Golden Valley Historical Society

Dedicated to the preservation and celebration of our city's history.

AN INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY FOR ALL WHO

Our Mission

The Golden Valley Historical Society was established in 1974. Its mission is to find, preserve, and disseminate historical knowledge about the City of Golden Valley, Minnesota.

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The Museum is open Saturdays 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

6731 Golden Valley Road, Golden Valley, MN

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Join the Golden Valley Historical Society to help preserve Golden Valley's history and receive updates about the Society's projects and events.

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SHOP GVHS

Support the Golden Valley Historical Society by purchasing GVHS merchandise or second generation street signs from the City of Golden Valley. Proceeds support our mission.

 
A Thursday, Nov.11 Program by Marshall Tanick
Football Law in Minnesota: How the Vikings Almost Came to Golden Valley and Other Tales from the Gridiron

Those who regularly attend monthly history presentations sponsored by the Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS) know that there’s no limit to what you may encounter and learn. Now, you’re invited to learn about local football law, and lore, like how the Minnesota Vikings almost came to Golden Valley.

 

On Thursday, November 11, the entertaining local lawyer Marshall Tanick will bring together his expertise in law and his passion for football in a program titled, “Football law in Minnesota: How the Vikings Almost Came to Golden Valley and other Tales from the Gridiron.” 

 

The 7:00 pm presentation, followed by a question-and-answer session, is in GVHS’s Historic Church, 6731 Golden Valley Road. Admission is free. GVHS members and the general public are welcome.

“I plan on reviewing some of the more interesting and unusual legal cases involving the Vikings and football in general in Minnesota and in northwest suburban communities,” Tanick said, “anything from recent court rulings and litigation landmarks affecting student athletes, to injuries, to sports betting.”

Tanick is a Golden Valley resident, an attorney with the Meyer Njus Tanick law firm, and in 2019 was named Attorney of the Year by Minnesota Lawyer magazine. He’s a frequent writer and speaker on a wide variety of legal and historical subjects and a favorite of GVHS audiences for many years.

For the protection and respectful consideration of others, face coverings are required of those attending, as is maintaining safe physical distancing.

Marshall Tanick

New officers for 2021-22 were selected at the October GVHS Board of Directors meeting. Congratulations to Kyle Jennifer Scott, president; William Ewald, vice-president; Steve Schmidgall, secretary; and David Kuball, treasurer.  Natural leaders Kyle Scott and William Ewald were elected to their positions - and thus the executive committee - during their first term as board members.

 

New president Kyle Scott is a Golden Valley resident, Assistant Vice President of Compliance for Health e(fx), an Equifax company providing ACA Healthcare IT solutions for employers.  She served on the Golden Valley Human Rights Commission from 2016-20221, twice serving as Chair.

 

William Ewald, new vice-president, is employed by Emerson Automation Solutions, is a captain of the St. Bonifacius Fire Department, and has published a book on his family’s dairy business which is a legendary part of Golden Valley history. He’s also been a guest speaker at GVHS programs. 

Many thanks to outgoing board president Ken Huber who served in that role from 2007 to 2021, including the pivotal years of planning and eventual opening of the Golden Valley History Museum.  He is active in a number of history-related groups around town. Ken is particularly known for collecting and restoring antique and vintage children’s riding toys. His rideable collection has become a joy for kids at GVHS booths at city events throughout the years.

 

Don Anderson, a person synonymous with GVHS since its inception, is “retiring” from his role as board secretary – longest in our history - after 33 years. At 91-years-young, Don is reducing his involvement in a myriad of volunteer activities from Golden Valley Historical Society since the mid-80s, to president of the Calvary Center Cooperative, to 45 years with Golden Valley Rotary Club. Don and his wife Mary (former Golden Valley mayor and chair of the Metro Council) are incredibly important in the history of Golden Valley, and their financial contribution was instrumental in making the Golden Valley History Museum a reality.

 

Luckily for the GVHS, both Don and Ken will remain board members and their service will continue. 

The Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS) received word on September 9 from the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) that it has been awarded a $9,900 Minnesota Historical & Cultural Heritage Grant. The grant is for a proposal submitted in July for “Identifying and Cataloging Native American, African American, and Asian American Resources in the Golden Valley Historical Society Archives.”

