Bridgewater titleI won’t re-tell the whole story because you can already get it at the Faribault Daily News and KYMN Radio.

But here it is in brief: The newest member of the Northfield History Collaborative is Bridgewater Township, an area of Rice County that’s immediately west of Northfield and Dundas. The township has begun its online collection with a bang: six record books spanning 1858 to 1889, fully transcribed, totaling nearly 900 pages.

The six books are:

Bridgewater Township has been pro-active about preserving its oldest records. The books now reside at the Rice County Historical Society, where they will be secure, centrally located, and in a stable climate. Thousands of pages were scanned — this makes the content easier to access, and means fewer times the originals need to be handled.

The big story here is how a group of volunteers helped out. The volunteers, mainly members of the Rice County Genealogical Society, have spent years carefully typing up each page of the first six books, then double-checking their work. The result is the collection posted above, full-text searchable.

Take some time to browse through this project and appreciate the hard work of these volunteers.

Stay tuned later this fall for birth and death records from Bridgewater Township from the 1870s to 1910s.