Director's Notes, J Potter

Tags: History, Blue Earth County, Hubbard House, Blue Earth County Historical Society, Mankato, dikes, Minnesota, LeHillier, Sibley Park, the History Center, Historical Society, North Mankato, Blue Earth River, Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota River, History Center, Mankato Baltics, Mankato Sandi Garlow, River Photo Club, Earth County, Gift Shop and Research Center, Marian Anderson, Missouri River History Center, Mankato Brewery Company, Will Steger, new art gallery, Memorial Day, Walt Whitman, BECHS, Harlow Norberg, Mankato Brewing Company, Minnesota Historical Cultural Heritage Fund, Primrose Retirement Center, Maud Hart Lovelace Youth Book Club, Mary Esther Hubbard, Randy Zellmer President, Super Valu, Mankato Jim Gullickson, Mankato Joe Farnham, Mankato Treasurer, flood crest, Centenary Methodist Church, the Minnesota, Blue Earth, Mankato State College, Expansion Update New Research Center, Mankato Dale Benefield, Randy Zellmer, Marian Anderson Art Gallery, Research Center, Elizabeth Harstad, Board members, Minnesota Historical Society, Mankato Patrick Baker, Jessica Potter, Mankato Dana Truebenbach, Board of Trustees
Content: The Blue Earth County HISTORIAN A Look Back at the 1965 Flood
In April 1965, the swollen Minnesota River and its tributaries flooded many parts of the region. One of the hardest hit areas in Mankato was Madsen's grocery store (now Cub West) and Mankato (West) High School. Read more about the high water and dedicated volunteers of the 1965 flood on page 9. Photo courtesy of Judy Westermayer.
Expansion Update New Research Center now open. Building update on pages 2 and 13.
Mapping Minnesota New Traveling Exhibit "Minnesota on the Map" opens June 2, see page 6.
In this issue:
President's Report
Gift Shop & Art Gallery 4
Hubbard House
Collections & Exhibits
Every Object Has a Story 7
High Water and Hard Work:
Remembering 1965 Flood 9
Research Center
Volunteer Opportunities 14
Around Blue Earth County 18
Calendar of Events
BECHS Mission: To lead in the collecting and promoting of Blue Earth County's history to ensure its preservation for the enrichment and benefit of present and future generations.
Spring 2015
The Blue Earth County Historian Board of Trustees President, Randy Zellmer, North Mankato Vice President, Shirley Piepho, Skyline Secretary, Jessica Beyer, Mankato Treasurer, Tom Solseth, Mankato Patrick Baker, Mankato Dale Benefield, Lake Crystal Preston Doyle, Mankato Joe Farnham, Mankato Sandi Garlow, Mapleton Wendy Greiner, Mankato Jim Gullickson, North Mankato Elizabeth Harstad, North Mankato Julie Lux, Mapleton William Steil, Mankato Dana Truebenbach, Good Thunder Marnie Werner, Mankato Staff Jessica Potter, Executive Director [email protected] Danelle Erickson, Museum Manager [email protected] Heather Harren, Education & Outreach Mgr. [email protected] Shelley Harrison, Archives & Collections Mgr. [email protected] History Center & Museum 424 Warren Street, Mankato, MN (New Main Entrance) 507-345-5566 Tuesday - Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. R.D. Hubbard House 606 South Broad Street, Mankato 507-345-4154 Hours May: Saturday and Sunday 1 - 4 p.m. June-August: Friday & Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sunday 1 - 4 p.m. The Blue Earth County Historian Spring 2015 The Blue Earth County Historian is published quarterly for the members of Blue Earth County Historical Society. Copyright: Historian copyright 2015 by the Blue Earth County Historical Society. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material from this issue is expressly forbidden without permission of the publisher.
Director's Notes Jessica Potter, Executive Director Spring flowers are emerging from their winter's slumber and birds are singing outside my window. It must be time to open the Hubbard House for another season. We are looking forward to a summer filled with great living history programs that engage people of all ages. The Historic R.D. Hubbard House will open for it's 19th season as a historic house museum on Saturday, May 2 with our 6th Annual Victorian Tea Party. It will be a great day of music and afternoon tea, sprinkled with a little Victorian history. At the History Center, we continue to make improvements to the newly expanded facility. Our most recent project was moving the Research Center back to its original 1988 location with new modern additions and enhancements. One of those new additions is brand new digital microfilm readers made possible through a grant from the Minnesota Historical Society funded by the Legacy Amendment. The new machines will replace 25+ year-old equipment. The room also saw a makeover with new paint, carpet and entrance. Check out page 13 for more information and then come in and see it for yourself! We continue to make improvements on the lower level with our meeting/program rooms. We now have three rooms available for not only BECHS meetings and programs, but also for community use. If you need a great space to hold a meeting or an event, let us know. The most recent addition to this space will be new padded meeting room chairs thanks to a donation drive at Surrounded By History and a grant from Land o' Lakes matched by Crystal Valley Co-op. They are currently on order and will hopefully be in place by early May. Spring will give way to summer and our summer promises to be filled with more exciting changes and opportunities. As you will read later in this newsletter, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Flood. This year also marks the 50th Minnesota Vikings Training Camp in Mankato. BECHS will help commemorate that anniversary with a memorabilia exhibit at the History Center in July and August. We are seeking Minnesota Vikings memorabilia from the community to help create this exhibit. The first opportunity to share your collection with us will be on Wednesday, May 13 at Jake's Stadium Pizza from 4-8 p.m. That night we will be on hand to meet with people and begin "collecting" for the exhibit. Check out page 7 for details. There are more community events planned leading up to the exhibit and many after it opens. Watch for details to be announced. Hope to see you at the History Center soon! 2
Board of Trustees Randy Zellmer President, Board of Trustees This year's Surrounded By History was a huge success. Attendance and funds raised were highest to date. Thank you to our many friends who joined us to celebrate "Built in Blue Earth County" in March. At our Annual Meeting also held in March, BECHS showcased our new facilities. A summary was provided to attendees outlining the acquisition of the building. Blue Earth County Board was once again thanked for assisting with the down payment and additional annual funds to help offset expanded costs of the building. Those who attended were greeted with a new entrance, newly relocated and expanded gift shop which includes the Marian Anderson Art Gallery and large space to host traveling exhibits. If you have not visited BECHS recently, I encourage you to stop and enjoy our new facilities. An excellent program was provided by Tim Krohn of The Free Press on the history of flooding in our region. The Free Press with the assistance of BECHS staff compiled historical photos and stories of regional flooding for their newest publication "Washed Away." I would like to thank Michael Lagerquist, Susan Hynes and Ky Battern for their many years of service and assistance to BECHS as Board members and volunteers. While their Board terms are complete, I anticipate their continuing support of BECHS on future endeavors. I would like to welcome are new Board members: Joe Farnham, Elizabeth Harstad, Julie Lux, Tom Solseth, and Dana Truebenbach. You can read their introductions on the right. Each brings skills to the Board which will help the organization grow. If you were unable to attend the Annual Meeting, please view the 2014 Annual Report online at or pick up a copy at the History Center Thank you for your ongoing support of BECHS. More than ever we need your support not only financially, but also by sharing our good news with others. I look forward to seeing you at future BECHS events and activities.