Teresa Martin, newly appointed to the GVHS board of directors, said, “This grant makes it possible to inventory the Society’s archives to bring to light items related to three important groups in our community.” It will also facilitate digitizing key items by writing metadata for select pieces from the archives.”

 

In addition, the project will support transcribing presentations about Native American history that were previously recorded on VHS tapes at GVHS’s membership meetings.

 

In June, GVHS solicited bids from potential contractors to complete the project and in July selected Crystal Boyd Consulting LLC to conduct the work.

 

Crystal Boyd said, “I look forward to helping identify stories in the archives that may have been overlooked in the past. This is a great opportunity to begin highlighting diverse experiences throughout the city’s history and expanding dialogue between community members and groups.”

 

David Kuball, GVHS treasurer who wrote and submitted the grant, said, “Completing this project will better prepare GVHS to respond to inquiries about Golden Valley history. This project, for example, will identify items that could enrich community initiatives such as writing a Land Acknowledgment Statement or celebrating Black History Month.”

 

The project’s expected completion date is February 2022.  If you have questions, please contact Teresa Martin at tthmartin@comcast.net.

Doug Ohman, perhaps Minnesota’s preeminent photographer, historian, and storyteller, will do the honor of restarting Golden Valley Historical Society’s (GVHS) monthly history series after an 18-month pause. 

 

On Thursday, Sept. 9, he will present  “Heart of the Farm – Barns of Minnesota” for GVHS members as well as the pubic.  In one of Ohman’s most popular presentations, attendees will enjoy a photographic, anecdotal journey which illuminates and celebrates the barn, the greatest of all rural Minnesota icons. “From the early days of statehood through the era of agribusiness,” Ohman says, “our barns tell a story – and this story will bring you back to the farm and explore the importance of our rural roots.”

 

Bringing Minnesota history to life, Ohman has been photographing and chronicling the state of Minnesota – and sharing stories throughout the Midwest - for over twenty-five years.  He founded Pioneer Photography in 1995, his photographs are regularly displayed in regional art shows and festivals, and he has published numerous books on Minnesota.

 

The 7:00 pm presentation will be in GVHS’s Historic Church, 6731 Golden Valley Road. An audience Q & A will follow.

 

GVHS follows CDCs guidance in response to Covid-19 and its variants. Face coverings and appropriate physical distancing are required for all guests. Changes in protocols or cancellation could take place as a result of updated guidance, so please visit the website prior to the program.

Doug Ohman

You can be a part of Golden Valley history – preserving its past and planning for its future. The Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS) has September openings on its board of directors. The terms begin September 2021 and are 1-3 years in length.

 

GVHS is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of Golden Valley history. Its board of directors guides policy on management of its Historic Church and Golden Valley History Museum, both located at 6731 Golden Valley Road. The board also acquires and maintains its collection of artifacts, documents, and photographs, and offers public programs, forums, and discussions from Sept. through May. The board meets at the Historic Church on the second Wednesday of the month.

 

In the past two years, GVHS has collaborated with CCX Media on “Our Town’s Story - Golden Valley” documentary and completed “The City of Golden Valley Historic Context Study” which evaluates the city’s historic resources from1852 through 1975.It’s museum received an American Association of State and Local History Award of Excellence for its Golden Valley: No Place Like Home exhibit.

 

Future initiatives include identifying and improving access to Golden Valley’s Native-American, African-American, and Asian-American resources, and completing the process of moving museum collection information to a public-viewable, cloud-based data base.

 

To express interest in board of directors positions or to learn more, contact GVHS at gvhistoricalsociety@gmail.com or 763-308-5059.

Golden Valley History Museum to reopen June 12

After a 15-month closure due to Covid-19, the Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS) is excited to welcome all history lovers back to its Golden Valley History Museum. The Museum will reopen to the public on Saturday, June 12 and will be open each Saturday from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.

