Recent News at the St. Louis County Historical Society
St. Louis County MN Historical Society

Recent News

Veterans Memorial Hall Looking for Volunteers for the Oral History Program

Veterans Memorial Hall, a program of the St. Louis County Historical Society, is looking for volunteers to conduct oral history interviews with area veterans. The historical society held a training session Thursday for those interested on June 1.

If you missed the session, but you are still interested, please contact Pippi Mayfield at  or 218-733-7507.

Veterans Memorial Hall Exhibit Grand Re-Opening

Tuesday, May 30, 2017, at 2 PM

Veterans Memorial Hall, a program of the St. Louis County Historical Society, hosted a public reception and press conference on Tuesday, May 30, at 2:00 PM at the St. Louis County Heritage & Arts Center (Depot) in the Great Hall. The reception celebrated a major redesign of Veterans Memorial Hall to honor those St. Louis County citizens who served in the US military.

Slovenian Impact on Minnesota's Cultural Landscape

A selection of pieces from the Old Country Memories collection was on display in conjunction with this special traveling exhibit.

The exhibit was on display April 21 - May 31 at the St. Louis County Heritage & Arts Center (the Depot) in the Great Hall.



VMH 5K Fun Run/Walk

The 2017 VMH 5K Fun Run/Walk was on Saturday, May 20, 2017. The race began at 9 AM at the Other Place Bar & Grill, 3930 East Calvary Road, Duluth, Minnesota.


First place male winner was Trent Spry with the time of 24:08.

First place female winner was Calla Johnson with the time of 27:45.

First place youth winner was Seth Werner with the time of 30:14


Lunch with the History People

On June 15, Chad Lewis returned to share “Bizarre Burial Beliefs and Traditions - Nothing is as Strange as Death.

On Thursday, May 18, 2017, Society volunteer Charles Bruns lectured on “The Old Copper Culture & Megaliths on the Laurentian Divide.” 

95th Annual Meeting of the Membership on April 25, 2017

St. Louis County Historical Society invited the public to help celebrate its 95th Annual Meeting of the Membership on April 25, 2017. Featured speaker Miro Medved, Honorary Consul, Republic of Slovenia, presented on Preserving the Slovenian Heritage.  He was preceded and followed by the Singing Slovenes whose performances included traditional Slovenian music.

The evening included a Slovenian dinner prepared by Duluth Grill.  Guests were also invited to view the three-part Slovenian Exhibit of panels depicting the immigration and cultural impact of Slovenians in Minnesota, original paintings by noted artist Albin Zaverl, and several Father Baraga/Father Buh artifacts on loan by the Duluth Diocese.

1854 TREATY AUTHORITY - Indigenous Pottery Workshop

1854 partnered with St. Louis County Historical Society to host an indigenous pottery workshop. To learn more about 1854, visit

Veterans Remembrance Dinner

“The Man Behind the Medal”

The St. Louis County Historical Society and its Veterans Memorial Hall program invited the public to the 12th annual Veterans Remembrance Dinner on Thursday, December 8, 2016. The theme for this year’s event was: The Man Behind the Medal:  The Story of Duluth’s Native Son, Major Henry Courtney, Jr. 

Our keynote speaker was Captain Michael Stainbrook, U.S. Marine Corps, Sr., Delta Air Lines (ret.), and Captain with Northwest Airlines. Court Storey, nephew of Major Courtney, also presented the story of the family’s efforts to Bring the Medal Home for display in Veterans Memorial Hall.


Give to the Max Day

November 17, 2016

Give to the Max to Local History!!

Thank you to all of our donors!

Although Give to the Max Day is over, you may donate anytime at

Your donation facilitates the success and growth of the Society and projects, both present and future.  Help the Society to continue its mission: “The general nature and purpose of the Society shall be the discovery, preservation and dissemination of knowledge about the history and prehistory of St. Louis County and the State of Minnesota."  Thank you in advance for your support!

USS Duluth Celebration

On Friday, October 28th at 3:00 p.m., a historic event took place on Duluth’s Lakewalk in front of the USS Duluth Anchor Monument, next to the Vietnam Memorial, behind Fitger’s Complex.  The City celebrated the homecoming of the USS Duluth Presentation Silver nearly 50 years after the City presented it to the ship and to its crew.


Former Mayor Ben Boo was joined by local dignitaries and members of the USS Duluth Crewmembers Association as the ship’s silver was presented to the St. Louis County Historical Society for display in their Veterans' Memorial Hall exhibit at the Depot on Michigan Street.  

