Fall Events for History Lovers at Minnesota Historical Society Sites

For Immediate Release

Release dated: September 19, 2023

MNHS media contacts: Allison Ortiz, 651-259-3051, allison.ortiz@mnhs.org or Nick Jungheim, 651-259-3060, nick.jungheim@mnhs.org

Explore history from the metro to the Northland this season

ST. PAUL, Minn (September 19, 2023) – History buffs can enjoy the cooler temperatures with walking tours around the metro, admire the natural beauty of Split Rock Lighthouse, get into the Halloween spirit, and more with events at Minnesota Historical Society sites this season. New events are being added regularly, so keep checking www.mnhs.org/calendar for updates. 

Walking Tours, Various Locations in Minneapolis and St. Paul
Dates Throughout September
Join us for a walking tour before the weather gets too cold! Discover the history that makes Minnesota unique; take a tour of the historic Minneapolis riverfront, the Summit Avenue neighborhood, downtown St. Paul, and LGBTQIA+ community spaces in downtown Minneapolis. Dates and prices vary.

Grand Views Tour, Split Rock Lighthouse, Two Harbors
Dates Throughout Fall
Have you ever seen a photo of Split Rock Lighthouse and wondered where it was taken? The Grand Views Tour will show you some of the best spots within the historic site and state park to capture the iconic lighthouse. Cost: $35, MNHS members save 20%

Draft Horses at the Forest History Center, Forest History Center, Grand Rapids
Dates Throughout Fall
Come meet the Forest History Center’s new draft horse teams! Tours, trolley rides, and draft horse experiences will take place each Saturday through October 14. Explore the site, take in the beautiful fall colors, and learn hands-on knowledge of how to care for horses. Cost: Check events for pricing.

Nature’s Crossroads Book Talk, Minnesota History Center, St. Paul
September 28, 7 pm–8:30 pm
Join the editors and contributors from Nature’s Crossroads: The Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota for a conversation about our state’s rich environmental history. This new collection of essays by an interdisciplinary team of distinguished scholars traces the environmental dynamics that have woven the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota together in a common history. Cost: Free

Going Out, Coming In: LGBTQ+ Stories from the Twin Cities, Mill City Museum, Minneapolis
September 29, 6 pm–8 pm
Join Telling Queer History and the Minnesota Historical Society in conversation with LGBTQIA+ storytellers about resistance, love, and identity formation. Hear about the Twin Cities’ LGBTQIA+ spaces where people found community. Explore the exhibit Going Out, Coming In: LGBTQ+ Spaces in Downtown Minneapolis before the event. Cost: Free

State of Comics Series: Jim Keefe, Minnesota History Center, St. Paul
September 30, 2 pm–3:30 pm
Join Minnesota cartoonist Jim Keefe—artist for iconic comics Sally Forth and Flash Gordon—for a behind-the-scenes look at the world of daily comic strips. Learn about the artistic process that brings your favorite characters to life every week, the influence of Charles Schulz on Keefe’s work, and the rich history of comics in Minnesota beyond Peanuts. Cost: Free

Twin Cities Tweed Ride 2023 and Lawn Party, James J. Hill House, St. Paul
October 7, 9 am–5 pm
Grab your bike and some vintage threads and join us for a leisurely bike ride through Twin Cities historic districts! Bike through some of the most scenic and historic areas of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Vintage (1880s-1930s) fashions are encouraged but not required. Cost: Free

North Star Voices: Minescapes with Pete Kero, Minnesota History Center, St. Paul
October 7, 2 pm–3:30 pm
Join author Pete Kero, an environmental engineer who has consulted with public agencies, mining companies, and communities for nearly three decades on land restoration and reclamation, as he tells stories that highlight the challenges of competing needs on lands that offer opportunities for both mining and recreation. Cost: Free

Curtis Chin Author Talk, Minnesota History Center, St. Paul
October 8, 2 pm–3:30 pm
Join author Curtis Chin to hear about his forthcoming memoir, “Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant.” The book is about growing up Asian American in the Black and white city of Detroit and coming out as a gay ABC, or American-born Chinese, in his working-class immigrant community. Cost: Free

Rumors and Secrets Walking Tour, James J. Hill House, St. Paul
Dates Throughout Fall
Historians usually deal with documented facts. But what about rumors, myths, and urban legends that have been passed around? From ghostly encounters to mysterious tunnels, from tall tales of early St. Paul to exaggerated gangster lore and more, this tour will dive deep into local folklore, debunking some myths and examining other tales that can be neither proven nor disproven. Plus, we’ll share some little-known secrets of the city that are 100% true, but stranger than any fiction. Tour runs 90 minutes and covers 1.5 miles. Recommended for 16+  Tour does not include a house tour or any building interiors.  Cost: $14, MNHS members save 20%.

