History Footnote #6

NHS 40th logoThis year NHS is celebrating it’s 40th Anniversary. For the next 40 weeks we will unveil 40 interesting Northfield history facts. All of them were pulled for the Northfield News. Some are of major events and some are just fun! We hope you enjoy this series and remember you make history happen every day!

Carleton College purchased a stretch of prairieland in mid-July 1968 that would eventually become known as its Arboretum. Professor Paul Jensen spoke to the Northfield News of the pressing need to preserve the prairie vegetation.

The Northfield Raid: A Coloring Book


Bridgewater Elementary third grade classes.

Today was one of those great days! About a year ago, NHS was contacted by Avery Swearer, a former NHS SCOPE student from 2009/2010 and current freshman at Carleton College.  Avery had an idea to create a coloring book about the Northfield raid. With the help of some third graders from Bridgewater Elementary we made the book a reality today.

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Northfield News


History Footnote #5

NHS 40th logoThis year NHS is celebrating it’s 40th Anniversary. For the next 40 weeks we will unveil 40 interesting Northfield history facts. All of them were pulled for the Northfield News. Some are of major events and some are just fun! We hope you enjoy this series and remember you make history happen every day!

With its attendance rapidly growing, the Northfield High School was able to organize an orchestra on February 1, 1890. Total school attendance had just reached sixty-five, and the orchestra was comprised of eight students on as many instruments.

History Month Kicks off on May 28th with a Civil War Talk

History MonthThe Northfield Historical Society will kick off Northfield History Month with “Toward a Lasting Peace: Sherman, Johnston and the ‘Astonishing Close,'” a 150th Anniversary Civil War presentation by retired history teacher Karl Fredrickson Thursday, May 28, at 6:30 p.m. at 408 Division Street.

After the surrender at Appomattox on April 9, 1865, two large armies remained and squared off against each other in North Carolina. They had just fought the last great battle of the Civil War at Bentonville. Although President Jefferson Davis would arrive on the scene to encourage his Confederate army to fight on, over the following nine days the opposing generals — Sherman and Johnston — would instead arrive at a lasting peace.

How did those on both sides respond to the events as they unfolded? Fredrickson will use the letters of soldiers and civilians to recreate the mood of those last days and to reflect together on how the events led to the reshaping of the Union. It was indeed, as Major Hitchcock wrote to his wife from Raleigh, an “astonishing close.”

Closed on Memorial Day

Memorial DayNHS will be closed on May 25th in observance of Memorial Day.  We will open back up May 26th our normal business hours.

Have a great weekend!

Northfield Historical and Humane societies team up for History Hound Walk

History HoundThe Northfield Historical Society and the Prairie’s Edge Humane Society are combining forces to present Northfield’s first History Hound Walk May 30th as part of Northfield History Month. The event is a combined animal walk and historic walking tour of 11 of Northfield’s most pedigreed homes on the east side of town.

Participants will not need to have an animal to walk — only a love for history and/or animals. Any and all animals are invited Registration ($20 per person; kids 15 and under and pets walk for free) will be May 30 at 8:30 at Central Park.

After the passing of NHS co-founder and longtime PEHS supporter Maggie Lee, the two organizations were able to jointly auction Lee’s cat figurine collection as a fundraiser. “Our two organizations have always wanted to work together,” explains Hayes Scriven, NHS executive director. “After the auction we talked about doing something a little bit bigger that would not only benefit both organizations financially, but raise awareness.”

“This event is a wonderful way to hold our first animal walk since our move to Northfield,” says PEHS Director Kathy Jasnoch.

The tour will include the Nutting Home, built in 1888 and currently the residence of the Carleton College president. An example of the stories that walk participants will hear is how Mrs. Nutting wanted to have the tallest house on the east side, so when a neighbor built a taller one she built an addition.

Participants who raise or donate $50 will receive a free history and architecture book and a dog bandanna. We also will offer some small raffle prizes. For more information visit northfieldhistory.org or prairiesedgehs.org. History Month Logo

Sertoma Club 2015 gives Hayes Scriven Service to Mankind Award


Executive Director Hayes Scriven

The Northfield Sertoma Club has announced that Hayes Scriven, executive director of the Northfield Historical Society, will receive this year’s 2015 Service to Mankind Award — Sertoma’s top honor for non-members in recognition of exceptional community service. He received the award at Northfield Sertoma’s Club morning meeting on May 12 at the Northfield Golf Course.

“Hayes has done a lot for not only the Northfield Historical Society but for the community of Northfield,” says Douglas Peterson, who serves on Sertoma’s award committee with Wayne Beumer. “And one of the reasons Hayes was chosen for this award is how quickly he found his way in Northfield once he landed here after college.

“He came into his job at a young age and with not much experience, and was the society’s only staff member for many years,” Peterson says. Scriven started at NHS in 2005 as exhibits and education coordinator, and the following year was appointed executive director. “During his tenure he has really grown into the job and needs to be recognized for the excellent work he has done.”

Scriven graduated from Kenyon-Wanamingo High School in 2001 and majored in history at the University of Minnesota Duluth, graduating in 2005. Scriven says that his love for history comes from three people: his two grandfathers — one of whom was a history teacher at St. Louis Park, the other a chemical engineer, but a history buff; and his high school history teacher.

“They ingrained in me early on the idea that history is an important part of people’s identity, and that it plays a major role in a community’s development,” he explains. When Scriven came to Northfield the NHS had a membership of 315. Simply reversing those numbers will give you the current membership of 513. In addition, since 2008/09 (the biennium of the Legacy grant program offered by the Minnesota Historical Society), the NHS has been a recipient of 13 grants totaling more than $407,000.

Hayes and Matthew

Hayes Scriven with Northfield Sertoma Club President Matthew Rich

The society also has completed a renovation that added an elevator and six ADA-compliant restrooms, and improved its collection storage with compact shelving. He also has led efforts to enhance programming and exhibits.

“As Hayes likes to say, ‘Remember — you make history every day,'” says Peterson. “We in turn want Hayes to keep making history here as well as collecting and recording community history. This is how you are providing Service to Mankind.”

Scriven has served on the mayor’s Downtown Streetscape Task force, the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation Downtown Design Committee, the Northfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums Board of Directors, and the Defeat of Jesse James Days Committee — on which he just completed a two-year stint as general chair.