The Fergus Falls Heritage Preservation commission, in cooperation with the Otter Tail County Historical Society, produced a brochure with the help of a qualified historian. The brochure consists of photographs, descriptions and maps to locate historically significant buildings and homes in the city. It was designed for use as a self-guided tour of the city's historical and architectural landmarks. The 40-page brochure is available through the Otter Tail County Historical Society, the Fergus Falls Heritage Preservation Commission and the Fergus Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau.
As a strategic document, the Legacy Strategic Agenda (LSA) has four goals that build on achievements realized during the first five years of Legacy funding. Over the next four years, the LSA strategic priorities in education, grants, partnerships and unfamiliar stories will be acted on, measured and sustained at the community level. A dedicated LSA Collaborative representing a cross-section of the history community meets quarterly around the state to guide the work of LSA Priority Action Teams and to share successes.
A Microfilm Scanner System and associated computer and software were purchased for the Museum. Staff and volunteers were trained in their uses. Improved image quality was immediately noticeable. The purchase enhances the overall plan to preserve local history in Otter Tail County.
The grant enabled the Fergus Falls Public Library to supplement and fill gaps in their collection with 13 popular titles on Minnesota history. As the "reference center" for the Viking Library System they are often called upon to locate information on Minnesota, both for local people and those far afield who reach them via telephone or e-mail and the 13 titles they received would help fill them.
This initiative will share the stories of important historical cases and engage communities with the court system. Members of the Hispanic Bar Association will conduct oral interviews with select members, which will become part of a traveling exhibit in partnership with MNHS. Through this project, MNHS will assist the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association in advancing the goals of the Minnesota Legal Experience.
A secure online database for off-site historical records indexing was created by the Otter Tail County Historical Society. Existing databases were consolidated and imported to the new database. Web pages were created for trained volunteers to retrieve documents and enter indexing information. Staff is now better able to coordinate with volunteers who have electronic access to multiple finding aids via the internet.
The most imminent threat to Phelps Mill, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is fire. If struck by lightning the wood frame building would be destroyed in minutes. Period photographs indicate that at least three lightning rods were on the mill as early as 1900. When the mill closed in 1939, the rods remained on the roof until 1965 when the county board purchased the site as a county park. Shortly thereafter, the rods were removed when the roof was repaired and shingles replaced.