Welcome to Our New Board Members At the Annual Meeting, the following individuals were selected to serve on the BECHS Board of Trustees for 2015-2018. Meet your new Board members in their own words: Joe Farnham A resident of Mankato since 1979, I have worked in both the public and private sector holding positions as Vice President for Advancement at MSU/M, President of the South Central Technical College Foundation, partner at Emerald Travel and administrator at Centenary United Methodist Church. I'm now retired and enjoy traveling. Elizabeth Harstad I grew up in Mankato, graduated from Mankato West, then attended Gustavus Adolphus College for a B.A. in History and minor in political science. I have my Master's degree in Social Work from MNSU, Mankato. I work at Greater Mankato Area United Way as the Community Impact Director. My husband, Chris, and I love to travel, cook, read and drink coffee together. Julie Lux I am a current resident of Mapleton with my husband Brady and two children. I work for MRCI in the Client Directed Services Department as a Licensing Coordinator and graduated from South Dakota State University with a degree in History. Tom Solseth I am a CPA with Abdo, Eick and Meyers, LLP in Mankato and my clients are mostly nonprofits. I also live in Mankato. I am excited to be on the board and look forward to helping BECHS. Dana Truebenbach My husband, Todd, and I are raising our two sons north of Beauford on his grandparent's homestead. I am the Finance & Administration Manager at Neutral Path Communications. Thank you to Ky Battern, Susan Hynes and Mike Lagerquist for your past service on the BECHS Board.
Gift Shop & Art Gallery News Danelle Erickson, Museum Manager
In connection with the "Minnesota Homefront" exhibit on display through June 20, the History Center Gift Shop is highlighting some of our books that explore World War II, both at home and abroad. The Multifaceted Carp is a perfect example of the spirit and resourcefulness found on the homefront. Mankato's Armin Kleinschmidt saw how canned carp could provide food for troops and civilians during World War II. His vision became reality; and in 1945, the Lake Fish Canning Company was producing 600 cans of fish per hour. Regular price, $12.95, on sale for $9.95. Blue Earth County native Frederick William Just is the subject of The Story of a Special Man. Written by his daughter, Elizabeth Vosbeck, Fred's story includes accounts and photographs of his life including the time he served as captain aboard a Navy destroyer escort ship in the Pacific during the war. $10.00 The Gift Shop carries additional stories about southern Minnesota men who served during WWII. Using journals, letters and photographs as her guide, author Tamara Thayer brings us along as she follows the career and service of her grandfather, Dr. Ellsworth "Mike" Thayer in A Country Doctor Goes to War. Likewise, author Janelle Kaye uses her father's memoirs in her book Reconciliation with War: A Family Journey as she writes about his time in the war and his struggles with PTSD to follow. $15.00 (Thayer) and $25.00 (Kaye) For younger readers, the Gift Shop carries books from the American Girl series. While her father is away with the military, Molly and her family are at home planting victory gardens, collecting scrap metal and learning to "make do and mend." Also in the Gift Shop: BECHS Tote ­ This sturdy blue canvas bag is
perfect for a trip to the store, running errands around town, or for carrying all of your Research Papers when coming to the new Research Center. $9.95 Blue Earth County Maps ­ Three beautiful and colorful maps show Blue Earth County and its ethnic breakdown in 1880, railroad land grants from 18641894 and the vegetation in 1854-1855. Great references at a great price. $4.95 each BECHS Pendant ­ Show your love for Blue Earth County with a pendant. There are a variety of images to choose from including county maps and scenes from the History Center or Hubbard House. $7.95
Marian Anderson Art Gallery
Included in the Gallery's selection of Marian
Anderson prints are those that feature man's best
friend. An Irish setter, yellow lab and huskies are
beautifully depicted in three of her canine prints.
Minnesota native and polar explorer Will Steger and
his team,
made up of
humans and
canines, are
featured in
Focus North
and Focus
South. When
visited Steger's
A Friend for All Seasons
home, she was introduced to his dogs. "I also
became familiar with each of the dog's individual
personalities and their backgrounds....It is a real
privilege not only to know Will Steger, but his team
as well."
BECHS Needs You! Saturday volunteers needed for special events, programs, the Gift Shop and Research Center. See page 14 for more information. Please contact Danelle at 507-345-5566 if interested.
HISTORY CENTER ART GALLERY The Blue Earth County Historical Society is excited to debut our new art gallery space in our expanded History Center. The new art gallery is quite impressive and well worth the wait. The first exhibit in the new art gallery opens in July and will feature the Bend of the River Photo Club and their exhibit "Present History." Started in 2008, Bend of the River Photo Club is a group of people passionate about photography. Whether photography is a hobby or a profession, Bend of the River Photo Club invites people of all skill levels to join them. The club meets the 4th Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at the Primrose Retirement Center. The Blue Earth County Historical Society is actively looking for local artists to be featured in later exhibits. The art must be two-dimensional, ready to hang and be appropriate for all ages. Exhibits will change quarterly with an artist reception during the opening month. For more information or for an application please contact Shelley at 345-5566 or [email protected]
Historic R.D. Hubbard House Where 1900s History Comes to Life May 2, 1-4 p.m. Opening Weekend & Victorian Tea Party All ages event includes living history tours and Victorian Music at the Hubbard House with costumed characters every hour. Afternoon tea and gift sale at the Emy Frentz Arts Guild. Tickets $15 Adults, $10 Members, $5 Children. Reserve tickets today. June 5 - August 28, 10:30 a.m. Story Time at the Hubbard House Join Katherine and Mary Esther Hubbard Friday mornings for a special story time on the Hubbard House lawn. Activities include stories, crafts and games. Story Time is free for all ages.
