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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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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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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St. Olaf College and World War I

Highlights of the World War I digitization project, part 3 Today I am continuing to share with you some of the great resources I have been able to digitize as a part of this World War I project. Another uniquely Northfield experience during World War I that I have been exploring was the Student Army Training Corps. The War Department created units of these corps at both St. Olaf and Carleton Colleges. The idea behind these units was to create a group of student-soldiers who continued in their academic pursuits but also received military...

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Homer Mason in the Signal Corps

Highlights of the World War I digitization project, part 2 Today I am continuing to share with you some of the great resources I have been able to digitize as a part of this World War I project. I have been able to scan and share more details of individual soldier experiences through the letters and photographs of Northfield resident Homer Mason. Through Homer’s letters, we can learn from his experiences at training camp, traveling to Europe, and serving in the Signal Corps of the U.S. Army. Homer Mason, a 1918 graduate of St. Olaf...

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