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home : news : news August 23, 2017

8/10/2017 4:57:00 PM
County Historical Society buys new downtown site

The next few months are going to bring change to the county historical society, as it divests itself of two houses and moves headquarters into side-by-side commercial buildings on mainstreet Lindstrom.  

The group closed August 1 on the purchase of the two structures where a computer repair shop and Gordy’s  operated.  The Gordy’s gift shop portion doesn’t close for a couple months yet.  The “left half” of the business is being readied for society members and volunteers to relocate the collection of research materials and a historic items cache,  currently kept in a late 1800s house, at Olinda and First, in Lindstrom.  

This home “the history center” will be listed for sale.

The society sold the brick “Gustaf’s” house, near Olinda and Hwy. 8 earlier this summer. (Story May 4, 2017  Press)

The Chisago County Historical Society has had both glory days and its share of stagnation over the 75 years since it formally adopted its constitution.  Society Board member Bob Chudek says the group has made great strides rising above bumps in the road.  The efforts of the group fell out of favor with county policymakers, as county commissioners cutback on taxpayer funding to this and other non-profits.  The county is now contributing a much-reduced annual subsidy of $25,000.

Society Board member, Lin Strong, who is also the quarterly newsletter editor, commented in an email calling this endeavor an “exciting new venture for us.”

With the consolidation of society holdings in one location, there will be adequate storage and a museum-display space and room to hold seminars and programs, noted Chudek.

The founding date of the county historical society is generally attributed as July 14, 1942 when “historical minded people” met at the municipal building in Lindstrom,  and there were 20 members on the charter membership roster, reported by the Chisago City Star.  

The actual society “constitution” was adopted September 22, 1942.

Chudek said the society also acknowledges that, in a donation of ephemera from Faye Caneday of Taylors Falls, an original pamphlet commemorates the founding, as July 14, 1942.

Chudek also likes to point to a copy of a Chisago County Press editorial, printed in 1937.  It states, “...let the Press in this editorial make a suggestion for a county historical society, an organization sadly needed here....should such a suggestion meet with approval send your letters to the Press and a meeting can be called for charter organization.”  It took five years to come together, but it happened. It would be another 20 years  before the Historical Society was granted 501C3 status by the IRS.

In July 1982 the first Society Newsletter would be printed, with Bob Porter serving as editor.  The quarterly newsletter is now called “Chisago Heritage Journal” with Lin Strong at the helm. Past newsletters have been scanned and are available on line.

The society is always in the midst of a membership drive and can always use volunteers.  Corporate memberships are $500, sponsor level is $100, patron dues are $40, a family can join for $30 and individual memberships are $20.  

Mail checks to CCHS, P.O. Box 146, Lindstrom, MN 55045-0146.  Or if you have a question call the society at 651-257-5310 or email chisagohistory@frontiernet.net.

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