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Physical and Mailing Address:

Otter Tail County Historical Society
1110 Lincoln Ave. W. Fergus Falls, Minnesota 56537

Telephone:
218.736.6038

Email: General Information
otchs@prtel.com

We are located on the west side of Fergus Falls in Van Dyk Park.

Follow us on Twitter:

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The images at the top of this page is of Fergus Falls, c. 1910.

We are located near the following attractions in and around Fergus Falls, Minnesota:

Dining, lodging and shopping. To find out more contact the Fergus Falls Chamber of Commerce. And the following Government and Arts Organizations and Activities: Otter Tail County Courthouse; Otter Trail Scenic Byway; Central Lakes Bike Trail; Prairie Wetlands Learning Center; A Center for the Arts; Lake Region Arts Council; Fergus Falls Public Library.

 

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WHAT'S NEW?

State Hospital Book

This book is currently backordered. Copies should be in stock Mid-November 2014

Project Kirkbride is taking donations for Web Development. Use the following PayPal button to donate now:

Up Coming Events:

See our Google Calendar for a full listing

• Downtown Fergus Falls Mystery Tour, September 11, 5:30 p.m. Meet at the River Inn Apartments. $6/admission. No reservations necessary.

• State Hospital Cemetery Tour, Friday, September 26 at 5:30 p.m. $6/admission. No reservations required. Meet at the Veterans Home Parking Lot, 1821 North Park Street, Fergus Falls.

On-Line Search:

• SEARCH OUR NEW MULTI-RESOURCE INDEX GROWING DAILY DUE TO THE POWER OF OUR VIRTUAL VOLUNTEERS! Includes tombstone photos!LEARN MORE

• SEARCH OUR CEMETERIES

Updated Military History Web Page to Highlight the 1862 US Dakota War

• New Exhibits:

Veterans of the Civil War Exhibit runs through December 12, 2014

• Our Snapshots of the Sixties exhibit has been postponed to February 2015, but you can still share you stories and make the exhibit even better!

Share your 1960s stories.

We have created a place online for those of you who lived through the 1960s in Otter Tail County to share your stories. Tell us where you were, what you were doing, what you believed and how that influenced your future. Against all the turbulence, life went on and we are interested in the day-to-day activities of county residents too. As the year goes on, we will create a timeline of local events that might spur memories, so keep checking back. Share your stories.

Check out our Temporary Exhibits page for more information and our Calendar page for related events.

Click Twitter to follow the diary of Civil War soldier Private Eben E Corliss.

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• VIRTUAL VOLUNTEERING PROGRAM

Book: Photos by Oxley: Historic Images of West Central Minnesota published by the Otter Tail County Historical Society.

On-Line Search:

• SEARCH OUR CEMETERIES

• SEARCH OUR NEW INDEX GROWING DAILY DUE TO THE POWER OF OUR VIRTUAL VOLUNTEERS!

Otter Tail County Historical Society

Museum, Research Library and Educational Resource

The Otter Tail County Historical Society is located Fergus Falls, Minnesota in the heart of west central Minnesota. We are the official county historical society and collect the history of the entire county.county map

Who We Are

The Otter Tail County Historical Society is a private, nonprofit organization whose purpose is the collection, preservation and interpretation of Otter Tail County's history and heritage. This is achieved through a variety of services including the Society's exhibit gallery, educational outreach program, special public programs, archival and object collections, and a genealogical and local history research library. The development of these services has made the Society an active partner in the educational and cultural life of Otter Tail County.

Our History

Otter Tail County Historical Society was organized on July 31, 1927, at a gathering at Amor Park. For decades the Society was headquartered in the basement of the county courthouse. In 1972, Underwood native, John Gronner, lead a county-wide capital fund drive which resulted in a new museum. Ten years later another drive provided funds to add an agriculture wing.

Many volunteer hours have gone into making the Society what it is today. Local artist, Charles Beck, designed and implemented the installation of many exhibits that continue to tell the history of Otter Tail County.

Our library has grown because of the generous donations of time and funds. A financial contribution made in honor of Samuel P. Adams continues to sustain the library and archives. Volunteer hours donated by many volunteers including Ann Smalley Jordan, for whom the archives was named on May 22, 2004, have and continue to increase our holdings.

Our educational programs started in 1979 when educator, Judy Stringer, put together our first education kit.

In 2002 we celebrated our 75th Anniversary with the completion of a site improvement project which almost doubled our parking lot, made a bus drop-off and handicap accessible ramp. It also provided better drainage away from the building.

We are currently trying to raise $100,000 for our Technology Fund. This fund will provide a regular source of revenue for computer upgrades and improvements. Please consider making a donation to this fund.

The Establishing of Otter Tail County

Otter Tail County was established March 18, 1858, and organized September 12, 1868. The name was derived from the Otter Tail Lake and River. The lake, from which the river was named, derived from the narrow sandbar which the Ojibwe said gave the impression of the tail of an otter.

Our Staff:

Chris Schuelke, Executive Director Contact Chris with questions about the operations of the Historical Society.

Kathy Evavold, Curator of Collections Contact Kathy with questions about the Society's collections, artifact donations, exhibits, library or website.

Missy Hermes, Education Coordinator Address questions about our educational programs, tours and outreach to Missy Hermes.

LeAnn Neuleib, Office Manager LeAnn will help you with questions about our gift shop, newsletter and membership.

Vicky Anderson, Research Assistant Address questions about research and genealogy to Vicky.

 

Questions about this web site? Contact our Webmaster.