Golden Valley Historical Society

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


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.

Find out more About Us >>


The Museum is temporarily closed as a precautionary measure related to limiting the spread of COVID-19.


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

Screen Shot 2019-06-04 at 10.12.37

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.


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).

Golden Valley History Museum Status


The GVHS board of directors continues to discuss when the Museum can be reopened for guests and when monthly history programs can again be hosted in the Historic Church.


Before making the decision, we will:

--continue to monitor Minnesota Department of Health updates,
--continue to review all of the Governor’s protocols and guidelines,
--look for a continued downward trend in infections, and
--seek confidence in our ability to have our guests, greeters, and other volunteers feel and be safe


Thank you for your patience and understanding.  Once a date for reopening is set, we will communicate this through the GVHS newsletter, our website, our Facebook page (,  and in local media outlets.


The reopening announcement is sure to include safety measures such as wearing masks, hand washing, and social distancing. Stay safe. We look forward to seeing you once again.

Give today to help sustain our programming!

Make a one-time or monthly gift by following the donation button below.