Great Western Band of St. Paul

The Great Western Band of St. Paul, formed in 1860, was one of the earliest and most popular brass bands in Minnesota through the late nineteenth century. This group of amateur musicians helped to bring a measure of sophistication to early St. Paul as it played for a variety of civic and private events. The band was busy during the 1870s and 1880s, but toward the end of the century, it faded from view. A new version formed in 1977, and over the next ten years, St. Paul residents enjoyed some of the same band music that the city’s early residents had enjoyed a century earlier.

Bach Society of Minnesota

The Bach Society of Minnesota was founded in 1933 by students at the University of Minnesota who wanted to perform music of the great Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach. One of the oldest Bach societies in the United States, the ensemble features the timeless music of both Bach and those he inspired.

Schmidt Memorial Hospital Auxiliary

The Cottonwood County village of Westbrook is home to the smallest hospital in Minnesota: Dr. Henry Schmidt Memorial Hospital. Four months before it opened in January 1951, a women’s auxiliary officially organized and immediately began gathering supplies for the new facility.

Carson Male Chorus

The Carson Mennonite Brethren Male Chorus, known for singing gospel songs in four-part harmony, performed together for thirty years and managed a radio ministry through radio station KWOA in Worthington, Minnesota, from October 12, 1947, until December 8, 1963.

Bisexual Organizing Project

The Bisexual Organizing Project (BOP) is a nonprofit group that has supported Minnesota’s bisexual, pansexual, fluid, queer, and unlabeled (bi+) communities since 1999. BOP promotes bi+ identities as an option for those who do not fit under gay, lesbian, or straight labels. Through its flagship event, the annual BECAUSE conference (Bisexual Empowerment Conference, A United Supportive Experience), it provides one of the nation’s key forums for the discussion of bi+ issues. BOP also represents the bi+ community at Twin Cities Pride and other events of interest to LGBTQ+ communities.

Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs

The Spanish Speaking Affairs Council, later renamed the Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs, was established in 1978 to serve as a liaison between the state government and the Chicana/o and Latina/o community.

Jewish Immigrants in Brook Park

The village of Brook Park supported a small but vital Jewish community for a brief period in the mid-1890s. That community dispersed after the Great Hinckley Fire destroyed the village on September 1, 1894, just months after many of the immigrants had arrived.

Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Polk County

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) is a service-oriented fraternal organization. Started in England in the 1700s, it spread to the US in the early 1800s and to Minnesota in 1849. In Polk County, though Crookston Lodge No. 73 disbanded in the 1910s, members of Fisher Lodge No. 87 met regularly for over a hundred years.

4-H Clubs, West Polk County

Since their origin in 1902, 4-H clubs have helped American youth explore various professional fields—many related to farming—while mastering practical skills. In Minnesota’s West Polk County, 4-H branches formed in the late 1920s to train and inspire the next generation of local farmers.

Métis in Minnesota

In the Minnesota region during the eighteenth to mid-nineteenth centuries, métis, or mixed-ancestry, people often acted as bridges between white and American Indian communities. The Métis cultural community of Pembina formed out of fur trade dynamics and influenced Minnesota during its territorial birth.


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