Views from the Past...
From Normal School to University
Throughout 2017 and 2018, Minnesota State University, Mankato will be celebrating its 150 Anniversary and the Historical Society is excited to be a part of the celebration. This exhibit will include photographs and artifacts featuring noteworthy individuals and places on campus as well as fun facts and stories about the college and student life. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
As a part of the exhibit opening, BECHS will be hosting Historic Valley Campus Walking Tours on September 23, with tours leaving from the History Center every 30 minutes between 10 a.m. and Noon. Each tour will last approximately 1 hour. Walking tours are $8/adults, $5/BECHS Members and are on a first come first serve basis.
Open July 8-September 1, 2017
Beginning in 1996, the community of Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota, began planning and working on The Saint John’s Bible, the first handwritten, illuminated Bible commissioned by a Benedictine monastery in five hundred years. The work of creating the Bible involved countless hours of meetings, artist studio time and financial support of almost 1,400 individual donors. On May 9, 2011, the last word of the Bible was penned, bringing the almost 15-year production phase to completion.
This unique undertaking combines a tradition of craftsmanship with the latest capabilities of computer technology and electronic communication. The words are handwritten on vellum (calfskin) using hand-cut quills fashioned from turkey, swan or goose feathers, and ancient inks hand-ground from natural minerals and stones such as lapis lazuli, malachite, and vermillion. The pages are illuminated with the brilliance of 24-karat gold leaf, silver leaf and platinum. The complete work includes 1,127 handwritten pages over 7 books and over 160 major artworks.
The Blue Earth County Historical Society will host a reproduction of The Saint John’s Bible. On display at the History Center will be a replica of the volume containing Gospels and Acts as well as 25 framed prints of artwork from all of the illustrated volumes. This exhibition was made possible by generous support from St. John’s Episcopal Church, Mankato. St. John’s Episcopal Church in Mankato was founded in 1866 and continues to reside on the corner of Warren and Broad Streets in Mankato.
From simple to extravagant, weddings come in all forms. View wedding dresses from the past 100 years and all the treasures that go into making each wedding day special in our latest exhibit.
This exhibit is free and can be viewed at the History Center during open hours. It runs through July 1, 2017.
Join us at the Blue Earth County Historical Society for our latest temporary exhibit! Take a walk through winter's past and experience what it was like in Blue Earth County. Special look at the 1920 Mankato Winter Carnival!
This exhibit is free and open to the public!
Upcoming events with this exhibit:
BECHS Annual Meeting - March 5
History Bits and Bites - March 16
Explore the fascinating people and places of Minnesota’s first global business in “Fur Trade in Minnesota,” a new traveling exhibit from the Minnesota History Center opening October 20, 2016, at the Blue Earth County History Center.
Hundreds of years ago, Minnesota played a key role in the fur trade, which stretched across five continents. Visitors to the exhibit can lift a 45-pound Voyageur’s pack, learn how the fur trade shaped Ojibwe art and discover how beaver pelts could be transformed into sleek, stately hats that were all the rage among wealthy Europeans.
“Fur Trade in Minnesota” will be on view through January 7, 2017.
Special Programs with this Exhibit:
History Bits and Bites on December 21, from 12-1 p.m., will view a documentary about fur trade and discuss this film as a group. There will also be time to view the exhibit. Special this month only - Free and open to the public!
Come one come all! BECHSis celebrating its 30th annual Ghosts From The Past this year and to honor this momentous year, we are bringing back some of our favorite characters from the past. Join us in learning more about the:
- Yager Schoolhouse
- Greiner's Store fire in Mapleton
- Pemberton's Bank Robbery
- The Rose Castle
- Green Gables Tornado
- Typhoid Epidemic
- Glas Block Christmas Tree Trial
Ghosts from the Past will be October 27 and 28 from 6-9 p.m. each night at the History Center. Tickets are $7.50/adults, $5/children 5-17 and be reserved by calling 507-345-5566 during business hours or emailing Museum@blueearthcountyhistory.com.
Tours start every 15 minutes, last tour begins at 8 p.m.
Join the Blue Earth County Historical Society and the Minnestoa Welsh Association for a narrated bus tour of Blue Earth County's historic Welsh Settlements of Judson, Cambria and Lake Crystal. Ticket includes narrated bus ride, six stops and catered linch. Please wear comfortable walking shoes.
Bus tours begins from and returns to the History Center.
Tickets are $30/BECHS or MWA Members, $35/General Public
Please call 507-345-5566 to reserve your spot today as space is limited.
The Hubbard House has many great events coming this summer.
During the month of September, the Hubbard House will be open Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4 p.m. for guided tours.
Hubbard House Gaslight Series, September 13, 7 p.m. - Farmer Labor Rally of 1918
Farmers and Laborers faced social, politcal and economic problems that were different from any faced by people like the Hubbard Family. Come experience a historic look at a typical 1918 rally with folk music, dances and firey speeches. Admission is $8/adults, $5/children 5-17 and BECHS Members.
The Blue Earth County Historical Society is pleased to announce the opening of “When Home Won’t Let You Stay,” a poignant photography exhibition about refugees in Minnesota by documentary photographer James A. Bowey.
