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 on 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 Lake of the Woods County Historical Society’s museum provides for the 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. Part-time staff assist the executive director and a host of volunteers aid in a variety of projects and events.
The Lake of the Woods County 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
Gretchen Mehmel, Roxanne Larson, Connie Nesmith, Joel Hanson, Don Holte
Executive Director and Curator
L. Gale Johnson and Mary Boomgaarden