Opening of Minnesota Ballet History Exhibit October 4


The Minnesota Ballet and the St. Louis County Historical Society held the opening of the ballet’s history exhibit in the Depot Great Hall on Tuesday, October 4. The exhibit, with costumes and ten-panel history display, will run through October 24.

For details, go to

The Lost Forty - Brian Miller & Randy Gosa


“Lost Forty Project” tapped long-lost recordings from Northern Minnesota to bring old songs and stories to life.

The Lost Forty, performed songs from the project at 2:00 PM on Saturday, September 24th at the Duluth Depot’s Underground Theater, 506 W Michigan St, Duluth. This free concert was sponsored in part by the St. Louis County Historical Society.

Archaeology Week

On September 14, 2016, St. Louis County Historical Society hosted an Archaeology Week event with speaker Lee Johnson, Forest Archaeologist for Superior National Forest.

Albert Woolson Remembrance Dinner

St. Louis County Historical Society and its Veterans’ Memorial Hall Program, in collaboration with the Lake Superior Railroad Museum and the David Wisted American Legion Post 28, commemorated the 60th Anniversary of the passing of Albert Woolson, the last surviving Union soldier, with a dinner in his honor, along with the Lincoln Funeral Car exhibit, a Civil War artifact exhibit and a flat-panel exhibit on the life of Albert Woolson on August 2,2016.

Lunch with the History People

On Thursday, November 17, 2016, writer Anthony Bush discussed “Work or Fight: The 1918 Duluth-Mesaba League & How the Great War Brought Great Baseball to the Twin Ports & the Range.”


On Thursday, October 20, 2016, author Nancy Lee discussed The 1918 Fire that Destroyed the City of Cloquet.”  Nancy’s lecture was based on her book entitled The Island. 

On Thursday, September 15, 2016, Dr. Linda LeGarde Grover  presented “The Sky Watched: Ojibwe Historical Narratives of Northeastern Minnesota” based on her newest book of poetry entitled The Sky Watched: Poems of Ojibwe Lives, winner of the Red Mountain Editor’s Award.

Linda's book can be purchased at

On Thursday, August 18, 2016, Dr. Nicole Mary Kelby discussed “A Reckless Heart in the World: Mark Twain in Minnesota.”

Find out more about her books and presentations at

On June 16, 2016, educator and local filmmaker Wendy Grethen discussed Early Days of Minnesota Point”.   Guests discovered the history of this area and the people who settled there. They learned how it has changed over the years. According to Wendy, Minnesota Point was also considered “a hot spot for activities” as far back as the late 1800s.  

If you are interested in having Wendy present for your group or to learn more about her upcoming bus tours, visit her website at


On May 19, 2016, author and radio personality Bob Matson lectured on “Amazing Stories of Nautical Archeology!”

“Every boat has a story to tell,” according to Bob. He has gathered many interesting stories, family histories and tales of remarkable vintage boat restorations. His talk included beautiful photos of these fine watercrafts.



St. Louis County Historical Society’s Veterans’ Memorial Hall program announces the three first-place winners of its very successful third annual 5K Fun Run/Walk held May 14, 2016.


Tim Carlsness of Hermantown was the first-place winner in the men’s division.


Yoshiko Wood of Hermantown was the first-place winner in the women’s division.


Jax Engstad of Duluth was the first-place winner in the youth division.


Thank you to all our sponsors, runners and everyone who helped make our 5K Run a success.  All net proceeds benefit the Veterans’ Memorial Hall program of the St. Louis County Historical Society, 506 W. Michigan St., Duluth, Minnesota.  The program is dedicated to collecting, preserving and presenting to the public the history of all St. Louis County military service veterans.  Currently, we are also engaged in an oral history program, conducting interviews with veterans, as well as our ongoing collection of thousands of shorter veterans’ stories.  Many of the stories – short and long - are available on the Veterans’ Memorial Hall website and the recorded and transcribed interviews are also available to the public through the Albert J. Amatuzio Research Center’s archives, also located in the St. Louis County Heritage & Arts Center (the Depot).  Please contact Society Executive Director JoAnne Coombe at 218-733-7581 or race coordinator John Werner at  for more information.

VMH 5K Fun Run/Walk  

The St. Louis County Historical Society invited the public to participate in the VMH 5K Fun Run/Walk, a fundraiser for its Veterans’ Memorial Hall Program.  The race began at 9 AM on Saturday, May 14, 2016, at the Twig Bakery/The Other Place Bar & Grill, 3930 East Calvary Road, Duluth, Minnesota.  


