Progress being made on historical society building

Kathleen J. McCully, Executive Director
Isanti Co. Historical Society

I looked at my calendar the other day and realized that it has been about 13 weeks since my last update. Since that time here is what ICHS has been doing—in July we finalized plans and started the bidding process for the rebuild, and then attended the Isanti County Fair and educated fairgoers about the fire and our future plans. Since then, additional bidding and selection has taken place for the subcontractors, many meetings have been held to finalize decisions and budgets, all while the other side of our business continues to work on the salvaged materials and collect incoming archival donations.

The month of September was spent making more selections of materials—colors, carpet, tile—checking what could be reused from the building like bathroom fixtures and partitions, kitchen stuff, questions answered about heating, electrical, and a million other details. October started out much the same, but I finally think we are almost done with making decisions (knock on wood), but then again, there seems to be a never-ending stream of details that arise.

We are in the throes of making history by doing this rebuild and reassessment of our mission. Everyone who has been involved since the day of the fire should be very proud that we have broken ground and have begun to put our business back on a positive, best-foot-forward note. Kudos to you all! It actually is very exciting to see something being built and rising above the slab. To follow our rebuilding progress you can see the previous weeks’ work on our website (

In November ICHS will be fundraising during The Great Minnesota Give Together at on Nov. 15. This is a yearly on-line, state-wide day where non-profits of all sizes can be supported with on-line donations, and be eligible to win hourly drawings of $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000. Check us out and make sure you have our page bookmarked at so that your donation can be included on that day.

As for work in the Oakview office, we have several boxes yet to enter on the database, but most have been cleaned. Photos will be next to process, and then scanning of everything will begin. ICHS also has purchased a new microfilm reader as a result of the Legacy grant received earlier in the year. Microfilm has yet to be ordered, but the reader is a real gem. For genealogists and those needing to peruse microfilm, you will be in for a real treat when you visit our new Resource Library next spring!

So, to wrap up the last couple of months, it has been busy, busy, and I don’t see a slow-down anytime soon as we are looking to 2013 and future events. Please keep in mind that it is important that memberships are kept current. If you are not a member and would like to join, call us at 763-689-4229. Memberships support our operating budget and if you live in Isanti County, this is a good way to insure that history can be preserved and enjoyed by the community and generations to come. Let’s make history together this year–join us and show your support.

If you would like to become a volunteer, a member, make a donation, or rent our facility beginning in the Spring of 2013, visit, call 763-689-4229, or email [email protected] We are now accepting smaller donations of archival items and smaller artifacts, so if you do have something that you feel we would be interested in seeing, please call us to discuss them.