Renville County Historical Society

Preserving Renville County History Since 1940!

The Renville County Historical Society started in 1940. At that time the Historical Society would do displays at the County Courthouse. In the early 1950s the Society's Board decided to put down roots. Land was donated to the Society by William Buckley in Morton, Minnesota and the Society moved in two Norfolk Township schoolhouses.  One schoolhouse was the Main Museum and the other put back to look like a country school.

As the organization began receiving more and more artifact donations the Museum grounds grew. The Main Museum, built in 1988, is on the other side of the Morton City Park. The Main Museum contains the Research Library, offices, storage and many exhibit areas. To the east of the Main Museum are the two schoolhouses. One is still a schoolhouse and the other is used for exhibits. Behind the schoolhouses is the "Machine Shed" which contains agricultural equipment, tools, transportation equipment and much more. South of the Main Museum is St. John's Church, built in 1891 in Beaver Falls, moved to Olivia in 1909 and again in the 1980s and finally making its way home to the Museum grounds in 1997.  The Heritage Building, behind the church, protects the Lerud Log Cabin, stores the 1927 Dodge Sedan & 1914 Model T and is used for events and exhibits.

Upcoming Projects for Renville County Historical Society: 

·        Renville County in World War I Exhibits

o   Special Exhibit at the Renville County Fair (successful 2017 exhibit, will have another one in 2018 feature Renville County in World War I: 1918)

o   Special Exhibit in the Main Museum (in progress)

o   Enlarge all the World War I panoramic photographs to identify them ($1000)

o   Renville County in the War: 1917, 1918, 1919 book updated with obituaries, tidbits from the 10 county newspapers and more ($5,000)

o   Traveling exhibit for schools and libraries

Electricity to the Two Schoolhouses $2,000 project (completed in 2015)

Exterior painting of St John’s Church and fixing the window trim.  Estimated cost of this project is $3,300.  Completed Project June 2016.

           New exhibits in the Main Museum for 2018

o   Renville County in World War I: 1918

o   Featured town: Bird Island, Minnesota

o   Featured Old Village: Eddsville & Beaver Falls

o   U.S.S. Renville Transport Ship  

o   Haupt Fountains History

·         Educational Prairie Area $2,000

o   Planted prairie flowers & grasses August 2016

o   Walking path to Church & Benches

o   Signage it identify the prairie flowers & grasses

·         Programs, Outreach, Fundraising and Schools ($10,000)

o   Develop additional programs to be held on the Museum Grounds

o   Develop additional outreach programs to be held at libraries, nursing homes, schools, etc. (contact Nicole for a list)

o   Fundraising events including a Membership Drive event to attract new members

o   Add additional schools to the fall and spring tours

          5 year planning committee 2018-2023

o   Director is reviewing all the past 5 year plans, making recommendations to the 5 year planning committee and the committee will present ideas to the Historical Society board for approval.  

Key projects:  Walkways to the all the buildings (getting estimate); Fix sidewalk by the church (completed September 2017 cost $700); Air circulation in the all the buildings ($5000); Pay off the EDA loan on the Heritage Building ASAP ($40,000), Fix sidewalk in front of Main Museum ($500)

© 2018 GiveMN | A registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.