Edina Historical Society
Can't come to us? Our speakers can visit you
Edina Historical Society volunteers have visited classrooms to talk about their personal experiences growing up in the community or about specific topics requested by teachers.
Speaker visits are free (donations are appreciated). Teachers: book field trips through Community Resource Pool. Because these programs are presented by volunteers, please allow plenty of advance notice. Please note that teachers must remain in the classroom during the presentation to help facilitate discussion and manage behavior.
If you have a need for a particular program topic, please contact staff. With some advance notice, we are happy to help plan programs that meet your curriculum needs.
Some topics that have been presented to classrooms include:
Real students of Cahill School - Edina residents who attended the historic one-room school in the 1940s offer a different perspective of Cahill School than what is presented during our field trip program that takes children back to a 1900 school day. The school served southwest Edina continuously from 1864 to 1958, and while some things remained the same, other things changed throughout the decades. This program is best for classes that have already attended a Cahill School field trip.
Farm town - Before Southdale opened in 1956, southwest Edina was a patchwork of farm fields and gravel roads. Near today's busy crossroads of Valley View Road and Highway 100, cattle grazed at the community's "cattle pound" -- where lost cows were kept until owners claimed them. This program offers a look back at agricultural Edina.
Mystery objects - Learn about history through the objects that people have used in everyday life. Children can see some items that they've heard about in pioneer stories, like Little House on the Prairie: spiders (a cooking pan), button hooks, and more. Even not-so-ancient artifacts are a fascinating look at the recent past: manual typewriters, adding machines and egg beaters are unknowns to many of today's students.
Community group programs
Looking for a speaker for your organization's next meeting? We provide speakers on a variety of local history topics. Because these programs are presented by volunteers, please allow plenty of advance notice.
Some topics that have been presented to adult community groups include:
History of your neighborhood: With maps and photos, a volunteer who is a long-time land surveyor can talk about the changing landscape of your neighborhood, the origin of street names (when known) and life before subdivisions. Fee is by donation; $75 is suggested.
Author visits: Many of the authors of the history books offered in our gift shop are willing to speak to community groups. We can help arrange visits at your location or at historic Minnehaha Grange Hall No. 398. Fees vary.
Walking tours or bus tours: For a special outing, plan a walking tour of a neighborhood or a bus tour of historic Edina. Contact staff for more information.