SPECIAL MUSEUM EDITION Marian Anderson's Historic Mankato Series is now available in a Limited Museum Edition. This sold out series is back with a limited quantity for a limited time only. All proceeds benefit BECHS's expansion. Get yours before they are gone! Historic Mankato Series includes Closing Time, Good Ol' Summertime and Partners in Progress Set of all three historic Mankato scenes $500 or sold individually for $200 each Visit
June 6, 1-4 p.m. Victorian Lawn Party Annual lawn party features lawn games, refreshments and dolly tea party. Free and open to the public; admission charged for house tours. Historic R.D. Hubbard House Hours of Operation May and September Saturday, Sunday 1-4 p.m. June - August Friday, Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday 1-4 p.m. BLUE EARTH COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Collections & Exhibits "Minnesota on the Map" Shelley Harrison, Archives & Collections Manager
With the internet, GPS
In association with the
and mobile apps detailed
exhibit, "Our History
maps are just a finger-click
Matters" on June 25, 2015
away. It's easy to forget map
will feature a presentation on
making was once a serious
mapping and Geographic
talent that produced useful
information systems (GIS)
and beautiful works of art.
by Scott Kudelka, Minneopa
Not only do maps help us
Area Naturalist. Kudelka will
with directions or distance to
also demonstrate the value of
the nearest restaurant, they
geodetic surveying and its
can also show property
impact on our daily lives.
ownership, population shifts
"Minnesota on the Map"
and topographical
opens June 2 and runs
information. Maps can give
through September 19, 2015.
us a tangible link to the past. Minnesota and Dacotah in 1860
The Minnesota Historical
The Blue Earth County
Society Traveling Exhibits
Historical Society is delighted to be hosting another Program has been made possible by the Arts and
traveling exhibit from the Minnesota Historical
cultural heritage Fund through the vote of
Society. "Minnesota on the Map" opens June 1 and Minnesotans on November 4, 2008 and is
celebrates maps and the desire to explore. Based on administered by the Minnesota Historical Society.
the book Minnesota on the Map: A Historic Atlas by
David Lanegran, this exhibit features 23
reproduction maps and atlases, a video station with
commentary by local historians and an oversized
Minnesota map jigsaw puzzle. Featured maps range
from Louis Hennepin's 1683 map of the upper
Mississippi River Valley to a satellite map of
Minnesota produced by NASA. The exhibit will also
include many maps of Blue Earth County townships
and municipalities, as well as surveying tools.
The colorful images used throughout "Minnesota
on the Map," will enable visitors to explore the
history of maps and mapping and expand their
knowledge of Minnesota and Blue Earth County.
One interesting map is the 1853 map of the
Minnesota Territory. The map was intended to solve any American Indian concerns and put new settlers at ease. Be sure to notice the size and shape of Blue
On Display Now June 20, 2015
Earth County on the 1853 map. Our county once
Blue Earth County
covered a much larger area with the Missouri River
History Center &
as the western border and present day Iowa to the
south. Geography enthusiasts and history buffs alike
are sure to enjoy this exciting exhibit.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS MEMORABILIA NIGHT Wednesday, May 13, 4-8 p.m. Jake's Stadium Pizza 330 Stadium Road, Mankato Join the Blue Earth County Historical Society at Jake's Stadium Pizza for a special Minnesota Vikings Memorabilia Night. Evening includes throwback pizza deals, special display of Jakes' Vikings treasurers and the opportunity to have your memorabilia included in the upcoming "50 Years of Vikings Training Camp in Mankato" exhibit at the History Center. Staff from the History Center will be on hand all night to meet with people about their Vikings collections.* If you are unable to attend, watch for future dates to bring your memorabilia to the History Center . For more information about Memorabilia Night or the upcoming Minnesota Vikings exhibit, visit * Items will not be collected on May 13, just photographed. Individuals may bring a photo of their memorabilia rather than the item. Items will be on loan with BECHS from June 1 to September 15, 2015. If items are to be used in exhibit, BECHS will contact the lender for arrangements. All displayed memorabilia will be stored in locked cases.
Every object has a story...
The Society's permanent collection includes paintings, textiles, objects, posters, photographs, books, letters and ephemera from the middle of the 19th century through the 21st century. Blue Earth County Historical Society is pleased to announce the acquisition of memorabilia from the Mankato Brewing Company. This memorabilia includes an amazing collection of bottles, wall art, signs and even equipment from the brewery. Mankato Brewing Company was originally the Bierbauer Brewery started by Jacob and William Bierbauer in 1857 and continued until 1920 and Prohibition. When prohibition ended, a group of local businessmen purchased the building and renamed it the Mankato Brewery Company. The brewery's doors closed for good in 1967. In 1970 the brewery was auctioned off by Blue Earth County due to back taxes of $35,000 - $40,000. It was purchased by Harlow Norberg for $7,300 and demolished due to its deteriorating condition in 1971. In the decades following its demolition, Norberg continued to collect memorabilia from the brewery; and it was his children who generously donated this collection to the Historical Society. We are excited to welcome these historical artifacts and their rich legacy. Some of this collection is now on display at the History Center. If you are interested in donating memorabilia from a local business or a piece of Blue Earth County history, please contact Shelley Harrison, Archives Manager. 7
Enamel Sign "Kato Beer" Wall Clock "It's Time For Kato Beer" 1930's
Education & Outreach Making Local History Accessible to All Ages Heather Harren, Education and Outreach Manager
It is time once again for school tours at the Historic R.D. Hubbard House. This year, tours have been updated to create a more interactive tour for the students. Our goal is to have students consider how the Hubbard family lived in the 1900s in comparison to how families live today. Throughout each tour, guides will be asking the students questions to engage them in the tour and have them think about life in the early 1900s. Some examples include: In the parlor, the game table will be pointed out and students will learn what games may have been played in the 1900s. In the kitchen, students will learn about the butter churn, stove, bread safe and ice box. In Jay's bedroom, students will be asked about the need for spats and chamber pots. With these and other questions, students will explore how life in 1900 was both different and the same as today. Aside from the updated Hubbard House school tours, we are also excited to have all of the 6th graders in Mankato visit the History Center Museum this May. Typically these students would be visiting the State Capitol, but as it is under construction, the students were in need of a new field trip location, and we are happy to welcome them to the Museum. BECHS is excited about the visit and we are looking forward to sharing the history of where they live in. Hopefully this will be the first of many 6th grade tours at the History Center. Maud Hart Lovelace Youth Book Club The Maud Hart Lovelace Youth Book Club has been a great experience this winter for the participants. The Club of 11 girls, read the BetsyTacy Treasury, which contains the first four books in the Betsy-Tacy series. They read a different book each month and participated in a monthly discussion and educational program. We look forward to repeating this type of program in the future; maybe even for adults.
