Items related to downtown Northfield

Bishop Whipple's Role in War of 1862 Topic of Northfield Historical Society Program


On Thursday, February 21 at 6:00 p.m. at the Northfield Historical Society, writer and church historian The Venerable Canon Benjamin Scott will speak on the role Bishop Henry Whipple played in the 1882 U. S. Dakota War. This event is part of the Northfield Historical Society’s seven-month observation of the 1862 war which includes an exhibit depicting the roles local Rice County residents played in this episode of our state’s history.

Whipple was Minnesota’s first Episcopal Bishop.  He came to this state in 1859 with his wife Cornelia and six children.  When the fighting broke out in August of 1862 Whipple returned home from Northern Minnesota as fast as possible.  He had seen the conflict coming since the signing of the Treaty Traverse des Sioux when many promises were broken.  He went to St. Peter were many injured were taken and he served as nurse and chaplain.

Sidewalk Poetry Competition Deadline is February 16!


Arts and Culture Commissioner Philip Spensley says, “f you haven’t finished that poem you’ve been thinking about, better get to it.  This year’s Sidewalk Poetry Competition deadline is coming up fast. “

The deadline for submission of poems is Saturday, February, 16 at 5 pm.  Winning poems will be announced later in February and will begin to be installed in City sidewalks in April, national poetry month. All Northfield residents and students of any age enrolled in Northfield schools may submit up to two short poems.  There is no charge for submission.  The following are criteria for submission.

• Each person may submit up to two poems. Text and subject matter must be appropriate for the general public. Poems that are explicitly religious, political, graphically violent or overtly sexual will not be considered.

Poetry Patch resumes this Saturday at the Northfield Public Library

Poetry Patch poster 2013.jpg

At the Northfield Library you'll find, With poems, some piece of mind,
In the Poetry Patch, For young poets, a match,
And a place where your words can shine!

If you're a K-8 kid that loves Shel Silverstein, Jack Prelutsky, or maybe even Shakespeare, you're invited to join members of the St. Olaf Poetry house for Poetry Patch, a bi-monthly program for aspiring young poets.Noon to 1 with cookies, poetry reading, arts 'n crafts and more!

Check all the up coming programs Northfield Public Library 210 Washington St. 507-645-6606

Local Doodle Artist Goes National


Shona Brooks, local artist and co-owner of the Eclectic Goat, was recently awarded a contract with MindWare®, a national game and toy company for kids, for the production of two illustrated books based on her line of Doodle your day away. The illustrations are intended as artwork to be added to by coloring with crayons, colored pencils or markers. The books, titled Fantastical Style Animals and Fantastical Style Flowers, will hold over twenty pages of designs and will be available for purchase on the company’s website in the fall of 2013.

“I’m grateful to have this opportunity,” said Brooks. "The goal is to aspire others to create their own art."

Bestselling author William Kent Krueger is coming to the Northfield Public Library


Bestselling author William Kent Krueger returns to Northfield Public Library on Tuesday, January 29th. The program begins at 7pm in the library meeting room. Mr. Krueger will speak about “ his life with libraries”.

Raised in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, William Kent Krueger briefly attended Stanford University—before being kicked out for radical activities. After that, he logged timber, worked construction, tried his hand at free-lance journalism, and eventually ended up researching child development at the University of Minnesota. He currently makes his living as a full-time author. He makes his home in St. Paul, a city he dearly loves.

History Day Hullabloo at the Northfield Public Library.

History Day 2013.jpg

Attention all sixth graders! Jumpstart your History Day project by coming to the first ever Northfield Public Library History Day Hullabaloo, on Saturday, January 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

History Day mentors, (volunteers from Carleton College, St. Olaf College, and the Northfield community) will meet individually with students and provide guidance with topics, research sources, and bibliographic information. Mentors and librarians will demonstrate library and other databases available for research. Librarians will also display primary and secondary resources.

Come for help with your project and enjoy the fun! Refreshments will be served. $5.00 gift certificates to downtown businesses will be raffled off during the morning. Students attending the Hullabaloo will receive extra credit toward their project. All sixth grade students and their parents are encouraged to attend.

