20 Pacific St
Aitkin, MN 56431
PO BOX 215
Aitkin, MN 56431
September - May
June - August
|Wednesday, Friday - Saturday||10 AM - 4 PM|
Depot Museum Hours
|Wednesday - Saturday||10 AM - 4 PM|
Admission for members is free, non-members $2.
General Admission: $2
The Aitkin County Historical Society operates two museums chockful of Aitkin County history, with many artifacts outdoors between the buildings as well. All provide ample opportunities to glimpse Aitkin County's past.
The Depot Museum
The Depot Museum is housed in the historic 1916 Northern Pacific Depot. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum features a rotating schedule of exhibits regarding the heritage of Aitkin County. Riverboating on the upper Mississippi, native culture and unique artifacts fill the exhibit halls. A museum store offers gifts and publications pertaining to area's history.
Tucked behind the Depot Museum is a second building, our Log Museum. It offers a unique setting for the many exhibits relating to early pioneer life in Aitkin County. There are re-creations of a lumber camp dining hall, a blacksmith shop, and a country store. In addition, there are numerous tools and artifacts relating to the county's agriculture and building trades industries. The Log Museum is open April to October during the same hours as the Depot Museum, otherwise by special appointmen
We have many artifacts outdoors, including the 1937 Farmall tractor (shown at left), and railroad "speeders" (shown at right). Speeders, also known as "putt-putts," ran on the rails and were used to inspect the tracks and to move railroad crews quickly from track to track. In the 1990s, speeders were replaced by trucks with special wheels to fit on the tracks.
Riverboats of the Upper Mississippi
Many riverboats plied the upper Mississippi to and from Aitkin in the late 1800s through the early 1900s. Some of them are described below. They are listed in chronological order as much as possible. You can view a gallery and slideshow of these and other riverboats who came through Aitkin by clicking here or on any of the photographs below. If you have any more information on these or other upper Mississippi riverboats to share, we would love to hear from you. Click here to send us an email, or you can phone us at (218) 927-3348.
The Aitkin County Historical Society is a non-profit 501(c)(3) county organization entrusted with the documentation, preservation and dissemination of information and materials pertinent to the history of Aitkin County, Minnesota.
Related to Aitkin County, Minnesota history:
Through the collections of the Aitkin County Historical Society, those wishing to research aspects of county and local history, family genealogy, riverboat history, fur trade history or specific materials are invited to contact us to make special arrangements for access or to inquire about specific resources.
The Aitkin County Historical Society offers educational programs such as our "Traveling Trunk" program for schools, civic organizations and groups. An Immigrant Trunk and a Native American Trunk are available for programs. We also offer a program about Loggers and the Timber Industry. Special events such as the "Aitkin Rendezvous" provide a living history environment for learning about Minnesota and regional history as well as a special School Day tailored to school children learning Minnesota history. Contact us with any questions you may have regarding our educational programs.
The Aitkin County Historical Society Press offers publications for sale regarding Aitkin county history.
Special tours of the museums can be arranged. Please contact us for further information and to make appointments.
The Aitkin County Historical Society Press offers many publications regarding Aitkin county history. These Aitkin County Historical Society Press publications, and numerous other non-society publications relating to regional history, are available in our museum store. We have over 200 titles in stock.
Volunteer - Donate your Time!
We always have many projects in the works, and volunteers make them happen. We will welcome your time and talents with open arms. Perhaps something on our project list appeals to you, or you would enjoy greeting visitors at the door, folding mailings, doing oral history interviews, etc. Even giving a few hours can make a big difference.
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