Monthly Educational Programs Our History Matters Monthly educational series promoting and celebrating local history. Free for BECHS Members, $5 Non-members. Upcoming Programs April 23 ­ 1940s Research by Beth Zimmer
May 28 ­ Vintage Base Ball by Hugh Belgard
Grace Keir shared about 1930s-40s fashions at March's Our History Matters.
June 25 ­ Mapping and GIS by Scott Kudelka, Minneopa Area Naturalist July 23 ­ Bend of the River Photo Club Exhibit Opening
Young Historians Monthly, free, handson history workshops for school-age children, 2nd Saturday of each month, September thru May, 10 a.m. to Noon. This year's schedule explored technology from the Progressive Young Historians toured the Era of the 1870s to the "Minnesota Homefront" exhibit in modern age including March. Ellis Island, World War I, Great Depression and World War II. For more information visit: programs/young-historians. Upcoming Workshops May 9 - Tour of the History Center & Museum September 12 - Watch for details
High Water and Hard Work: Remembering the Flood of 1965 By Hilda Parks On April 10, 1965 the Minnesota River crested at 29.07 feet at the Main Street Bridge in Mankato, following hours of frenzied dike-building and anxious river watching by residents of LeHillier, Mankato and North Mankato. Other rivers and overland flooding throughout Blue Earth County had already caused havoc, covering bridges, washing out roads, stranding farm sites and livestock. As the snow melted, the rivers rose and flowed near Mankato. Families left their homes, some to later find no home to which they could return. People volunteered for everything from filling sandbags to hosting evacuees to preparing food. Travel in and out of Mankato was limited due to flooding throughout the Main Street Bridge looking at Mankato, April 12, 1965 surrounding areas. "This is history?" some may be asking. It seems like a fresh memory to many. Perhaps you were one of those sandbaggers. Or did you make sandwiches for workers? Were you checking flood levels regularly and reporting to local authorities or feeling lucky because your school was closed? Maybe you were even one of those who needed to leave your home. Perhaps you weren't living in the area in 1965 or are too young to have experienced the flooding. Looking at the low water levels this spring, it is difficult to imagine the raging waters against the Main Street Bridge or breaking dikes at Sibley Park. But for many, after 50 years, those days may seem like yesterday. Minnesota River flood levels for Mankato/North Mankato was predicted to be 23 feet in the spring of 1965. Both cities thought they were prepared. But from April 7 to April 10, Wednesday to Saturday, dikes were hurriedly raised higher and higher as crest predictions rapidly rose. Some dikes held, some did not. Only those who saw water rising in their own homes can tell the stories of fear and heartbreak. Only those who filled sandbags for hours, or patrolled the dikes looking for leaks, can relate how exhausted they were and how relieved as waters began to recede. Everyone living through those days has their own memories of where they were and what they did. The Free Press reported facts daily, mixing in a few human interest stories. Perhaps these memories will raise some of your own or lead you to seek out other stories. Before the Flood The winter of 1965 had been a snowy year, culminating with the St. Patrick's Day blizzard which left a snow depth of 21 inches. The days turned warm quickly; and by the end of the month, some families in LeHillier began to leave for higher ground. Many remembered the 1951 flood, which had crested at 26.2 feet and inundated LeHillier and much of North Mankato. Dike building began. The Minnesota River was still frozen and was measured at 2.37 feet on April 2. By Monday, April 5, it had risen to 11.27 feet. Flood crest predictions stood at 23 feet; dikes were ready at 26 feet. An ice jam at the Main Street Bridge that day caused concern, but it broke up by itself. The newspaper headlines read "Chance of Major Flooding in Area Seems Declining." However, there was over an inch of rain the next day, and the flood crest prediction rose to 25 feet. Both Mankato and North Mankato scrambled to build their dikes higher. The Maple, LeSueur and Watonwan Rivers, all which flow into the Blue Earth River, were rising more 9
quickly than the Minnesota
Many LeHillier residents left
River. On Monday, the eight
voluntarily after water broke
houses on Hog Island in Garden
through under a railroad trestle
City found themselves living on
northeast of the town. Although
a true island. One family left.
it was mended within an hour,
Other families remained,
water had flowed unto North
although they had lost all
Sturgis Street. Perhaps rumors
electricity with the washing out
that the Rapidan Dam up river
of power poles. One man
was in danger of going out
crossed the water in his boat,
helped speed the evacuation.
bought a loaf of bread at the grocery store and returned home.
Large ice chunks like this caused ice dams on many local rivers. Photo courtesy Gene Braam.
The Lutheran Home (now Pathstone) near Sibley Park was
also evacuated. Once the formal
By Tuesday, April 6, Indian Creek was
order for evacuation was given, LeHillier and West
becoming a problem. Flowing into the Pleasant
Mankato were emptied overnight. The National
Street slough, piped across the (West) High School
Guard was called in to patrol evacuated areas and
parking lot, then under Park Lane (now Riverfront
control traffic, particularly keeping sightseers out of
Drive) and Madsen's Super Valu (now Cub Foods
the area. Some guardsmen were stationed as far away
West) and into the Minnesota River, the outlet into
as Waseca to stop unnecessary traffic.
the river needed to be blocked as the water rose
above it. Pumps were having trouble pumping over Thursday, April 8, 1965
the dike, and the high school parking lot began to
The flood level was rising dramatically, over half
flood. This water was only temporary; more would
a foot in five hours. The new flood crest prediction
was raised to 30 feet; nearly four feet higher than
1951 and would break the record set on April 27,
The Turning Point: Wednesday, April 7, 1965
1881 ­ 29.9 feet.
