Golden Valley Historical Society

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

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

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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.

 

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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