Items related to downtown Northfield

November 25 is Andrew Carnegie's birthday!


Wednesday, November 25th was American steel magnate Andrew Carnegie’s 180th birthday.  Northfield and about 3,000 other communities have Mr. Carnegie to thank for our public libraries. 

As Garrison Keillor tells it in the Writer’s Almanac on November 25th, Carnegie “came to this country as a teenager and took a job in a factory in Pittsburgh.  He wanted to educate himself, but although there were public libraries at the time, you had to pay an annual fee to become a member.  Carnegie wrote a letter to the editor of the Pittsburgh Dispatch, arguing that poor people should be given free access to libraries so that they could improve themselves.  The director of Carnegie’s local library read the letter, and it persuaded him to change the rule.”

More Progress in Saving the Depot

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Save the Northfield Depot’s Alice Thomas shares this photo of the separation of the depot and the 1944 addition. She reports that movers are expected next week to start the process of getting the depot on the truck, which will take a couple of weeks.

“Progress thanks to many supporters.” Thomas adds.

Friends of the Northfield Public Library Have Fun Raising Funds!

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The Friends and Foundation of the Northfield Public Library have had a lot of fun raising funds for the library renovation project.  On October 30 they hosted a record 20 teams for the annual Trivia Bee contest.  They raised $3,400, thanks to the many participants including the invincible team “Remembrance of Things Past” and to the community sponsors and downtown businesses.  On November 12 the Friends raised another $15,680 during the Give to the Max Day.  
The renovation project at the library needs another $160,000 to top off the Friends’ support of the building.  There is a $6,000 gift waiting to match additional donations given by December 31, 2015.  See 

Save the Depot S'mores Party CANCELLED but Work Goes On!

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Although the S’mores event has to be cancelled because of the weather, this week workers are separating the 1888 depot from the 1944 addition in preparation for moving the 19th century portion. According to Alice Thomas, chair of communications of Save the Northfield Depot, “We will notify the public when the move date is final.”

While funds have been raised to move the historic depot to the new location, SND is now raising funds for the renovation. Thomas reminds everyone that 2015 Give to the Max Day is Thursday, November 12, a quick way to contribute. Just go to the website and click on the giveMN button. Or, send a check to Save the Northfield Depot at 712 4th St. E, Northfield, MN 55057.

Give to Build to the Max!

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Our public library is looking more like the real thing every day.  The foundation for the new atrium has been filled with sand that is smooth enough to be a floor, almost.  Upstairs Schulz Electric is working on the wiring for the new LED lighting that will provide better light using less energy.  

You can support the real terrazzo floor and the energy efficient LED lighting by giving to the max on (or before or after) Thursday, November 12, GiveMN Day, at the Friends' site There is a $15,000 challenge grant, so for every dollar you donate, another dollar will be added to the renovation fund - double your donation!  All donors will be listed on the donors' wall in the renovated library.  

Content Poetry Series: Diane LeBlanc

Diane LeBlanc, Sudden GeographyPoetry is alive and well in Northfield.

Each month, Content Bookstore in downtown Northfield is host to a poetry reading featuring a local or regional poet and including an open mic where members of the audience can share their own original poetry. The series kicked off in October with a joint reading by Rob Hardy and Brenda Hellen, and continues on Thursday, November 12, at 7 pm, with a reading by Diane LeBlanc.

Diane LeBlanc is a writer, teacher, and book artist. She is the author of three poetry chapbooks: Sudden Geography (2014), Dancer with Good Sow (2008), and Hope in Zone Four (1998). In addition to poetry and essays in Bellingham Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Journal, Natural Bridge, and other journals, her essay “Work in Progress” appears in Claiming Our Callings: Toward a New Understanding of Vocation in the Liberal Arts (2014). Diane directs the writing program and teaches at St. Olaf College.

At the reading, Diane will read from her own work and invite others to share a poem of their own. She’ll also offer a door prize of one of her beautiful handmade journals to a lucky attendee.

Award Winning Author Allen Eskens @ Content on Thursday

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Allen Eskens has won (and keeps winning) awards for his popular debut novel, The Life We Bury, most recently winning the Rosebud award for best debut and the Barry award for best paperback original. At 7pm this Thursday, Nov 5, Allen will read from and discuss his just-released novel, The Guise of Another.

Eskens' new thriller follows Minnesota detective and fallen hero Alexander Rupert as he seeks redemption, and an answer to the question: who was James Putnam? Eskens, a practicing criminal defense attorney, writes page-turners in Mankato, MN.