 

The Museum’s current Golden Valley: No Place Like Home exhibit presents the history of Golden Valley from pre-European contact to today. The topics of more than twenty displays include natural history, Native American life, and early pioneer families. Twentieth century topics include Golden Valley High School, the first Byerly’s Foods, Golden Valley Garden Club, Ewald Bros. Dairy, Golden Valley Fire Department, civil rights and human rights, and game-changing inclusiveness in city leadership.  

 

In 2020, the Museum received an Award of Excellence from the American Association for State and Local History for the exhibit.

 

Historic Church once again available for weddings

Golden Valley Historical Society’s Historic Church, 6731 Golden Valley Road, will also once again be available for wedding bookings with special appeal for couples appreciative of a charming and intimate venue in the city’s oldest church built in 1882. Accommodations include an 80-seat chapel, air conditioning, experienced liaison to assist with arrangements, 1941 Chickering piano, 1950s-era Conn organ, private bride's and groom's preparation rooms, and wooded lot for picturesque photos. This historic venue is also available for other events and presentations.

 

Current protocols for guests

For now, Golden Valley Historical Society, as well as the City of Golden Valley, strongly encourages mask-wearing and appropriate social distancing by  all visitors for the protection and respectful consideration of others. As they are subject to change, protocols will always be posted at the entrance to the Museum and Historic Church.

 

Become a volunteer museum greeter

Lovers of history with a few volunteer hours to spare may want to consider becoming a greeter at the Golden Valley History Museum . It is easy, fun, and a great way to meet other history lovers. Shifts are currently Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm. To find out more contact Don Anderson at maryanddon3030@aol.com or 763-588-8578.

 

For more information about the Museum, or about weddings in the Historic Church, contact the Golden Valley Historical Society at 763-308-5059 or  gvhistoricalsociety@gmail.com.

The Golden Valley Historical Society (GVHS) has completed a project that evaluates Golden Valley’s historic resources from 1852 through 1975. The City of Golden Valley Historic Context Study was begun in 2020 and completed in January 2021. It is one of the most comprehensive research documents ever produced on the history of Golden Valley.

 

Historic context studies typically provide frameworks for evaluating a city’s historic resources based on themes, geographic limits, and chronological periods. The Golden Valley study offers a comprehensive overview of the city’s broad patterns of historical development. These themes can support preservation planning activities that build a future while respecting the past.

 

The 102-page study includes recommendations on how to guide preservation efforts, interpret historic sites, and increase public awareness of local history. The study’s wide-ranging scope includes:

 

  • Early settlement

  • Agriculture and farming

  • Transportation

  • Parks and recreation

  • Social, cultural, and religious activities

  • Commerce and light industry

  • Suburban development and civic life

  • Residential architectural styles

  • Recommendations and future actions

The Society is excited to offer this study as a resource that can inform the public, city officials, local businesses, civic organizations, and researchers about Golden Valley's history and its treasured historic resources. The research was commissioned by GVHS and completed by Thomas R. Zahn & Associates LLC in partnership with project manager Crystal Boyd as well as GVHS and its volunteers.  
Contractor Tom Zahn says the Golden Valley study might be “the most comprehensive multi-themed historical context study produced in the state.” He added that it can serve “as a guide to future evaluation, designation, and good preservation planning practices.”


Project manager Crystal Boyd underscored the importance of the study for city planning efforts. She said, “This context study provides tools to help citizens and planners consider Golden Valley’s historic resources while planning for the city’s future.” 
In an early stage of the project, the Golden Valley city council passed a resolution to support GVHS’s efforts to undertake the historic context study. GVHS secured $9,650 from a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant through the Minnesota Historical Society. These grants are made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. Additional funding was provided by GVHS.

A key recommendation of the study is to establish a city Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC). This commission could play an integral role in incorporating preservation planning into city development and redevelopment processes.

 

At its February 2 regular meeting, the city council approved a motion to accept its organizational Pyramid of Success for 2021. One of the five organizational priorities for the year is to look deeper into the merits of creating a HPC. City council member Larry Fonnest, who serves on the GVHS board of directors as liaison to the city council, championed efforts to establish a HPC and is excited “that it is now a priority item for 2021, ensuring that further research and discussion will now take place.”

The City of Golden Valley Historic Context Study is now available to the public (click here).

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