Women's Organization of MNHS

The Women's Organization of the Minnesota Historical Society (WOMNHS) has been assisting the Society for over 65 years through monetary gifts and volunteerism. The organization was created in 1949 through the efforts of its first president, Mrs. Frederick K. Weyerhaeuser, along with other women who wished to contribute to and help further the mission of the Society. In 1951, WOMNHS was authorized by the MNHS Executive Council to operate as a separate entity to promote Minnesota history and the welfare of the Society.

In 1999, the WOMNHS Endowment Fund was created to help fund special projects and sites throughout the state. Since then, this fund has provided vital support to the Society for the historic sites network. WOMNHS members have assisted the Society's development staff, serve as docents for tours of the Governor's Residence and help out in a variety of other projects. The organization meets eight times yearly, September through May, offering programs, tours, and events designed to stimulate interest in Minnesota history.

WOMNHS will be hosting a public program at the History Center which will focus on the Mississippi River and its history through storytelling, imagery and song.  The program begins at 11:30 a.m. and adjourn by 2:00 p.m.

New members are welcome. For more information, contact Membership Chair, Kathy Manley at 612-214-5570.

2019-20 Schedule

Wednesday, September 11, 2019 – ‘The Vikings Begin’ 

Welcome to the Midwest premiere of a fascinating collection of ancient artifacts, featuring dozens of early Viking artifacts from boat graves, organized by Uppsala University in Sweden and its museum, Gustavianum.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019 – ‘The Ard Godfey House’

Ard Godfrey came to Minneapolis in 1847 to supervise the first commercial dam and lumber mill at St. Anthony Falls. He built his 1 1/2-story wood frame house in 1848, where he and his family lived until 1853.  As a gift to the city of Minneapolis, The Woman's Club of Minneapolis undertook the renovation of the Ard Godfrey House in 1976. The Club opened the house to the public in 1979 and it remains the oldest wood frame house in Minneapolis.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019 – ‘Our Mighty Mississippi’

Join us for a magical journey of song, storytelling and visual imagery celebrating the Mississippi.  Presented by master storyteller, Steven Marking, who weaves tales of river lore throughout his show, he is a current day Mark Twain with a gorgeous voice.  

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 – ‘Marcel’s Letters – A Font and a Search for One Man’s Fate’

Seeking inspiration for a new font design in an antique store in small-town Stillwater, Minnesota, graphic designer Carolyn Porter stumbled across a bundle of letters and was immediately drawn to their beautifully expressive pen-and-ink handwriting. Written in French - all of them had been signed by a man named Marcel and mailed from Berlin to his family in France during the middle of World War II.

No program in January 2020

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 – ‘St. Paul’s Historic Hill - Salvaging a Gilded Past’ - venue TBD  

Join us for an inspirational look back on the early ‘70’s to learn how Ramsey Hill’s old homes were restored to their former glory by many young, urban pioneers and historic preservationists. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 – ‘The History of Gangsters in St. Paul’ – Wabasha Street Caves, St. Paul

Explore the sites of nightclubs, kidnappings and gun battles associated with the 1930s gangsters like John Dillinger, Ma Barker, and Babyface Nelson.  See where the gangsters lived it up as they planned and executed some of the most notorious crimes ever perpetrated in the upper Midwest.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020 – Bus trip to Rochester, MN

Developed as a stagecoach stop between St. Paul, Minnesota and Dubuque, Iowa near the Zumbro River, the community was founded by George Head and his wife Henrietta who built log cabin Head's Tavern in 1854 and named the city after his hometown of Rochester, New York.  Come to learn about the rich history of one of only four counties in Minnesota without a natural lake within its bounds.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 – Annual Meeting – Dellwood Country Club

Two women wearing fancy hats.
Two women wearing fancy hats.
Four women wearing fancy hats and holding potted flowers.
Two women at a historic train station.
Four women smiling.
A man points as he leads a group of women on a tour.
Two women standing in front of spools of yarn.
A group of women standing in front of a church.