The Ramsey County Historical Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit that presents, preserves and publishes the history of Ramsey County.
The Mission of the Ramsey County Historical Society:
Preserving our past, informing our present, inspiring our future.
Equity & Inclusion Statement:
History informs us, inspires new choices, brings people together, and builds community. Likewise, it can be mis-used to inspire fear, create division, and perpetuate racism and other injustices. We resolve to present history in accordance with our values of Authenticity, Innovation, Inspiration, Integrity, and Respect. We believe that by doing so our community will be more informed, more engaged, and will become stronger.
- Authenticity: We strive for historical accuracy in all our programs and activities.
- Innovation: We consciously seek new ways to educate and create unique programming.
- Inspirational: We raise awareness of our past and how that informs our understanding of our present and future.
- Integrity: We adhere to the highest standards as a nonprofit organization in all our operations.
- Respect: We provide experiences that respect our collective heritage and the diverse cultures of our community.
Dakota Land Statement
Acknowledging This Sacred Dakota Land
Mnisóta Makhóčhe, the land where the waters are so clear they reflect the clouds, is the ancestral and contemporary homeland of the Dakhóta (Dakota) people. It is also home to the Anishinaabe and other Indigenous peoples. The Ramsey County Historical Society acknowledges that its sites are located on and benefit from these sacred Dakota lands.
Ramsey County Historical Society is committed to preserving our past, informing our present, and inspiring our future. Part of doing so is acknowledging the painful history and current challenges facing the Dakota people just as we celebrate the contributions of Dakota and other Indigenous peoples.
Link to full Dakota Land Acknowledgement Statement. This full statement includes actionable ways in which Ramsey County Historical Society pledges to honor the Dakota and other Indigenous peoples of Mnisóta Makhóčhe.
RCHS Celebrated Our 70th Year in 2019
The Society began in 1949 when a group of citizens moved to acquire and preserve the Heman and Jane Gibbs farm in Falcon Heights. Following five years of restoration work, the Gibbs Farm museum opened its gates in 1954. In 1974, the farm was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Society is a not-for-profit 501(c)3, donor-supported organization that depends on gifts from individuals, foundation and corporations for its support.
Ramsey County Historical Society has three primary programs.
Pathways to Dakota & Pioneer Life. Experience. Understand. Grow.
Gibbs Farm presents programs for children and adults that focus on the dual interpretation of pioneer and Dakota life.
The Gibbs Farm presents:
- Field trips for students from throughout the metro area, Greater Minnesota, and Western Wisconsin.
- Day Camps for children ages 4-15.
- Farm Fridays adult education programs.
- Special events such as Prairie Festival, Apple Festival and Gibbs Halloween.
- The Gibbs Farm is available to rent for weddings and other special events.
The Gibbs Farm is open to the public on weekends, from Memorial Day through the end of October.
For hours, directions, admission and a list of programs, camps and special events, our Gibbs Farm page has information, or feel free to contact us.
Members of RCHS receive free general admission to the Gibbs Museum, and 10% off day camps and in the gift shop.
Ramsey County History Magazine –
55 Years of Stories about Our Capital County
In 1964, Ramsey County History began a distinguished tradition of assembling original, important information and engaging stories that might otherwise be lost to time. Ramsey County History has enjoyed continuous publication and has twice received awards from the American Association for State and Local History. The magazine offers readable, high-quality local history, written by local authors, that focuses as much on the ordinary person as on extraordinary events and historic figures.
Ramsey County History is a benefit for members of RCHS. To join and receive a subscription to the magazine, please visit our Membership page.
RCHS also publishes books, several of which have won awards, and is planning more outstanding publications in the near future. RCHS is also branching out into digital publishing, including a documentary, University Avenue: One Street, A Thousand Dreams that is featured on Twin Cities Public Television, and a series of podcast interviews on a variety of historical subjects, authors, and resources.
Research Center, Collections and Exhibitions
The RCHS Research Center contains non-circulating collections documenting the history of Ramsey County and Saint Paul. The collection contains books, periodicals, city directories, maps, photographs, personal papers, business and organization records, architectural information, and materials on clubs, schools, and churches. The Research Center is in a newly-renovated space in downtown Saint Paul’s Landmark Center, a restored Federal Courts building on the National Register of Historic Places. The Research Center is open to RCHS members and to the general public, our Research Center page has hours, directions and more information about the documents collection.
RCHS also preserves a collection of over 14,000 objects to ensure the history of Ramsey County is available to current and future generations. This large collection of historical items, ranging in size from lapel pins to horse-drawn carriages and a complete farm house, provides a strong foundation for our publishing and education activities.
Exhibits developed by RCHS offer insightful and educational experiences on a wide variety of subjects, from the history of black baseball in Ramsey County, to the story of Norwegian immigrants, to artists’ works documenting the Green Line transit system. Many exhibitions are open to the public in our Exhibit Gallery on the main floor of Landmark Center, but others travel extensively. Our exhibitions in Landmark Center are open to the public without charge during its regular hours.
RCHS also offers lectures, book signings, and other programs to members and to the public on a regular basis.