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home : news : news July 25, 2017

5/10/2017 10:53:00 AM
Documentary series to premiere at Shafer Barn


Ever wonder how European and Scandinavian settlers were able to make their way to Chisago County a few hundred years ago?  And, once they had found their piece of paradise  what sort of contributions were they able to make as this wilderness became a state?  

If you have ever given any thought to the “birthplace of Minnesota” title that the St Croix Valley carries,  there’s a couple of films you won’t want to miss, and they are premiering May 7 at the Gustafson Barn, in rural Shafer.  In partnership with the MN Historical Society.  a Legacy Amendment

Grant funded the project through the St. Croix Coalition and St Croix Scenic Byway with Franconia resident Bill Neuman, and Jon Cermin producing.

The documentary style pieces are part of a set of five films that are called Founding Minnesota. The first film is “Land Euphoria” followed by Too Much of a Good Thing, Unimagined Wealth, River of Pines and America Fever.
Neuman said the Historical Society “...made an investment” in the St. Croix Valley just over two years ago.  

“We shot video extensively up and down the River and along the Scenic Byway corridor and taped numerous interviews with historians and St. Croix Valley residents...we developed an archive of more than 1,200 historical photos and several hours of historical film footage shot ...in the 1930s and 40s. Only a sparing number of people have ever seen the footage before.”

Neuman continued, “We also use extensive contemporary ground and aerial footage of St. Croix Valley landscapes, historical locations and cultural events to tell the stories.”

This premier showing is a free event for the public, all you need to do is register.  Each of the  two films are about one hour in length.

The barn will make this a very special experience,  Neuman added.  It’s a grand space that can accommodate many people.  The films will be projected onto an extra large screen.  It will be helpful if you call ahead or go to the website for the event and register, so planners can set-up the seating properly.

The filming is done in high definition.  The set of five films cover issues including Native traditions and treaty impacts, logging and fur trade era wealth-creation and environmental aspects of both.

Neuman said a valley-specific project like this has not been done before.

“In looking at the immigrant experiences we hope the films provide insights into who we are as residents and why we, and previous generations, chose to live in the area.”

Want to Go?

Call 1-800-838-3006 ask for Founding Minnesota event. This line is open 24-7.

Online, see http://foundingminnesota.brownpapertickets.com  and in upper left of reservation page select the showing (afternoon or evening) you want to attend.  Showings of two of the films are at 1:30 and 3:15 p.m. or make an evening of it and attend the shows at 6 and 7:30 p.m.  (Neuman and Cermin will be available for a Q and A in the evening, which are also the showings with the most seating remaining.)

The intermission between first and second film showings includes some light refreshment.

Gustafson Tomtegarden Immigrant Barn is wheelchair accessible. Address is 28388 Redwing Avenue,  rural Shafer.

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