History Revealed

RCHS is excited to offer new programming for adults and families!

History Revealed

Have you ever longed to uncover some of our community’s hidden history?
Wondered how historians and authors research and write the stories of the forgotten past?
Discover the stories of the people and places that shaped our community!

Ramsey County Historical Society is excited to offer presentations and talks by some of our community’s best local history authors, researchers and archaeologists, History Revealed. We offer audiences of all ages a glimpse into the lives and hidden history of some of the people and places that forged our community in a series of free presentations and book talks, with a new series at the Ramsey County Roseville Library. The series will feature a wide range of topics drawn from the heritage and traditions of Ramsey County, with an exciting new presentation each month!

And in all these stories, you’ll learn about the passions, trials and tribulations of researchers, and what it took to uncover and reveal these hidden gems of history.

We are currently working on programs for 2018, so watch for more History Revealed presentations, tours, and more!

Photo: James J. and Louis W. Hill, ca. 1905

History Revealed Presentations

Please note that topics and speakers may change. Check the website and our Facebook page for updates.
Please also note presentation location and times.

Scheduled 2018 History Revealed Programs
Check back for updates!

Click on the titles for more information.

February 15, 2018, Thursday, 7:00 pm – Steve Werle, The Political Rise, Demise, and Redemption of Harold E. Stassen
Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave N, Roseville, MN 55113. Free and open to all.

March 14, 2018, Wednesday, noon – Mollie Spillman, How to Research Your House
Landmark Center, 75 Fifth St W, Saint Paul MN 55102. Free and open to all.

March 22, 2018, Thursday, 7:00 pm – Kim Heikkila, To Bear the Mark: Unwed Motherhood at the Salvation Army’s Booth Memorial Hospital, 1913-1973 (or, History, My Mother, and Me)
Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave N, Roseville, MN 55113. Free and open to all.

April 18, 2018, Wednesday, noon – James Marrinan & Bonnie Lindberg, Value: It’s Not Always in the Money! A Look at YOUR Treasured Antiques
Landmark Center, 75 Fifth St W, Saint Paul MN 55102
Registration required.

April 26, 2018, Thursday, 7:00 pm – John Diers, 1,100 Streetcars: The Rise and Fall of the Twin City Rapid Transit Company
Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave N, Roseville, MN 55113. Free and open to all.

May 16, 2018, Wednesday, noon – Paul Nelson, Rocky Roots: Walking Tour of the Geology of Downtown Saint Paul
Landmark Center, 75 Fifth St W, Saint Paul MN 55102
Meet at the Landmark Center. Reservations required, limit 20.

May 24, 2018, Thursday, 7:00 pm – Terry Swanson, Elaine Goodale Eastman: Sister to the Sioux in Her Own Words
Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave N, Roseville, MN 55113. Free and open to all.

June 6, 2018, Wednesday, 10:30 am-noon – Mark Haidet, Walking Tour of the MN State Fair
Minnesota State Fairgrounds, 1265 Snelling Ave N, Saint Paul, MN 55108
Meet at the History & Heritage Center. Reservations required, limit 30.

July 26, 2018, Thursday, 7:00 pm – Mark Haidet, The Minnesota State Fair During World War I
Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave N, Roseville MN 55113. Free and open to all.

Previous History Revealed Programs:

February 23, 2017
Brian McMahon: The Ford Century in Minnesota
Author and historian Brian McMahon discussed how the Ford Motor Company transformed Minnesota and Ramsey County over the past 100 years, detailed in his new book, The Ford Century in Minnesota. Books will be available for signing.
See link for more information.

March 13, 2017
Dr. Jeremy Nienow, Archaeology at Lake Vadnais
Archaeologist Jeremy Nienow presented findings from last summer’s 2016 volunteer archaeological survey around Lake Vadnais with the North Lake Owasso Neighborhood Group. Presentation sponsored by the Shoreview Historical Society.
See link for more information.

March 16, 2017
Paul D. Nelson: The Golden Couple: Billy and Nellie Francis
William T. (Billy) and Nellie Francis were “The Golden Couple” in Ramsey County in the 1920’s. They were good-looking, intelligent, talented, ambitious, and successful. Then they went to Africa, and things went terribly wrong.
See link for more information.

