Isanti County Historical Society Heritage Center is officially torn down

Kathleen J. McCully, Executive Director
Isanti County Historical Society

Week seven is upon us on Friday. As of this edition, the physical Isanti County Historical Society Heritage Center building is no more.

Over the past two weeks we have combed the rubble and saved as much as possible, and then the rest was taken down. During this time it became more than evident to me that an organization is more than just its physical buildings. It is actually made up of the people, their personalities, passion, compassion, and drive to carry out their mission.

ICHS has a core group of people that have been involved since the beginning of this journey, all crying, salvaging, agonizing, and working, working, working to save what we could. Now, these same people will be working by my side as we plan our path forward, cleaning, filing, sorting, scanning, digitizing, and making decisions to strengthen our organization and mission. Not easy tasks to do alone, but collectively it can be done.

Just think about your ancestors, those that had to come together to form a community—a church, a store, a post office, a school. They had to work together to acquire the land, materials, decide on the rules for operation, hire a teacher or minister, or maybe just meet to discuss where to start. Some things never seem to change—ICHS is meeting regularly and discussing where we start and what do we do next to make it happen.

Our space at Oakview is slowly taking shape. Desks and tables are almost in position, and next we will have the phone transferred and our computer network set up. Supply lists are being made, office supplies, cleaning supplies, archival supplies—it’s all needed. While we will need to purchase much of this, we have had donations and offers made that will certain help. As the timing becomes right to accept these offers, I will be writing about them in more detail to show how much good there is still in people and the world.

Last week, a donation was made to the “Friends of St. John’s” committee of two restored antique Coleman lanterns to replace the two that were lost in the fire. You will probably see details about this donation in a more in-depth article in this issue. These folks generously restored the lanterns and personally delivered them from Madison, Wis. Their passion is for collecting Coleman lanterns—but their compassion shines brightly by providing this donation to St. John’s, to people who will enjoy and use these lanterns.

We are not accepting donations of archival materials or artifacts at this time. However, if you let us know what you have and where we can contact you, we will let you know as soon as we are ready to accept them. This can be done by mail, phone, or on our website.

Monetary donations can be made by mail, at our website, or directly at Cambridge State Bank.

For all other inquiries, visit, follow us on Facebook, call us at 763-689-4229, email at [email protected] or drop us a letter at 33525 Flanders St. NE, Cambridge, MN 55008.

Remember, our journey is not a sprint, but a marathon. I am sure next week will bring a bit more progress and who knows what stories may surface. Only time will tell.