Due to continued rain and rapidly melting snow,
In spite of all the work, some dikes collapsed.
the flood crest prediction now rose to 26.5 feet with LeHillier sustained damage from dikes undercut by
an expected crest on April 10. Dike work continued the rapidly moving water. The primary dike at Sibley
at a hurried pace as the area entered the most
Park, holding back the Blue Earth River, broke at
worrisome hours. Calls went out for more heavy
2:00 p.m. Thursday afternoon. The park office and
construction equipment and flood lights with
the zoo were abandoned. Cages were opened to
generators so work could continue at night. At one
allow some of the non-dangerous small animals to
point even the empty sandbags ran out.
escape, and fences were broken down to allow larger
As the cities of Mankato and North Mankato,
animals to move to higher ground. Unfortunately
and the unincorporated village of LeHillier
most of the caged animals were lost. The two lions,
continued to raise their dikes, Honeymead (now
who had only about an inch of water in their cage
CHS), located on the east bank of the Blue Earth
later died,
River, called upon their employees to protect the
plant. A spur railroad line close to the river was
flooded by the morning. All motors were moved out exposure.
of the area and boilers were cooled down. Empty
The fight
storage tanks were filled with water as a means of
to stabilize a
protection if they became surrounded by the river.
Soybean deliveries were accepted until that
dike at West
afternoon, even as the plant was being shut down.
5th Street
The efforts were successful, and Honeymead was
not flooded, even as the Blue Earth River ravaged
At the main
areas around it.
entrance to Sibley Park during the 1965 Flood.
Sibley Park water was four feet below the trestle.
Only the roofs were showing of one-story houses on
Hubbell and Owatonna Streets. The railroad kept the
river from moving further into West Mankato;
however, the water quickly found other escape
routes. The parking lot at the high school was filled
to within 25 feet of the front of the building. The
water had come up in geysers through manhole
covers. An observer reported seeing three water
geysers in the parking lot, with five to six feet
spouts, around 4:30 p.m. Two more geysers soon
joined the flood, and a few hours later water was
running over the road from the Madsen's parking lot.
The basement of the high school and the vocational
school was flooded with water only a couple of
inches below the first floor slab. In the vocational
school, water rose too quickly to allow time to move
the larger machines. In retrospect, it was determined
that little structural damage was done to the building
because it is built on pilings.
Water rose so quickly in Madsen's Valu Center
that shopping carts were abandoned in the aisles, and
a plate of food was left on the counter in the
restaurant. Water inside the store rose to the depth
of 21 to 30
inches. Only
the radio
antenna of a
car still in
the parking
lot behind
the store was
Inside Madsen's during the Flood. Photo
quickly to courtesy of Armin Schull.
perishable foods as the water rose, however, none of
the restaurant or bakery equipment could be saved.
The store was dubbed "merchandising Venice" as
boats were later used inside the building to remove
goods from higher shelves. Businesses along the 500
block of South Front Street were also reporting water
in their basements, the result of storm sewers
backing up.
Friday, April 9, 1965 As the river continued to rise, the evacuation order for North Mankato came early that morning,
although many residents had left the day before. The fight continued along State Highway 169 as workers managed to keep the North Mankato sewer lift station in operation, although it was an island surrounded by sandbags. U.S. Coast Guard boats patrolled the area. Trying to keep a sense of humor in the midst of tense times, someone erected a sign, naming the sandbagged enclave "Gilligan's Island." Diking around the Century Club, on the North Mankato side of the Main Street Bridge, was abandoned to put more effort into dikes built further back from the river. Owner James Nicholls stayed in the building, repairing leaks, so that ultimately only one inch of water got into the basement. Dikes were still being carefully monitored and a sign was erected at the Century Club, reading "You are now entering Dikesville, U.S.A." Webster Avenue was a major concern for North Mankato workers. It was the failure of dikes at that point that had allowed water into the city in 1951. Even after a crest had been reported at the bridge, diking continued at Webster Avenue. Dikes were built to 34 feet, but officials were concerned that it would not be high enough. The North Mankato dike was 3,000 feet long and contained more than one million sandbags. Saturday, April 10, 1965 The Minnesota River crested at the Main Street Bridge between 1 and 2 a.m. The river flowed at 92.07 feet, 29.07 feet above flood stage. It was estimated that the river at the bridge over the Blue Earth River and at Sibley Park was five feet higher. At one point during the highest water, the Blue Earth River was flowing into the Minnesota River as a small waterfall. LeHillier and West Mankato were flooded. North Mankato and downtown Mankato had been protected. Although everyone must have breathed a sigh of relief, there would be many more days of checking the dikes as the water slowly receded, and many weeks of repairing damaged homes, buildings and streets. Days of High Water and Dikes During that week in April, there were at times as many as 2,000 to 3,000 people working on the dikes. It took three shovelfuls of sand to fill a bag, and one young volunteer remembered a bag weighed almost as much as he. Students from Mankato State
College, Bethany and the high school worked beside other volunteers, filling sandbags and building dikes. Amateur radio operators from Mankato State College and surrounding areas provided means of communication between dike workers and their back -ups.
families and then returned to work on other dikes, knowing their homes were already flooded. Weatherman Warren Heiser and his wife, needed to leave their home in North Mankato, but he stayed in his car to be near his instruments. During the week of the flooding, the area was
Mankato State College's Highland Arena was set up to house evacuees, with nurses and child care providers on hand. It was estimated that ultimately
visited by Minnesota Governor Karl Rolvaag and Vice President Hubert Humphrey. President Lyndon Johnson flew over the flooded area, and then toured
7,500 people were forced out of their homes. However, most families had made arrangements to stay with family or friends, and only a handful needed emergency housing. First Presbyterian
flooding in the Twin Cities which came a few days later. Disaster funds were the topic of conversation. There was water damage to 225 homes in Mankato, 125 in LeHillier and 62 Mankato businesses. In total
Church was the site for registration for evacuees. Centenary Methodist Church provided facilities for the Red Cross to feed volunteers and sleeping space for dike workers. The Salvation Army estimated that during the hectic days they had made 70,000 sandwiches, 3,000 gallons of coffee, 1,000 gallons of milk and hot chocolate, 800 gallons of soup and hot
39 counties in Minnesota were declared federal disaster areas due to flooding that spring. Today hydrologists use supercomputers, radar systems and satellites to predict flooding. In 1965, they used slide rules, rain gauges and grave diggers who knew the depth of the frost in the ground. Today almost three miles of concrete flood walls and rip-rap
dishes and dozens of cookies and donuts. Reading the Free Press from those hectic days, news and pictures of the flood fill many columns. For those so involved in protecting a city, it must have been difficult to believe that events continued as usual in the rest of the world. The national news
line the river banks, a flood-control project completed in 1987. The Minnesota River running through Mankato-North Mankato may not be the prettiest stretches of river, but those flood walls look pretty good to anyone who lived through April 1965.
