Frisco Historical Society has agreed with the IRS to dissolve the corporation after it repays about two years worth of payroll taxes.  Executive director Rita Bartram, who had been in that position since 1999, neglected to send the tax checks to the IRS for herself and two part-time staff, even though they were recorded in the books.  Occasionally she would send a check, but without paperwork.  Board members has "an inkling" that something was amiss, but it was only last October that they learned that they were facing $14,000 in tax liability and $25,000 in penalties.  (The IRS can go after board members personally for unpaid payroll taxes, despite the fact that a corporation is involved.)  Ms. Bartram relocated to Boulder without providing an explanation or an apology.  The article provides a helpful history of how the organization started as a response to the rapid disappearance of the town's historical heritage.  Over time, though, the requirements of maintaining a park overshadowed the preservation tasks, which some board members felt put it into a role it was not suited for.  In recent years, the town has taken over the park operations, and now it will have to decide what to do with the site and the collection after the historical society dissolves.  Similar problems of mission and budget are reported in nearby Breckinridge with the Summit Historical Society.  It's certainly not conclusive, but the fact that their most recent Form 990 on Guidestar is from 2003 suggests that there might be problems with the IRS with that organization, as well.

Grant Deadlines

No new deadlines this week.

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops


Midwest Art Conservation Center presents: The Long and Winding Road: Preservation and Funding Strategies for Photographic Collections

Debra Hess Norris, internationally renowned photographic materials conservation expert and Director of the Graduate Conservation Program at the University of Delaware/Winterthur and Barbara Lemmen, Photographic Materials Conservator at the Center for Conservation of Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) in Philadelphia, PA will present a comprehensive workshop on the care and handling of photographic materials with an emphasis on identification, handling, housing, preservation priorities, disaster preparedness and recovery, and fundraising.  Sponsored by Midwest Art Conservation Center, the program will be held on July 13-14, 2006 at the Minitex Library Information Network at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.  A block of rooms has been reserved.  The fee for this workshop is $235 for MACC members and $295 for nonmembers.  Special discounts are available for smaller institutions and students. Please contact Melinda Markell, Preservation Services Coordinator for more information (, 612-870-3128) or see for a registration form.  The registration deadline for this workshop is July 7, 2006.