History of the Lake of the Woods County Historical Society
The Lake of the Woods County Historical Society was incorporated on November 8, 1965, and set forth its purpose to collect, preserve, interpret and disseminate the history of Lake of the Woods County. It is registered as a 501-c-3 non-profit organization and as a charitable organization in the state of Minnesota.
Initially, the society concentrated its efforts toward securing historical artifacts and information. One of their first projects was taping oral history of area pioneers. As time progressed, the need for a place to house these collections and create public exhibits portraying area history was recognized and, in 1979, funds were secured for the purpose of constructing a county museum.
Opening its doors in 1980, the museum began to serve as the center of historical evidence for Lake of the Woods County. Under the direction of the Historical Society, the museum provides care and management of the society’s collections, creates educational and informative exhibits, maintains a reference/resource library, conducts research and assists researchers, sponsors and develops public programs, provides public schools with supplemental learning experiences for students and warmly welcomes visitors to the facility each season.
The work of the Society is governed by a ten member board of directors elected from the membership to serve terms of three years. The society employs an executive director/curator who oversees the operation of the museum. Several part-time staff people assist the executive director and a host of volunteers aid in a variety of society and museum projects.
The Lake of the Woods Historical Society is steadfast in its commitment to fostering an appreciation of the county’s history locally, regionally and beyond into the global community.
Current Board of Directors
Bernice Mershman, Jody Horntvedt, Grace Webb, Doug Easthouse, Shelley Phillipe
Curator and Executive Director
L. Gale Johnson and Jan Mart