Greenfield Historical Society receives grant

The City of Greenfield and the Greenfield Historical Society are pleased to announce that the City of Greenfield is building on its cultural and historic legacy with grant funds for a history and historic preservation project of enduring value.

The project has been financed with funds provided by the State of Minnesota through the Minnesota Historical Society from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Greenwood Township/Village of Greenwood, which eventually changed to the name of the City of Greenfield, has a fabulous history of a community with many resorts and dance halls. Many times now, residents speak about the resorts, dance, halls, and local watering holes, but no individual or group has taken the initiative to place personal accounts and memories into writing. Interestingly, although Greenwood/Greenfield was once known for its resorts and dance halls – there are pictures of people at the local train depot arriving for their time at the resorts and dance halls – not only is there no written information on these establishments from “way back when”, but there is also no information about when and why they disappeared.

The purpose of this important project is to gather memories from people who remember the once thriving resort town. This project will depict a “snapshot of time” and will ensure that the history is put in one place for all to read and understand that the area was a once sought-out entertainment and leisure destination. Resident and member of the Greenfield Historical Society Al Moen says that the $7,000 grant is greatly appreciated will be used to compile and record an oral history that the group would like to see developed into a book some time in the future. Long time residents of the area have contributed their stories that have been handed down as well as their own memories, and an effort is underway to uncover as much data on the past as possible.

Greenwood Township was established in the 1850’s, and later became a city. Since there was already a Minnesota city with that mane, it adopted “The City of Greenfield” as its legal name in 1958.

The GHS has about twenty paid members, and has already obtained copies form township supervisor meetings going back to 1876. Also, conversations like the type it hoping to record for its oral history are available on the city’s web site: www.ci.greenfield.mn.us

“It’s important,” says Moen, “to get as much information from those who have the stories and memories now because they offer a unique look at the past that might not otherwise be recovered.” He hopes word of the city’s project gets out to those can help, whether they reside now in Greenfield or not. The group meets the last Tuesday of each month, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Riverside Covenant Church in Greenfield for “It’s Just Coffee”. All residents with an interest in the city are invited to attend.

Moen credits Greenfield City Administrator Kathryne McCullum for her work on the grant and in keeping and storing the historical society’s documentation.

For questions about the Greenfield Historical Society, or have information that may help in the preservation of Greenfield’s past, contact McCullum at 763-477-6464, or kmccullum@ci.greenfield.mn.us.

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