41st Annual Meeting set for March 19th

posterThe Northfield Historical Society will host its 41st Annual Meeting March 19 at the Grand Event Center. Doors will open at 6:30 with the meeting starting at 7 p.m. The event is sponsored by the First National Bank of Northfield, KYMN Radio, Northfield News and The Entertainment Guide.

The keynote speaker will be attorney Todd Aldrich, an in-law in the multigenerational Northfield-based family business Malt-O-Meal (MOM). Todd is married to Allyson Smith Aldrich, a third-generation shareholder of MOM and granddaughter of company founder John S. Campbell. Todd has been active in service on the MOM Board of Directors and in the formation and management of its Family Council. He also finds time to be actively involved in community nonprofit service in the Twin Cities.

Todd will talk about why the family decided to donate its company’s history collection to NHS and also will discuss how they are ensuring that the collection will be protected and shared with the rest of the NHS community.

Honoring volunteers

The meeting also will include recognition of the 2015 volunteers of the year: Jackson Hillmann, Randy Knox and Lisa Peterson.

Jackson, a junior at Northfield High School, has participated in the Junior Curator, SCOPE, and Summer Assistant programs.

Lisa, Northfield tourism coordinator  with the Northfield Chamber of Commerce & Tourism, served on the NHS board from 2011–14. Last year volunteered in the NHS store for 20 hours a week after the retirement of long-time store manager and volunteer coordinator Gloria Powell.

Randy Knox is a retired Information technology project manager who last year answered the call for volunteers in the NHS store. He has volunteered in the store at least once a week ever since.

Without the support of Randy and Lisa the NHS store would not have been able to function at the level it did.

Finally, the society will recap 2015 activities and elect new board members.

The Northfield Historical Society is the primary steward of the unique history of the Northfield area, fostering an awareness of its meaning and relevance through the discovery, documentation, preservation and interpretation of our collective stories.

You can register for the Annual Meeting online or by calling NHS at 507-645-9268.

Midnight to Dawn: Lincoln, the Civil War, and the End of Slavery in America

Karl ProgramjOur first speaker this year will be by retired history teacher Karl Fredrickson, who will examine the different roles played by Lincoln, the abolitionists, generals, soldiers, slaves, and the war itself in ending slavery, which led in turn to the Thirteenth Amendment.

The event will be on February 25th at 6:30 p.m. The program is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be available.

Earl Thomas is coming Northifeld and you can support NHS!

Ear Thomas FlyerOur friends at Northfield Olive Oils and Vinegars are putting on an amazing show and it could benefit NHS!

Northfield Olive Oils and Vinegars Presents two time Grammy nominee Earl Thomas and his latest collaboration with blues pianist  Dave Fleschner, The Blues Cabaret. Earl Thomas’s song “I Sing the Blues” became a hit for Etta James but his singing credits are extensive – Etta James, Montreaux Jazz Fest, Grammy nominated.  Dave has toured internationally with Curtis Salgado, and played with B.B. King, of this latest project Dave  says, “this is what I’ve been wanting to do since I was sixteen years old: tell a story from my own heart with my very own tunes.” Adding Earl Thomas to this project was a true revelation but if you want to learn more all you have to do is contact Northfield Olive Oils and Vinegars at 507-645-4008 and join their 2nd annual Midwinter Celebration. The event will be held at the Grand Event Center on January 30th doors open at 6:30 pm with a 7:00 pm show time. Seats are still available and are priced between $30.00 and $50.00. All proceeds above and beyond the cost of the event will be donated to the Northfield Historical Society.

It’s a New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!whats-new

It has been so busy at NHS that I wanted to give you all a overview of some of the new things at NHS for 2016.

Store & Museum Admission
The NHS Store has gone through an overhaul and now our entire stock is in a new point of sale system.  It also means that our online store in now expanded.  Take a look at that if you cannot make it down to NHS. The new system will help us a with inventory management and provide better products to our customers.  The new system also came with a new cash register so if you are in the store supporting NHS please be patient with us as we learn the new system.

In addition, we are now in our “winter hours” which means we are closed on Mondays.  The store and the museum will be closed on Monday from now until March.  However, NHS staff will be on site to assist research request and other inquires.  We just ask that you call ahead.

Finally, at the end of 2015, the NHS board voted to increase our regular museum admission from $4.00 to $5.00.  This small increase will help offset a rise in utility expenses.

It is always a sad time when an exhibit comes down. The final 40 for 40 exhibit will be coming down on January 15.  It was a great run in 2015 with three very unique exhibits celebrating our 40th anniversary.

But when an exhibit comes down  a new one will take its place. In late February or early March a new exhibit will go up focusing on two of Northfield’s earliest photographers, Ira Sumner and E.N. James.  The exhibit will feature large prints of some of their most memorable images.

The reason for the gap in the take down and install time of the new exhibit is, the gallery space will be undergoing a small renovation in preparation for the new display of Malt-O-Meal artifacts that will open in June.

We have some great programs in the pipeline this year along with some great exhibits.  Check back here for the most up-to-date information on what is going on at NHS!


Holiday Hours

Happy HolidaysNHS will be closed the following days:

December 24 and 25.

We will be open on December 26 & 27 our normal business hours.

We will then be closed December 28 to January 4th. During that time we are switching our computer system and conducting a year end inventory in the store.

In addition starting January 1. We will be closed on Mondays through March.  Come back to our website to track when we will begin our summer hours.


Winter Walk Deals!

Local AuthorsWinter Walk is this week on December 10th!

Check out these great deals in our Museum Store!

10% off all Northfield authored books!

50% off all Minnesota ornaments

$4.95 “Get your Guns Boys” drink glasses

Also make sure to stop in and get your FREE picture taken with the James-Younger Gang from 5:30 -8:00!

Best of all, when you shop in the Museum Store you are directly supporting the operations of the Northfield Historical Society!

Winter Walk James Gang





NHS to receive historic collection from Malt-O-Meal Family

Post with Malt O MealThe Northfield Historical Society is pleased to announce that it will receive a large collection of artifacts related to the history of the Malt-O-Meal Company (MOM). The donation is being made by the Campbell Family, former shareholders of MOM Brands, following the sale of MOM Brands to Post Holdings, Inc earlier this year.

The collection includes promotional materials, advertising items, and personal scrapbooks kept by company employees and John Campbell, its founder. NHS Executive Director Hayes Scriven noted, “If you were to keep a history of a company, this is what you would keep. The family and the employees did a thorough job documenting and preserving their history. They definitely cared about their past.”

Long-term support
The collection was too large for the society to acquire as easily as most donations, so we gave the family a proposal to sort, inventory, and catalog the collection properly,” explains Scriven. “After numerous conversations on how the collection would be cared for and displayed we came to an agreement that included an endowment for care of the collection.”

As part of the agreement, NHS will create a series of small displays of the collection in a renovated gallery space on the society’s main museum level NHS000413dedicated to showcasing MOM and Northfield history. A year-long exhibit plus various programs will appear during the company’s centennial year in 2019.

The initial display of the Malt-O-Meal Collection will appear in the first half of 2016, with new displays being unveiled annually. Because of the collection and the renovations happening at NHS to house the collection, the research facility at NHS will be closed until the construction is completed in summer 2016.

“We are extremely honored that the family of John Campbell has entrusted NHS to care for the company’s history,” says Scriven. “Malt-O-Meal has been a big part of our city’s identity and we are excited to share its history with a wider audience.”