covered Vietnam. There were bombings and boycotts in Alabama. Julie Andrews won an Oscar for Sound of Music. There was a groundbreaking for a new building for Mankato Savings and Loan at East
Sources Blue Earth County Historical Society Photograph Collection and Vertical Files
Jackson and Broad Streets. Announcements of engagements, births and deaths filled inside columns of the paper. "Hints from Heloise" and the daily comics continued and advertisements for new Easter clothes took up much space. But toward the end of the week the cancelations began to appear: a Kiwanis's meeting, the Science Fair at Mankato State College, a Saturday wedding at Grace Lutheran Church. There are many stories to be told of those days. Officials worked long, exhausting hours, sleeping on cots, existing on sandwiches and coffee. Bob Ringhofer, North Mankato city superintendent, who was finally relieved on Friday night, had a steak
Remember When Coffee Club Love history? Love to swap stories of the good old days? Looking for a place to connect with other history enthusiasts? Come to the History Center the first Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m. for BECHS's NEW Remember When Coffee Club. This will be an informal opportunity to share memories and photos with fellow local history enthusiasts at the newly expanded History Center. There will be no formal program, just a conversation topic to get you started. Coffee, tea and light refreshments will be provided.
supper at Michael's, his first real meal for days. Ray Eckes, North Mankato mayor, remembered that he didn't have his boots off for three days. One man who would not quit work was put in jail for the night so that he would get some sleep. Men evacuated their
Conversation Topics: May 5 - School Days June 2 - Front Street July 7 - Summer Jobs
Around the Research Center Heather Harren, Education and Outreach Manager
If you haven't stopped by the Research Center lately, you will be surprised the next time you come. On April 2 we moved the Research Center to its new location, bringing it to a more central location within the building. Technically, the Research Center is in its old location, the same location it was from 19882005, but with some great improvements. The first thing you will notice is a new entrance to the Research Center. The 7.5 foot opening with new glass doors makes a great first impression. The room still has everything that the old Research Center had, but is just arranged differently. The biography and subject files are located just off the main room, along with the microfilm reels. Speaking of microfilm, we received a grant to upgrade our two existing microfilm readers. The readers have been ordered and will be installed by the end of the month. If you are interested in donating funds toward the cost of the readers' not covered by the grant, please see the wish list below.
In the new Research Center, we also have a different copier that allows us to make color copies for researchers. Black and white copies will remain at $.25 and color copies are $1.00. This is a great thing to offer to researchers as many people want the color image from the newspaper. Next time you are in the area, stop by the Research Center to see all of our changes. Blue Earth County Trivia 1. What year was the first telegram sent to Blue Earth County? 2. What was the first township surveyed in Blue Earth County? 3. What other names was LeRay Township known as? Answers can be found on page 19. Like Blue Earth County trivia? More can be found on our website and Facebook page.
WISH LIST HeprueNrcceaohwranestoaaerc.futeQsJweuedesits;esitimctioeasnmaswtoeo3rr4ccto5oau-s5dlhd5o6tnuo6as.tee.,
neNweBe4wi2xnahM4orJibr"uaSiuhnttsetocieogphdeohinfnlosingr g
(braena$laafe2tnedw,cr0eea0mr/rg0peircmrafironnaotrit)fneitilwnrmsgo THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
BECHS Volunteers Make History Happen
April 12-18 was National Volunteer Appreciation Week. Every April, we take some extra time to recognize and celebrate our incredible volunteers. Like a lot of things at BECHS, volunteers have faced a number of changes over the past year, and like always, they have stepped up to the plate and faced the changes head-on. To all of our volunteers: Thank you for sticking with us, putting up with all of the changes and helping us as we move forward for bigger and better things at BECHS! Below you will find some volunteer opportunities. If you are interested in helping with any of these opportunities or would like more information about volunteering with BECHS, please contact Danelle, our volunteer coordinator, at [email protected] or visit
30 volunteers attended the Annual Volunteer Appreciation on April 13. Ten individuals were recognized for their donated hours ranging from 219 to 872 hours in 2014. Above are 8 out of our top 10, (l to r) Mary McComb, Grace Keir, Dale Benefield, Mary Ward, Shirley Schaub, Jo Schultz, Jo-an Lavitschke and Donna Webb.
Volunteer Opportunities
Urgent Need: History Center Gardeners The History Center has a number of flower beds, all
Building Projects There are countless projects at the History Center
of which are cared for by our volunteers. Whether
needing volunteer support. From painting to hanging
you have been gardening for years, wanting to learn blinds to moving equipment.
or somewhere in between, new volunteers are always
welcome and much needed. Schedule is flexible.
Research Center Assistant
Do you enjoy researching family or local history?
Tour Guides
We are looking for people to help in the Research
Seeking individuals interested in leading tours of the Center, assisting visitors and fulfilling research
Hubbard House and/or History Center. BECHS gives requests. Training is provided; however, previous
tours to a variety of groups including school groups, research experience is preferred.
and tour groups of all ages. Training is provided.
Receptionist/Gift Shop Assistant Seeking individuals interested in greeting visitors,
Photo Processing and Data Entry Seeking detailed orientated individuals with good handwriting and good computer skills. Must be
answering basic questions about BECHS and ring up willing to commit to minimum 2 hours per week.
sales in the gift shop. Must be comfortable with
computers. Training is provided. Vikings Training Camp Volunteers are needed to assist with a variety of
Volunteer Stories You may have seen some of our "Volunteer Story" videos on Facebook or YouTube. We are looking for more volunteers to share their stories of why or how
projects related to Vikings Training Camp. Here's how you can help:
they started volunteering at BECHS, what they enjoy the most or maybe specific memories about
Planning committee to meet regularly May-July Assist with exhibit development Work at History Center during Training Camp (mid-July to mid-August)
volunteering. The videos are informal and can be as long or short as you would like them to be. If you are interested in sharing your story, please let us know.