"Allen Eskens has conjured up a marvelously black spirit of a novel. It s a taut, intelligent, heart-ripping story that explores the darkest places in the human psyche. After each unexpected twist, you ll tell yourself things can t get any worse. And then they do."

- WILLIAM KENT KRUEGER, New York Times bestselling author of "Ordinary Grace"

Content Bookstore is delighted to be hosting Eskens - and we hope you can make it!

Our library is growing!


You can see it! The footprint of the library is growing, and you can see the outline of the new entrance and atrium that will grace the southeast corner of the building.  There are also lots of construction lights on inside the building as Brennan Construction Company begins extensive renovations both downstairs and upstairs. For more photos of what's going on inside, check on the Northfield Public Library's website. 

Save the Northfield Depot Fundraiser Thursday Evening

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Save the Northfield Depot continues on the move.  Following the group’s recent successful groundbreaking ceremony attended by about 110 supporters, the Eagles Club is sponsoring a spaghetti dinner and silent auction to benefit the depot project this Thursday October 29th, 5-8 p.m. at the Eagles Club

Tickets ($8 each) can be purchased at the door.  Many auction items have been donated including a wine basket, hair cut and color, poker table and chips, vintage mixing bowls, child’s antique items, a three-hour musical performance by the “Bonnie & the Clydes” , dinners for six, David Allen prints and more.

At the recent groundbreaking Co-Chair Lynn Vincent noted that the funds had been raised to move the depot, but work would continue to finish the project.  The Eagles Club event will help raise the additional funds needed to repair the depot exterior and renovate the interior.

"When Grown Men Cry" Readers Theater About Palestinian Farmer at NAG

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Allison Schmitt asks us to imagine having the work of half a century destroyed under the tracks of a bulldozer. For many Palestinian families this experience is all too real. The machines of the Israeli army tear carefully-tended olive trees from the ground on a daily basis in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Local actors will present the aftermath of this ripped-from-the-headlines incident in the play, “When Grown Men Cry.” The play will be presented at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, at the Northfield Arts Guild Theater, 411 West Third St., Northfield. Tickets are $10 and will be available online at or Swag, 423 Division St. S., downtown Northfield.

Please Join the Grounbreaking for the Northfield 1888 Depot!

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This Friday, October 9th, at 3:30 p.m., on the new site of the 1888 depot (between 2nd and 3rd Streets, east of the tracks), there will be a gound breaking celebration for the new location of the Northfield Depot. There will also be special guests on hand to help celebrate the implementation of the envisioned depot-pavillion transit hub complex. 

Save the Northfield Depot Communications Committee member Alice Thomas says, "Thanks to the many supporters for your donations, time and encouragement. We hope you and others in the community will help celebrate the upcoming move in a few weeks of the depot."

To learn more about the history of the depot, see photographs and for information about the work of Save the Northfield Depot:

International Day of Peace to be Observed

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The United Nations International Day of Peace is celebrated annually around the world on September 21. The Northfield Community Celebration of the 2015 International Day of Peace will be held on Sunday, September 20, 2015, from 2:00 to 3:30PM in Bridge Square.

Building on this year’s theme, “Partnerships for Peace - Dignity for All,” the program will highlight local and regional partnerships that promote ideas and actions for peace in our community and the surrounding area. Special attention will be given to partnerships which advocate on the behalf of diverse populations that make up our community. We thrive as a community when the dignity of everyone who regards himself/herself as a community member is a priority for each of us.

Join members of the Northfield Human Rights Commission, community leaders, and your friends and neighbors for the Northfield Community Celebration of the International Day of Peace on Sunday, September 20!

Ready to serve? Join the Arts Guild Board!

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The Northfield Arts Guild is soliciting recommendations for three new board members. The organization is at an exciting point of forward growth and progress, and we’re looking for new board members to help lead the way!

Northfield Public Library's Big Pack


The Northfield Public Library at 3rd and Washington is closed, but the library opens its doors at City Hall at 8th and Washington on Monday, July 13.  Meanwhile, the Big Pack is about to begin.  Starting July 16 lots of volunteers will build boxes and pack them with 70,000 books!

Many thanks to those volunteers and to the Northfield food vendors who are donating food and beverages to fuel the volunteers.  Thanks to Caribou Coffee, Cub Foods, Dominos Pizza, Econofoods, The Hideaway Coffeehouse, Hogan Bros, James Gang Coffee and Subway.

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