Nooks and Crannies Tour, James J. Hill House, St. Paul
Dates Throughout Fall
Get a behind-the-scenes look at areas of the James J. Hill House that are not featured on the standard house tour including the attic theater space, gate house, and storage areas generally off limits to visitors. Guides will highlight artifacts and fixtures in the home with personal stories from the Hill family and domestic workers. Tour runs 90 minutes. Cost: $20 adults, $18 seniors/military/college students, $16 children 5-17, MNHS members save 20%

The Quickening by Elizabeth Rush Author Event, Mill City Museum, Minneapolis
October 13, 7 pm–8 pm
Milkweed Editions, Mill City Museum, and The Great Northern are thrilled to welcome Elizabeth Rush to celebrate her latest book The Quickening—an astonishing, vital work about Antarctica, climate change, and motherhood from the author of Rising, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction. Cost: Free

Stories by Lantern Light, Split Rock Lighthouse, Two Harbors
October 14, 6:30 pm–8:40 pm
Many people helped make Split Rock Lighthouse the place it is today. With tales of daring survival and perspectives that range decades, join us as figures of the lighthouse’s history share what their lives were like. From the moments that proved vital to Split Rock Lighthouse’s function to what was important in their own lives, you will leave with stories that will expand your understanding of life on the rugged North Shore and this not-so-quiet lighthouse. Cost: $15 adults, $10 children 5-17 and under, MNHS members save 20%

Shadows and Spirits of the State Capitol, Minnesota State Capitol, St. Paul
October 19–21 and October 26–28
Join a one-hour guided tour of the restored Capitol through the shadowy rotunda, hallways, and chambers lit with original early 1900s lighting. Visitors will encounter historical "spirits" who tell stories of the Capitol's past. Cost: $15 adults, $13 seniors, $11 children 5-17, MNHS members save 20%

Fort by Firelight: Last Boat In, Last Boat Out, Historic Fort Snelling, St. Paul
October 20–21 and October 27–28
Experience a rare opportunity to see Historic Fort Snelling at night and hear the stories of historic people as they arrived or departed the post. Enjoy music around the bonfire before or after the program. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Recommended for ages 12 and over. Note: visitors need to check in 30 minutes prior to their scheduled program time. Cost: $20, MNHS members save 20%

TRAPPED: Mystery at the Fur Post, Snake River Fur Post, Pine City
October 27 & 28 7 pm–9:30 pm
Visit Snake River Fur Post for an interactive, family-friendly mystery. Explore the fur post and speak with masked figures who will provide clues that help you escape. This is a controlled improvisation theatrical production. Each cast member has information that will guide visitors to the solution of the mystery. Visitors can collect these facts by asking thoughtful questions of the characters and examining physical clues. Advanced purchase of tickets online is advised. Cost: $12.50, MNHS members save 20%

Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial Beacon Lighting, Split Rock Lighthouse, Two Harbors
November 10, 10 am–6 pm
This annual event commemorates the sinking of the freighter Edmund Fitzgerald and the total loss of the 29 crew members aboard on November 10, 1975. A tolling of the ship’s bell will accompany the reading of the crew’s names with a rendition of the Naval Hymn at 4:15 pm. The lighthouse, fog signal building, and visitor center will be open for visitors. Guides will welcome visitors and provide historic site and shipwreck information. Throughout the day, visitors can watch a film about Edmund Fitzgerald in the visitor center, or join a guided tour exploring the history of Fitzgerald's final voyage. Cost: Regular site admission

Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America, Minnesota History Center, St. Paul
November 11, 10 am & 2 pm
In Franchise—winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in history—acclaimed historian Marcia Chatelain investigates the complex interrelationship between Black communities and America’s largest, most popular fast food chain. From the first McDonald’s drive-in in San Bernardino to the franchise on Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Missouri during the summer of 2014, Chatelain shows how fast food is a source of both power—economic and political—and despair for African Americans. Through her innovative research and compelling storytelling, Chatelain shows how fast food is, more than ever before, a key battlefield in the fight for racial justice. This is the first of six History Forums that will take place monthly at the Minnesota History Center. Cost:  In-person $16, Zoom $12, MNHS members save 20%

State of Comics Series: Trung Le Nguyen, Minnesota History Center, St. Paul
November 18, 1 pm–2:30 pm
Join local Vietnamese-American cartoonist, artist, and writer Trung Le Nguyen for a talk about his work, including his award-winning graphic novel The Magic Fish. This beautifully illustrated story follows Tiến, a young boy trying to navigate life through fairy tales who learns how stories bring us together. The Magic Fish tackles tough subjects in a way that is accessible with readers of all ages, and teaches us that no matter what—we can all have our own happy endings. Cost: Regular site admission

About the Minnesota Historical Society
The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. MNHS collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs, and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, MNHS preserves our past, shares our state’s stories, and connects people with history.