The Jackson County Historical Society was originally started as the "Old Settlers' Association" 1925. The group continued to have annual picnics until 1929 and then languished. In 1946, Mr. A.E.F. Glaser and Ed Lafot called the group to reorganize and formed the Jackson County Historical Society affiliated with the Minnesota State Historical Society. In the reorganization, a Constitution, By-Laws, and Articles of Incorporation were drawn up. The JCHS is a 501(C)3 non-profit society. For a short time, the society used the farmers room at the county courthouse for meetings and it's display area. By the 1948 the enrollment was 205 members. In 1950 the Halsten-Olson log cabin, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Osmund Halsten, was moved to the county fairgrounds (Jackson) by the society. In 1958 the District-5 schoolhouse followed. Until the 1970's these two buildings and the farmer's room contained the society's collections. A new building was sought when the Farmers Exchange building in Lakefield became available in 1974. Here, the museum has expanded to over 4500 sq feet of a climate-controlled area...with a large amount of display area and small amount of storage. With the help of the fair board, the society moved the Stall Church to the fairgrounds. Throughout the 1970's-80's the Holthe log cabin was rebuilt by the society, and many commemorative signs have been placed around the county.
The Jackson County Historical Society is located in Lakefield at
307 N Highway 86 and can also be viewed here on a google street-level photo. They have extensive resources of indexes, books, files, microfilm (newspapers, censuses,
district naturalization papers), and a good knowledge of the people and where
they lived through out the county. A number of publications are also available including the following:
If you request (via phone, email, etc) items requiring research, they will be more than happy to help you. However, they require a prepaid $10.00 research deposit which gets you up to one-hour of research time. Yes, sometimes just finding a date, a name, or a location (or all 3) can potentially take a lot of time. They will check surname files, newspapers, census films, indexes to various plat books, along with any town history books, school information, etc. Additional research, depending on your needs or interest, can be accomodated for $10/hour...prepaid. The society is only partially funded by the county which does not always reach the dollar amounts needed to maintain or upgrade their operations in serving the public effectively. They have utility bills and other day-to-day costs no different than anyone else.
Jackson County Historical Society
Effective Sep 2008, membership of the Jackson Co Historical Society is no longer a one-time fee.
CLICK HERE to view a printable PDF memberhip form