Northfield Historical Society

Northfield Historical Society History

The Northfield Historical Society (NHS) grew out of the activities of the committee formed to celebrate America’s bicentennial in 1975. One goal of the committee was to establish a museum. The committee first considered Joseph Lee Heywood’s house as a possible site, but members agreed that although the house had great historical relevance, it would be hard to adapt it for use as a museum. A few months later, the Scriver Building came up for sale, and the owner accepted the group’s offer of $125,000.

The committee then began the lengthy process of developing a non-profit organization run by volunteers. The new society had no money, and with publicity help from the Northfield News and KYMN Radio, NHS started seeking contributions.

The first substantial gift the society received was from the Northfield Lions Club. This was followed by donations from FUTURE (Friends United to Undertake Restoration Efforts) and from many businesses, organizations, and individuals. Finally, NHS had enough money to feel that the building was secure. On July 4th, 1976, the Northfield Historical Society celebrated its formation and dedicated the Scriver Building to public service as a museum.



To connect individuals to the history of the Northfield area by collecting, preserving, and sharing its unique stories.


To be a best in class local history organization and a world renowned destination, discovering and sharing Northfield’s past and illuminating the present.



Demonstrate integrity with our relationships with the community and in authenticating of our collected history.


To embrace our community’s ethnic and cultural diversity, and ensure our programs, exhibits, and collections celebrate and reflect the differences and commonalities of our collective past.


To work effectively with culturally and ethnically diverse community, state, national, and international organizations in furthering our mission and outreach; to work together respectfully as an internal team comprised of board, staff, and volunteers.


To teach Northfield history through creative, inclusive programs and exhibits, that help people learn the true, meaningful uses of the past.


To serve as dedicated guardians of our local history, maintaining the highest legal, ethical and professional standards.

NHS Staff

Cathy Osterman

Cathy Osterman

Executive Director

Cathy manages the day-to-day operations of the museum as well as overseeing staff and volunteers. She plans programs and events,  raises funds for the historical society, and writes grants. Her background is in collections management. She has been with NHS since 2012.


Travis Farrington

Travis Farrington

Collections Manager Museum Operations Assistant

Travis is a Michigan native with a background in collections care and exhibit management. He manages all aspects of the collection, works with researchers and students, and assists with programs and events.  He started with NHS in March of 2020.

Board of Directors


  • President – Rebecca Peterson
  • Vice President – Dan Neuger
  • Treasurer – Ann Dunlap
  • Secretary – Alyssa Ness
  • Past President – Ron Gardner


      • Amy Pagel
      • Tim Freeland
      • Lisa Peterson
      • George Vrtis
      • Anita Sasse
      • Clark Webster
      • Adam Lindquist
      • David Vesledahl
      • David Ludescher
      • Emily Hazlett

      Student Advisors

      • Bailey Sauve
      • Meadow Vrtis