What’s new on the NHC?

We have been busy so far in 2018! Here is a list of some of the highlights that have been added to the Northfield History Collaborative since January: Bridgewater Township collection: Birth Register 1907-1915 Individual documents and photos First United Church of Christ collection: Looking Backward: A History of the Congregational Church in Northfield Manual of the Congregational Church of Northfield, 1878 Three Links Care Center collection: I.O.O.F. Home for Elderly and Children Scrapbook St. John’s Lutheran Church...

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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 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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More Digitized Resources Available Online

Over the last few months, I have been busy with my World War I digitization project for the Northfield History Collaborative. To see all 460+ and counting unique items online, go to http://northfieldhistorycollaborative.org and click on the “World War I in Northfield” link near the bottom of the page. The stories that can be found among the digitized materials of the NHC are set in locations both near and far. For example, Northfield-area serviceman Irwin F. Smith, a sergeant in Division Intelligence of the 88th Division, was...

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Friday the 13th during World War I

If you think that Friday the 13th is an unlucky date, you are not alone. 99 years ago, Northfield resident Homer Mason agreed with you in principle, but his experiences during World War I made him begin to think that perhaps Friday the 13th was not such a bad thing, after all. Homer served in the Signal Corps in Tours, France, south of Paris during the fall of 1918. As a radio operator, he was well aware of news from the front as well as from home. In two of his letters, he makes reference to the unluckiness of Friday the 13th, but considering...

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Defeat of Jesse James Days through the years

It’s that time of year again, when Northfield celebrates the defeat of the James-Younger Gang when they dared to rob the First National Bank! Over the years, the community has commemorated this event by hosting reenactments of the famous 7-minute street fight – many of which were photographed and included in the historic collections of our town. Here are some of the highlights: Also, somehow we got Tony Oliva of the Minnesota Twins to visit during DJJD in the 1980s, wear a cowboy hat, and pose with the re-enactors! Somebody get on...

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