Portal:Minnesota Historical Society

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The Minnesota Historical Society is chief caretaker of Minnesota's story—and the History Center is home to the Society's vast collections. Within its archives reside artifacts ranging from American indian moccasins and artwork to furniture and photographs, Civil War-era flags and a wealth of geneaological information. All of it is accessible today and for future generations.

Through its 26 historic sites and museums, the Society offers opportunities for thought-provoking entertainment, learning and fun. Visitors can discover the power of water at Mill City Museum, enjoy a breathtaking view of Lake Superior at Split Rock Lighthouse, and experience 19th-century frontier living at Historic Fort Snelling.


Featured Minnesota Places

James J. Hill House, 240 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota
James J. Hill (1838-1916) was one of the major entrepreneurs in the early history of the state. His home is the largest residence on Summit Avenue and one of the largest private dwellings in the state. It was designed by nationally prominent Boston architects, Peabody and Stearns. The house was built at a cost of $931,000. The 42 rooms include a skylit art gallery, a pipe organ, 22 fireplaces, and 13 bathrooms. The interiors feature cut-glass chandeliers, stained glass windows, a gold leaf ceiling in the dining room, and extensive carved oak and mahogany. The Hill family lived in the house for 30 years and in 1925 family members donated the house to the Archdiocese of St. Paul. The building was used as a school and office until 1978 when it was given to the Minnesota Historical Society. It is now open as a multiple-use historic house museum offering tours, educational programs, concerts, art exhibitions, meeting and event space.


Open House: If These Walls Could Talk

This interactive exhibit will bring to life the adage "if these walls could talk" by using a single, existing house in the Railroad Island neighborhood on St. Paul's East Side as a window into the daily lives of people of the past. Stories of families, from the first German immigrants through the Italians, African Americans, and Hmong who succeeded them, are told through rooms representing different eras of the house. The exhibit depended on extensive collaboration with St. Paul's East Side residents and students.



Right on Lake Street

“Right on Lake Street" is a collaborative exhibit developed by the Minnesota Historical Society and Macalester College, with design work provided by In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre.

Share a story or memory about a place along Lake Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota at Right on Lake Street.


The Minnesota Preservation Planner is an illustrated, four-page newsletter on historic preservation current issues and events, published quarterly. Included as an insert in the Minnesota History Interpreter; also sent to historic preservation stakeholders including Certified Local Governments and state and federal agencies.

Each issue will appear as a PDF (Portable Document Format) file, which can be viewed or printed using your web browser and Adobe's Acrobat Reader software.

View older issues

Organization Info

Minnesota Historical Society
Building address: 345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Ramsey County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Zip: 55102
Country: United States
Web site: http://www.mnhs.org
E-mail: webmaster@mnhs.org


Minnesota Pioneer House Project
While not nearly as sexy as as their Victorian cousins, these houses built by early Minnesota settlers from the days when Minnesota was a territory and a young state are as historical if not even more so. These were houses built while most of Minnesota was still wilderness and finding skilled labor was difficult if not impossible, where sometimes if you wanted a shelter you had to build it yourself. Help find and document the remaining pioneer houses built from before the end of the Civil War (1865).


Coleman's Pseudonymous Minnesota: The Real Models for Fictional Minnesota Places
The Society has the largest collection in the universe of Minnesota fiction and many of these books create thinly veiled places based on the author's experience with an authentic local place. Some of these disguises are fairly pedestrian, such as William McNally's "Capitol City" for St. Paul, but others are wonderfully creative, such as Sinclair Lewis's "Northernapolis" for Duluth. Patrick Coleman, curator of the Minnesota Historical Society's book collection has begun a list of fictional Minnesota places and their real life counterparts.

Things you can do

No shortage of things to do! Nothing specific just alot of everything
  • Start by adding houses
  • Help with research
  • Improve stub articles
  • Review articles fer grammorre and spilling
  • Help will the back end creating templates and such...

Places listed

Search for images carved into a red quartzite rock ridge thousands of years ago. Hear the tales of chamber maids working in the first territorial governor's Victorian mansion. Marvel at the beauty of a historic lighthouse on the shore of Lake Superior. These experiences and more await you at the Minnesota Historical Society's historic sites.
Personal tools
[http://discussions.mnhs.org/HP/oneonone.cfm snubnosed]