The exhibition on display at the Blue Earth County History Center runs from May 7 to July 30. It seeks to provide a new perspective on the often hidden lives and compelling experiences of refugees in our communities. The exhibition consists of contemporary color portraits accompanied by first-person stories highlighting the plight and resiliency of refugees who call Minnesota home. BECHS is the inaugural presentation of the exhibition which will travel to other Minnesota communities in the summer and fall.
“We are very excited to present this important work,” said Jessica Potter, Executive Director of BECHS. “It’s an important contemporary issue that links us to the vital role that migrants and refugees play in the history of this region.”
The number of globally displaced people has risen dramatically in recent years and is expected to continue to rise in response to ongoing conflicts, poverty, and climate change. International and national events have prompted conversations in communities across the country about our American roots, our national identity and the refugee experience.
“As a documentary artist I’m drawn to stories that provide a window into the state of contemporary society,” said Bowey, “and I think at the present moment there is no more compelling story than the plight of refugees.”
The exhibition is being supported in part by Minnesota Council of Churches (MCC) Refugee Services through a grant from The Linking Communities Project supporting the welcome and resettlement of refugees. MCC Refugee Services provides comprehensive services to support refugees in the Twin Cities and Mankato areas.
BECHS along with MCC and the Greater Mankato Diversity Council, will co-host a community conversation at 1 p.m. on May 21. The Society’s History Bits and Bites will feature a presentation by Bowey at noon on June 29.
ABOUT JAMES A. BOWEY
James A. Bowey is a documentary photographer who explores issues of human rights and social connection. He has spent his career covering a wide range of global and national stories from the war in Bosnia to Hurricane Katrina. His work has been featured by The New York Times, Time Magazine, the Associated Press, as well as in numerous exhibitions. Bowey is also an educator and was on the faculty at Winona State University from 2008 to 2015 where he won the national WOW award for innovation in higher education.
From more information about “When Home Won’t Let You Stay,” visit:
EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED
Join us for food, cash bar, fun and prizes at the Trivia Night Fundraiser for the Blue Earth County Historical Society at Old Main Village.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and Trivia starts at 7 p.m.
Appetizers provided by Old Main Village include bacon wrapped scallops, petite quiche, BBQ meatballs, dessert bars and more. Appetizers are included in ticket price. Cash bar provided by Buffalo Wild Wings.
Trivia questions will cover a wide range of topics and prizes will be given away throughout the evening with a grand prize for the best overall team.
From baby quilts to Grandma’s wedding quilt, they all have a story. Discover quilts from the Historical Society’s collection dating from the 1880s to today on exhibit at the History Center. This exhibit is free and open to the public.
Special exhibit opening on April 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with refreshments. Audrey Gatchell and Ken Ziegler will be in the Discovery Lab discussing their family quilts and people of all ages will have the opporunity to contribute to a paper quilt.
R. D. HUBBARD HOUSE ASSISTANT
The R. D. Hubbard House Assistant is a part-time, seasonal position that exists for the operation of the Blue Earth County Historical Society (BECHS) R. D. Hubbard House and will work with the BECHS staff and volunteers to meet the needs of visitors to the house. Specific duties include, but are not limited to:
·Responsible for the seasonal operation (May-September) of the R. D. Hubbard House, including the areas of tours, visitor services, gift shop, maintenance, cleaning and security.
·Provide guided tours and educational programs to the general public
·Develop and implement living history programs
·Oversee the display and security of objects in the main house and carriage house; and perform light conservation as directed.
·Maintain accurate gift shop sales records and inventory at the Hubbard House Gift Shop
·Perform light cleaning and maintenance of the property.
·Interest in local history required. Knowledge of Minnesota history, Blue Earth County history, and/or 1900s Victorian history helpful.
·Excellent verbal, interpersonal and communication skills.
·Self-motivated with the ability to work alone and with a variety of personalities. Must be detail-oriented and highly organized
·Good customer relations skills
·Ability to work the posted Hubbard House schedule:
· May – Saturday and Sunday 1-4 p.m. (7 hrs./week + scheduled tours);
· June – August – Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday 1-4 p.m. (16 hrs./week + tours);
· September - Saturday and Saturday 1-4 p.m. (7 hrs./week)
· Note: Hubbard House seasonal staff are allowed only ONE weekend day off PER month.
To Apply Send Resumes to:
Blue Earth County Historical Society
424 Warren Street
Mankato, MN 56001
Applications now being accepted through April 21.
History Bits & Bites is the latest program at the Blue Earth County Historical Society. Join us on the third Thursday of each month at Noon for a great program. Each program is designed to last no more than 1 hour. Bring your lunch and learn a bit of history. Admission is $5 for adults, Free for BECHS Members and children under 18. Here are the upcoming programs:
August 17 - The Form of Letters by Brad Coulter
September 21 - Minnesota Welsh Association
October 19 - Out of Chaos: Music of the Times with James Gullickson and Mark Halvorson
BECHS' Annual Meeting will be March 6 at 2 p.m. Join us for a State-of-the-Society business meeting followed by a presentation by Garfield Eckberg, former employee and current board member of BENCO Electric. Eckberg's presentation, "How Electricity Changed Agriculture and Rural Communities," is in correlation with our current Traveling Exhibit, Electrifying Minnesota.
Doors will open at 1 p.m. for behind-the-scenes looks at what we do at BECHS.
Please RSVP to Museum@BlueEarthCountyHistory.com or by calling 507-345-5566 no later than March 4.