Surrounded By History 2015 Surrounded by History, the Historical Society's 4th annual fundraiser was held on March 20 and attended by over 200 people. The evening included live music from the Ben Marti Trio, dinner, wine raffle and live and silent auctions. Our emcee for the evening's festivities was our very own Jim "Gully" Gullickson, General Manager of KSMU-FM at MSU,M. The focus for the evening was celebrating the innovation and ingenuity that built Blue Earth County. Milestones were also a common theme; milestones not only for local businesses but also for BECHS. Over $11,000 was raised that evening for the History Center Expansion, not including the funds raised through sponsorships and ticket sales. Surrounded By History continues to grow each year and continues to raise significant funds for BECHS' operations. Thank you to everyone that attended and made the evening memorable. Thank you to those that donated items for the auctions and wine raffle. And thank you to our sponsors who made this event possible! 15
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS Presenting Sponsor - $5,000 ISG Gold Sponsors - $1,000 Free Press Industrial Fabrication Services Minnesota Elevator Inc. Wingert Realty and Land Services Inc. Xcel Energy Silver Sponsors - $800 Enventis Goodrich Construction MinnStar Bank Bronze Sponsors - $600 All American Foods Hilltop Florist and Greenhouse R & E Enterprises of Mankato Stinson Leonard Street LLP Vetter Stone SPECIAL THANKS TO Ben Marti Trio Daniel Dinsmore Photography Hilltop Florist Jim Gullickson Mike Lagerquist MSU,M Department of History Morgan Creek Vineyards Pub 500 Radio Mankato Red Door Creative The Free Press Media Video Participants Vetter Stone Auction and Wine Donors Attendees and Volunteers SAVE THE DATE: Surrounded By History--April 29, 2016
Membership Makes a Difference
"Our History Matters" is a popular monthly program at the Blue Earth County Historical Society, but it can also be a call to action. History does matter! Without history, we wouldn't be able to appreciate where we come from, where we are going or learn from mistakes and successes. One of the easiest ways to show your history matters is by proudly claiming your BECHS membership. Spread the word to your family and friends. Share with them why history is important to you and encourage them to join. Yes, the more members BECHS has, the greater the financial benefit for the organization, but it's so much more than that. More members means more people are excited about history, and more people excited about history means more people will be looking for ways to preserve and share the history we see around us every day. So THANK YOU to all of our new and renewing members. Now let's spread the word! Let people know that the Blue Earth County Historical Society is here for everyone looking to learn about and experience local history. Join or renew your BECHS membership today. See the back page of this issue of The Historian or visit to submit your membership dues online. Member benefits include: A free unlimited annual pass to the History Center Museum, Research Center, and R.D. Hubbard House Free or reduced admission to some BECHS programs and events 10% off most items in the Gift Shop and Marian Anderson Art Gallery The Historian in your mailbox or inbox four times a year The knowledge that you are supporting the one organization dedicated to Blue Earth County's history
BECHS Membership January - March 2015 New Members Ken and Jan Albrecht Trulie Bolton Margaret Fogelberg Jerry and Shirleen Gulden Robert Hale Ralph Hall John Hallman Kathryn Hansen Elizabeth and Chris Harstad Jon and Lois Hedman Lila Kahmann Bruce Raps Pat and Linda Smith Mary Struffert Paul Von Drasek Ron and Cindy Welp Ken Ziegler Renewing Business Members Crystal Valley Co-op Guentzel Family Farms, LLC Meyer & Norland Financial Group Minnesota Valley Federal Credit Union Pub 500 Quality 1-Hr Foto To ALL our new and renewing members, THANK YOU for your continued support. BLUE EARTH COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY IS A THRIVENT CHOICE DOLLARS® ENROLLED ORGANIZATION
BECHS Donations January - March 2015
Donations Eric Anderson Tanya Ange William Bassett Jessie Beyer & Kurt Klinder Patrick Bowen Chuck & Alanna Brandel C&S Supply Co. Inc Drew & Dawn Campbell Jerene Clement Jack Considine & Kristine Madsen Nancy Craig Matt & Tanya Doherty Joseph & Malda Farnham Nate & Lori Gardner Sandi & Darrell Garlow Harley & Janet Goff Terry & Mary Guentzel Jim & Shannon Gullickson Kathryn Hanson Char Hiniker Alan & Dianne Honermann Tim Huebsch Mary Humphrey Darrell & Pat Hylen John Isch Lyle & Kay Jacobson
Marcia Richards John Just Sr. Mike Lagerquist Earl & Sally Lamont Chris Larson Jo-an & Dean Lavitschke Lime Township Jack Madsen Jack & Lisa May Mary McComb Jack & Diann McGowan Theresa & Tom McLaughlin Alex & Nicole Mickelson Hugh & Marcia Miller Patricia & Richard Nienow Catherine Owens Bryan & Tami Paulsen Leslie & Glen Peterson Shirley & Mark Piepho Tad & Cindy Piper Brad Potter Primrose Profinium, Inc Will & Paula Purvis William Steil & Nancy Zwickey George & Nadine Sugden
Chad & Tara Surprenant Mary Jo Surprenant Linda & Kenneth Wilmes Randy Zellmer Recurring Donors Dale Benefield Joel Botten Carol English Carlienne Frisch Shirley Grundmeier Christopher Larson Jo-an & Dean Lavitschke Jack & Diann McGowan Judie Neitge Donna & Jerry Webb Marnie Werner Beth Zimmer Donor Matching Programs General Mills Foundation Federated Insurance Thrivent Financial's Thrivent Choice Memorials In Memory of Bev Gates Betty Cords In Memory of Gwynlyn Gant Elaine Anderson Kim & Laurie Boyce
Bruce Anderson Construction Rebecca Bryden Michael & Jan Freiborg Karen Louwagie Donna Southwick Martha Wiggam In Memory of Troy Haefner Randy Zellmer In Memory of Richard Nowak. Jane Haala In Memory of Joannie Schwab Randy Zellmer In-Kind Katherine Hughes Mankato Refrigeration Morgan Creek Vineyards Red Door Creative Surrounded By History Auction & Wine Donors Mankato Baltics Sponsors Industrial Fabrication Services Ross Thate Custom Welding
Support BECHS on AmazonSmile You can support BECHS by shopping through AmazonSmile when you do your Amazon shopping. Visit, login to your Amazon account and enter "Blue Earth County Historical Society" as your charity of choice to get started! It's that simple and next time you shop on Amazon, you will be supporting BECHS while you shop.