Veterans’ Memorial Hall was established in 1910 and is a joint program of the St. Louis County Historical Society and the military service veterans of northeastern Minnesota with a mission to gather, preserve, interpret, and promote the rich and diverse human experiences of veterans, their families and communities, through museum, archival and educational programs.  Its website,, and archives feature more than 6,000 veteran stories.


2016 Annual Meeting of the Members of the Society

Includes the Annual Dinner and Board of Governors Election

St. Louis County Historical Society celebrated its 94th Annual Meeting of the Membership on April 26, 2016, with featured speaker Megan Marsnik, author of Under Ground, a serialized historical novel published by the Minneapolis Star Tribune last year.  The book is based on the mining strike of 1916 on the Iron Range. Marsnik, a high school teacher in Minneapolis born in Biwabik, presented “Immigrant Women & Labor in Northern Minnesota”. The event was be held in the Great Hall of the St. Louis County Heritage & Arts Center (the Depot).


The evening began at 5:00 p.m. with a social hour, with music provided by the double string quartet of East High School, under the direction of Elaine Bradley.  A buffet style dinner by Duluth Grill Catering followed at 6:00.  After the program at 7:00, a business meeting was be held to elect the Society’s board members and officers for the 2016 – 2017 year, including ratification of affiliate representatives and the St. Louis County Board representative.


The Depot Foundation

Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

Johnson, Killen & Seiler

St. Louis County, Minnesota


View our 2016 SLCHS Board of Governors at

50th Anniversary Vietnam Era Veterans’ Celebration

The Department of Veterans Affairs established March 29, 2016, Vietnam Veterans Day, as the date of our region’s recognition event.  The St. Louis County Historical Society, through its Veterans’ Memorial Hall program and the Department of Veterans Affairs, Duluth Vet Center, hosted a free event at the Duluth Depot to honor the sacrifices and contributions of our Vietnam era veterans and their families. The event honored Vietnam Era veterans who served honorably anywhere in the world between 1961 and 1975.  

The free public event, “Celebrate Vietnam Vets”, was held in the Depot’s Great Hall, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  The community came together to enjoy a short program emceed by local radio personality Brad Bennett, a Vietnam veteran.  Foods popular during the Vietnam era were provided by Sammy’s Pizza, Deluxe Coney Island and Bridgeman’s Ice Cream.

St. Louis County Historical Society staff and volunteers were on hand to conduct tours of Veterans’ Memorial Hall, schedule future veteran and family member oral history interviews and provide information on collection and preservation of military artifacts. The event was photo and video documented as one of the thousands of public partnerships planned to Celebrate Vietnam Vets!

The VA Vet Center staff also provided an opportunity for veterans to sign up for future contact regarding veteran services.

History in a Pint

John Marshall presented on Desert Storm at
Carmody Irish Pub & Brewing on February 23, 2016.

Veterans’ Memorial Hall hosting historic Coast Guard painting at the Depot


The St. Louis County Historical Society’s Veterans’ Memorial Hall Program, in partnership with the Minnesota State Veterans’ Cemetery, hosted the only public viewing of Little Falls artist Charles Kapsner’s latest painting for his Veterans’ Education Historic Project that honors the United States Coast Guard.

The public had a chance to meet Little Falls artist Charles Kapsner at the Depot with his United States Coast Guard painting on Wednesday, January 20, from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM.  He was also be on hand to discuss the painting and his work and answer any questions January 21-22, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM, and Jan. 23-24, Noon – 3:00 PM.

Depot Day

Moccasin Making Demonstration and Hands-on Beading Activity for Children

On Saturday, January 9, 2016, the St. Louis County Historical Society hosted an Ojibwe moccasin making demonstration by Sarah Agaton Howes. Michelle Defoe also presented a hands-on beading activity for children.

Sarah Agaton Howes is an Anishinaabe artist, teacher, and community organizer from the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. She is widely known for her handmade regalia and moccasins featuring Ojibwe floral designs, which are in demand across Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Michelle Defoe is an educator who has been beading for over 10 years. 

This event was part of Depot Day at the Depot, the St. Louis County Arts and Heritage Center.

Additional activities during the event included:

- A bouncy house and coloring station sponsored by the Lake Superior Railroad Museum
- Scavenger hunts and complimentary hot dogs courtesy of North Shore Scenic Railroad
- Tours of the Car Northland and Car Missabe in the Lake Superior Railroad Museum

For more information about Sarah Agaton Howes please visit


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