Our donors help to uphold our mission of discovering, preserving, and sharing the story of Kandiyohi County and its people.
The Kandiyohi County Historical Society (KCHS) was incorporated in 1940 under its current name, but had existed as the Old Settlers Association since 1897. At first, membership was restricted to those who had settled within what is now Kandiyohi County prior to the U.S. Dakota Conflict of 1862, and their families. Today, anyone can become a member. This is particularly appropriate in our museum efforts to present the life and times of the history of Kandiyohi County which begins with the Indians and continues with the original settlers through the beginnings of the settled contemporary community life in the county. The Society’s activities are managed by a board of directors, elected by the membership. Directors are all volunteers, assisted by a small professional staff. The twelve-member board of directors meets monthly to deal with policy and fiscal matters. A full-time executive director administers the operations and historical center. This small staff is supplemented by senior workers through the Experience Works program, student interns from Ridgewater College, and approximately 50 volunteers. Two- and three-dimensional collections, including source materials for research, are housed at KCHS. The entire collection consists of over 6,300 catalogued three-dimensional objects, including: furnishings, 400 items; personal artifacts, 1600; tools and equipment, 2000; distribution and transportation, 200; communication, 1200; recreation, 150; and other. Research collections include: about 275 linear feet archives; 15,000 photos; 2,000 volumes of books; audio-visual items and microfilm (1,000 reels); and 110 linear feet of the society’s records, inventories and indexes. Most of the items date from the mid-1800s to contemporary. In addition, KCHS offers tours of the museum exhibits; the Sperry House, a turn-of-the-century restored Victorian home; District #18 country schoolhouse; an agriculture barn with farm equipment, tools and tractors; Great Northern Passenger Engine #2523; and the restored log cabin belonging to Guri Endreson, which is a site of the Dakota Conflict.