Early Threshing Methods

The first threshing methods involved beating grain by hand with a flail or trampling it by animal hooves. An early threshing machine, patented in 1837 by Hiram A. and John A. Pitts, Winthrop, Maine, was powered by horses walking on a treadmill. Improvements weren’t made to the original machine until late in the 1800s. The […]

Meaning of Thanksgiving

Colorful leaves blanket the ground, harvest season is almost through, and frost is on the pumpkins; we give thanks for all the blessings received throughout the year by celebrating that very special holiday known as “Thanksgiving”. For many of us, the meaning of Thanksgiving usually includes a great turkey feast, 4-day weekends, football games, the […]

Curator’s Corner

The season is almost over but we’ve been busy with many activities this month. For starters, I’m happy to inform you the schoolhouse project is almost complete. Exterior painting of the building is almost done, Jim Czech has completed repairs to the tin ceiling and floor in the entryway, and John Moore will be replacing […]

Charles Duncan Gilfillan

Charles Gilfillan was born on July 4, 1831 in New Hartford, NY. He was the son of a carpet weaver and woolen manufacturer, and the family immigrated to the US in 1830 from Scotland. His name will be permanently associated with the early history of the city of St. Paul, owing to his connection with […]

Swedes Forest

Swedes Forest township is located in the very northern corner of Redwood County, lying  south of the Minnesota River. In September 1865, Nels Swenson and a man named Holz, both Swedes, had come to the township, building a cabin in a section of woodland, soon called Swedes Forest. This name was selected because a “Swede” […]

Play Ball

Baseball and softball have been a part of Wanda for the past 60 years or so. Organized semi-professional baseball was played in Wanda as far back as the 1920s and the cost of playing a game approached $1,000. These teams were fielded by donations from local businessmen, baseball fanatics and, of course, ticket sales. Hired […]

Curator’s Corner

It’s that time of year when summer winds down and kids anxiously return to school, sharing their summer adventures with friends and teachers. It’s also that exciting time of year when many people travel to the MN State Fair for a day of fun, food, and fanfare! Did you know that the first MN State […]

Wanda’s Beginnings

The railroad came through Willow Lake township in 1899, and the present site of Wanda was selected as the location of a future village. Wanda was surveyed for Western Land Company on September 26, 1899 by J.C.W. Kline. Wanda comes from the Chippewa Indian word Wanenda, meaning “forgetfulness.” How this term was applied is not […]

Bell’s Ferry

Vicksburg Ferry later known as Bell’s Ferry — Vicksburg was on the main road south of Renville and north of Delhi. When the water was shallow, the river could be crossed just around the bend and upstream from the present bridge. When the water was high, it necessitated a ferry to cross, so Robert Davis […]

Curator’s Corner

This summer has been a very busy time working on various projects at the museum. Jerry Bohm has about half of the exterior of the schoolhouse completed. Scott Larson and Dale Neely are continuing their work on the bell tower. The louvers have been assembled and painted, and are ready to be placed on the […]