April 20, 2017
Stephen Osman: Fort Snelling and the Civil War
Stephen Osman discussed the role of Fort Snelling as a major military station in Minnesota during the Civil War, and presented his new book, Fort Snelling and the Civil War, released by the Ramsey County Historical Society. Books are available through RCHS, to purchase Fort Snelling and the Civil War through RCHS, click here.
See link for more information.

May 16, 2017
Jeremy Nienow: Archaeological Leads and Mysteries of Ramsey County
Throughout the years various individuals have reported archaeological finds and sites to professors, archaeologists, the historical society and others. A few of them become “alpha sites” or site leads that archaeologists could one day explore. Archaeologist Jeremy Nienow discussed the alpha sites of Ramsey County, and a potential new program which may take a closer look at some of these.
See link for more information.

June 15, 2017
Steve Trimble: Ethel Stewart & Gibbs Farm: A Unique Adventure
Ethel Hall Stewart was a historian, a preservationist, a community organizer and a force of nature. Author and historian Steve Trimble presented Mrs. Stewart’s work in preserving the Gibbs Farm, founding the Ramsey County Historical Society and her contributions to the history of Ramsey County.
See link for more information.

July 27, 2017
David Page: Aha! Moments in Writing F. Scott Fitzgerald in Minnesota
Working on any book provides plenty of surprising moments for the author. David Page looked at the moments when he discovered information that momentarily stunned him during the writing of his new book, F. Scott Fitzgerald in Minnesota. These “Aha” moments may have initially been a revelation, but in hindsight they made perfect sense.
See link for more information.

August 24, 2017
Eileen McCormack: James J. Hill & Family: Early Saint Paul, Early Railroads, Lasting Legacy
The History Revealed August presentation featured historian and author Eileen MCormack presenting an overview of James J. Hill, and how he impacted early Saint Paul and became a national figure in business and transportation. The program also looked at his personal life and that of his wife Mary, and how their son Louis carried on the Hill family legacy in Saint Paul.
See link for more information.

September 21, 2017
John Anfinson: Fountains of Life and Death: The Origins of the Twin Cities Water Supply System
Dr. John Anfinson examined the origins of the Minneapolis and St. Paul water supply systems. Unknowingly, the two cities became a human experiment about the consequences of taking our drinking water for granted and of ignoring obvious solutions. Anfinson set the Twin Cities in the context of water supply development in the nation, and reminds us of how far we have come, but we should not forget where our water comes from and what might be in it.
See link for more information.

September 28, 2017
Krista Finstad Hanson: Minnesota’s Historic House Museums
Krista Finstad Hanson presented an illustrated talk tracing the history and variety of Minnesota’s historic house museums — from majestic landmarks like Duluth’s Glensheen Mansion and St. Paul’s James J. Hill House, to smaller residences lovingly restored by local communities and historical societies like the Gibbs Farm in Falcon Heights.
See link for more information.

October 26, 2017
Paul D. Nelson: Melvin Maas, Saint Paul’s Flying Congressman
Melvin Maas served in both world wars, won three combat medals, went blind in middle age, worked many years for America’s handicapped citizens, and told a few tall tales. Oh, yes, and though he was a conservative Republican, he represented St. Paul in Congress throughout the era of the New Deal. Meet the surprising Melvin Maas in this fascinating talk by Paul Nelson.
See link for more information.

November 30, 2017
John Watson Milton: For the Good of the Order: Nick Coleman
John Watson Milton will present the story of Nick Coleman, the son of Irish immigrants who became a Minnesota Congressman in the 1970’s. Coleman was instrumental in changing the Minnesota legislative branch and its agenda to a more progressive and respected one.
See link for more information.

January 25, 2018
Greg Brick, Minnesota Caves, History & Lore
Minnesota Caves: History and Lore
(Arcadia Publishing, 2017) is Greg’s third book on caves and the first book on this exact topic in 50 years. This powerpoint tour of Greg’s explorations into Minnesota caves highlights the caves with significant narrative history, illustrated with historic images, never before published, from the National Cave Museum in Kentucky. While most of the caves still exist, many are not publicly accessible, and some never did exist except in the minds of explorers.
See Link for more information.