Historic Sites Revitalization

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Minnesota Historical Society
Recipient Type
Non-Profit Business/Entity
In Progress
Start Date
July 2013
End Date
June 2015
Activity Type
Capital Development/Rehabilitation
Counties Affected
Legal Citation / Subdivision
Session Law Reference: Laws of Minnesota 2013, Regular Session, chapter 137, article 4, section 2, subdivision 5, (b) (2) Programs
Appropriation Language

Programs: $5,525,000 the first year and $5,675,000 the second year are for programs and purposes related to the historical and cultural heritage of the state of Minnesota, conducted by the Minnesota Historical Society.

2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Direct expenses
Administration costs
Number of full time equivalents funded
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

1. A business, interpretive and/or public programming plans will make the sites relevant and self-sustaining.

2. The creation and implementation of high quality programming that increases attendance and revenue.

3. Increased audience satisfaction with programs designed to offer transformative experiences.

Recipient Board Members
"Minnesota Historical Society Governing Board:

William R. Stoeri, President
Missy S. Thompson, Vice President
Ruth Huss, Vice President
D. Stephen Elliott, Secretary
Dean M. Nelson, Treasurer

Suzanne Blue
Brenda J. Child
Robert Bruininks
Judith S. Corson
D. Stephen Elliott
Phyllis Rawls Goff
William D. Green
David R. Hakensen
Ruth S. Huss
Martha Kaemmer
Dennis L. Lamkin
David M. Larson
Charles Mahar
Dean M. Nelson
Elizabeth M. Nordlie
Dennis Nguyen
Peter R. Reis
Hussein Samatar
Simon Stevens
Susan Kenny Stevens
William R. Stoeri
Karen Wilson Thissen
Missy Staples Thompson
Eleanor Winston

Mark Dayton, Governor
Yvonne Prattner Solon Lieutenant Governor
Mark Ritchie, Secretary of State
Lori Swanson, Attorney General
Rebecca Otto, State Auditor"
Project Overview
The Minnesota Historical Society continued to work on revitalizing some of the state's most important and prominent historic sites. Program planners developed new programs at Historic Fort Snelling, Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post and the Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site. Evaluation results showed that 81% of program guests surveyed felt that these programs increased their knowledge of Minnesota history, places and culture. 71% of guests responded that these programs increased their personal connection to history. A new training program, "Conversation as Interpretation," was developed to train staff for these new programs to make experiences more conversational and engaging, while preparing them to be more comfortable in discussing sensitive subject matter. The Alexander Ramsey House continued implementation of its popular new programs. The innovative programs include monthly History Happy Hours; a Ramsey After Dark series, where the secrets of Victorian life are exposed; Ramsey Time Capsule family days, including parlor games and other hands-on activities for children; and History Chef cooking classes, where participants use Ramsey family recipes to create authentic Victorian dishes in the Ramsey House kitchen. Program development areas also expanded to other areas of the state. Historic Forestville developed and implemented a new special event, Civil War Encampment Days of '63. As part of the commemoration of the Battle of Gettysburg's sesquicentennial, this experience included a recreated Civil War military camp, fire muskets, and special presentation of the Gettysburg Address by a costumed interpreter portraying Abraham Lincoln. At the Oliver Kelley Farm, program staff began the next stage of program development as part of an overall capitol project to improve and enhance the experience. MNHS collaborated with the Nicollet County Historical Society and Gustavus Adolphus College to create a new exhibit and trail signs for the Lac qui Parle Mission Historic Site. Students enrolled in a fall 2013 Public History course, taught by Gustavus' Dr. Sujay Rao and then-NCHS director Ben Leonard, explored museum careers while they researched, wrote and created a new exhibit. The productive partnership did more than just replace the over-30-year-old site interpretation. Several students went on to take a spring semester course offered by MNHS' Chris Taylor, and two completed summer internships at the Minnesota History Center. Several more are now contemplating graduate school or careers in the field.
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Minnesota Historical Society
Street Address
345 Kellogg Blvd. W
Saint Paul
Zip Code