Rebirth and Reflection: Glimpses of Spring in Northfield during the early Twentieth Century

by guest columnist Robert Coleman Spring is finally here! Well, at least according to the calendar. In Minnesota it can sometimes be a little difficult to tell. But before long, song birds will be returning, trees will be budding, and gardens will need tending. This year’s frigid winter will soon be only a distant memory as the last of the remaining snow melts away. Easter approaches, as do commencement celebrations and spring festivals such as May Day. Finally time to escape the homes we have been cooped up in all winter and pull out the...

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WWI Primary Source Sets

The NHC has been busy finishing up our year-long World War I project. We finally have some new resources available to help student and researchers delve more deeply into some of the topics found in our newly-digitized primary sources. They’re called Primary Source Sets, and they provide background to the topic, links to approximately 15 primary sources, discussion questions, related resources, and more. One of the goals of this World War I project was to understand the Northfield experience during the war years. So we are pleased to...

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500 Unique Items from World War I Era Digitized

We at the Northfield History Collaborative (NHC), a digital library of historical records from the Northfield area, are pleased to announce that we have completed a grant-funded project to digitize historical materials that document the World War I era in Northfield and Rice County, Minnesota. The digitized materials come from many of the NHC’s 16 partner organizations and include text documents, photographs, illustrations, artifacts, and even sheet music. The new online collection shares the experiences of individuals from the...

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Massive Record of Soldiers Book Uploaded

We at the NHC are pleased to announce that we have completed the digitization of an incredibly rich resource detailing the service of Rice County servicemen during World War I. This Record of Soldiers in the World War ledger was compiled by the Rice County War Records Committee during and after the war. They intended to keep a record of every man from the county who served using a two-sided form – although we have found that some forms are more filled out than others. As you can imagine, capturing the information for so many people was...

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WWI Community Organizations

In my previous posts, I have highlighted some interesting archival documents that tell stories of Northfield experiences during World War I both at home and abroad. Today, I’ll provide more examples of community organizations that arose during and after the war. Entertainment at the home front was militarized for a short time during the war. You can see evidence of it in the formation of the Dundas Band and Military Company. Prior to 1917, the Dundas Military Company and the Dundas Brass Band existed separately. The two organizations...

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