Blue Earth County Historical Society Monthly Giving Program The Monthly Giving Program is an easy way you can help provide steady support for the ongoing work of BECHS. Enroll online or at the History Center. Your credit or debit card will be charged automatically each month.
Around Blue Earth County The Rapidan Heritage Society is looking forward to our first event of 2015 - Memorial Day, May 25. Services in Rapidan's Memorial Park will begin at 9 a.m. with the North Mankato American Legion Post presenting the Colors. Following the service, coffee and donuts will be served with good neighborly conversations. At 10 a.m. join us for a presentation about Walt Whitman, perhaps the greatest American poet of the 19th Century and best known for writing Leaves of Grass. Did you know that he also had a role in America's Civil War that made him not just a great poet but also a great American? This presentation will be given by George Romano, past President of the Rochester Civil War Roundtable and member of the Wood Lake Battlefield Preservation Association Board. We are excited to welcome Romano as he shares about Whitman's life, poetry and his role in the Civil War. A lunch will be served after the Whitman talk, around 11 a.m. Everyone is invited to attend. The lunch is a free-will offering with proceeds going towards the restoration of the caboose (yes, it is still pink!). Memorial Day will also signal the opening of the depot for 2015. The Depot will be open for visitors on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Memorial Day through Labor Day. Each year, the Society sells a Red Wing Pottery piece. The 2015 piece is a bread bowl featuring the Rapidan Garage. Last year's piece, a plate featuring a Milwaukee steam engine, is also available.
Blue Earth County Historical Society's 1860s BASE BALL CLUB The Blue Earth County Historical Society's vintage base ball team, the Mankato Baltics, brings history alive on the field. Getting their start in June 2007, the Baltics are now members of the Vintage Base Ball Association, VBBA. The Baltics wear vintage uniforms, use vintage equipment and play by 1860s base ball rules. And yes, "base ball" was two words back then. Watch the Baltics all summer long around Minnesota and Wisconsin. For the Baltic's full schedule, visit and follow them on Facebook.
Deep Valley Homecoming June 26 - 30, 2015 Visit for a complete schedule of events and registration form. Advance registration encouraged as limited space available for some programs.
Moving? New Address? Please let us know! It costs over $2 for each returned newsletter that cannot be delivered. Please help the Society reserve funds and assure that you get your Historian by notifying us of your new or seasonal address.
Calendar of Events April - July 2015
APRIL 23 Tune in to KTOE 1420-AM at 1 p.m. for BECHS Update on Talk of the Town 23 Our History Matters: 1940s Genealogy by Beth Zimmer, 6 p.m., History Center, $5 adults, BECHS members free MAY 2 Hubbard House Opening Weekend, open for tours 1-4 p.m. 2 6th Annual Victorian Tea Party, 1-4 p.m., R.D. Hubbard House. Tickets on sale now. 5 Remember When Coffee Club: School Days, 10 a.m., History Center, see page 12 for details. 5 Watch KEYC News 12 at Noon for monthly BECHS Update 9 Young Historians: History Center Tour, 10 a.m., History Center, Pre-registration. 9 Maud Hart Lovelace Young Adults Book Club, 1 p.m., History Center, Pre-registration. 13 Minnesota Vikings Memorabilia Night, Jake's Stadium Pizza, 4-8 p.m., see page 7 for more information. 14 Mankato Heritage Preservation Commission Mankato's Captains of Industry Historic Bus Tour, 4 p.m. or 5:30 p.m., to register call 311. 16 Mankato Baltics @ Columbia Heights 23 History Center Closed, Hubbard House Open Happy Memorial Day 28 Tune in to KTOE 1420-AM at 1 p.m. for BECHS Update on Talk of the Town 28 Our History Matters: Vintage Baseball by Hugh Belgard of the Mankato Baltics, 6 p.m., History Center, $5 adults, members free JUNE 2 "Minnesota Maps" Traveling Exhibit Opens 2 Remember When Coffee Club: Front Street, 10 a.m., History Center 2 Watch KEYC News 12 at Noon for monthly BECHS Update 5 Story Time at Hubbard House, 10:30 a.m. Every Friday Morning through August, Hubbard House 6 Victorian Lawn Party, 1-4 p.m., R.D. Hubbard House 13 Mankato Baltics 1860s Base Ball Festival, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Erlandson Park, Mankato 20 "Minnesota Homefront" Traveling Exhibit Closes
21 Mankato Baltics @ The Landing in Shakopee 23 Concert on the Courthouse Lawn, 7 p.m., Historic Blue Earth County Courthouse. Historic Walking Tours by BECHS 5-7 p.m. 25 Tune in to KTOE 1420-AM at 1 p.m. for BECHS Update on Talk of the Town 25 Our History Matters: Mapping and GIS by Scott Kudelka, 6 p.m., History Center, $5 adults, members free 28 Mankato Baltics @ Lanesboro JULY "50 Years of Vikings Training Camp in Mankato" Exhibit Opens in July - watch for date and special events to be announced 4 History Center Closed, Hubbard House Open Happy Independence Day! 4 Old-fashioned Independence Day Celebration, 1-4 p.m., R.D. Hubbard House 7 Remember When Coffee Club: Summer Jobs, 10 a.m., History Center 7 Watch KEYC News 12 at Noon for monthly BECHS Update 12 Baltics Scrimmage at North Mankato Fun Days, 11 a.m. 23 Tune in to KTOE 1420-AM at 1 p.m. for BECHS Update on Talk of the Town 23 Our History Matters: Bend of the River Photo Club, 6 p.m., History Center, $5 adults, members free 30- August 1 Blue Earth County Fair Three easy ways to stay up-to-date: Check out for full event details and updates! Sign-up for our free monthly e-news to receive updates between Historian issues Follow BECHS on Facebook and Twitter. Electronic version of The Historian Now Available If you would like to receive The Historian via email rather than traditional mail, please contact Danelle at [email protected] or 345-5566. Answers to Blue Earth County Trivia on page 13: 1. 1868 2. Danville 3. Lake and Tivoli
BECHS Annual Membership The Blue Earth County Historical Society is a member supported non-profit organization. Membership dues make up a growing portion of the annual operating budget. Thank you for your support.
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