Stepping Out for Mr. Northfield - A benefit for Danny


A community-wide celebration for and tribute to Dan Freeman at the Grand Event Center is planned for January 25, from 6 to 10:00 p.m. Everybody is welcome for this chance for Northfielders to honor Dan for all he has done for Northfield all these years. There is no admission charge, but a silent auction, a live auction, and “donations” of storytelling at the microphone will bring in money to make his life easier this coming year.

The event is free. Planners seek auction items: for example, merchandise, creative dinners, tickets for games or entertainment venues, and gift certificates. Contact Susy Immel at to make a contribution. She can take them right now or any time until January 25.  

Help Solve Downtown Parking Problems

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Want to have a voice in solving downtown parking problems?

The city has contracted Griff Wigley (Wigley and Associates) to create and manage a way for the public to participate in a conversation about downtown parking.  He has launched “Parking Management for Downtown Northfield, MN ( where everyone can learn about the parking issue, participate in the discussion, and have an impact on future city decisions.

Need for and possible solutions for additional parking downtown have been discussed for many years. Creating new parking lots is one option. At a recent meeting the city council approved their parking committee’s proposal (which included use of social media) for engaging stakeholders in discussions for better management of parking in the downtown area.  The Northfield Downtown Development Corporation will conduct the conversation, according to City Administrator Tim Madigan in his December 11 memo to the council.

Make Your Mark: 2013 Sidewalk Poetry Competition Announced


Boot up your computers, open up your laptops, or grab paper and pencil.  For the third year running, Northfielders will have the opportunity to see their poems or those written by their friends and neighbors stamped into sidewalks around town. 

The 2013 competition will be held earlier in the year than in previous years in order that winning poems can be ready for installation as soon as new sidewalks begin to be poured beginning in April, which just happens to be Poetry Month.

Thanks to a generous $10,000 grant to the Arts and Culture Commission from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council, all Northfield residents and students of any age enrolled in Northfield schools are invited to submit up to two short poems.  There is no charge for submission, though there are criteria to be followed. Up to 10 poems will be selected.  The following are criteria for submission.

Save the Northfield Depot Receives Grant for Asbestos Clean-Up


Save the Northfield Depot was recently notified that the Northfield Area Foundation has awarded a $7,000 grant to assist in the clean-up of asbestos in the depot building – a state requirement. Save the Northfield Depot hired a certified asbestos inspector last year to conduct an assessment of the presence of asbestos. Although not extensive, the clean-up must be completed by a person certified to do so. Save the Northfield Depot is grateful to the Northfield Area Foundation for their continued support and work to enhance the heritage, the quality of life, and well being in the Northfield area.


Attention all sixth graders!  Jumpstart your History Day project by coming to the first ever Northfield Public Library History Day Hullabaloo, on Saturday, January 12, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

History Day mentors, (volunteers from Carleton College, St. Olaf College, and the Northfield community) will meet individually with students and provide guidance with topics, research sources, and bibliographic information.  Mentors and librarians will demonstrate library and other databases available for research.  Librarians will also display primary and secondary resources.

New Downtown Art and Performance Space to Host Winter Walk Party

Dig and be Doug exhibition

An exciting new art and performance space is thriving in downtown Northfield, but you may not have noticed it yet. Without a street-level storefront or any visible signage, you can be forgiven for being unaware of its under-the-radar existence. But this Thursday—during Northfield's annual Winter Walk—you'll have a chance to discover and explore the venue during two overlapping events.

Beginning at 5 pm on Thursday, December 6, an exhibition titled "Dig and be Doug: The Poster Art of Doug Bratland" goes on display with a public reception at The Chapel, a music venue, art gallery, and gathering space located at 310 1/2 Division Street (above The Local Joint). This exhibition is The Chapel's first visual art show, and it will feature concert posters—an appropriate choice for a venue that has been hosting musical performances for over a year.

Local Issue: Transit Hub


On December 4, 2012, the Northfield City Council approved a recommendation to locate a proposed local transit hub on the Q-Block, on the southwest corner of Second Street and Highway 3. This is an important step forward in a project that began in 2001, with the completion of a Rice County local and regional transit study that identified a need for a transit hub in Northfield. The proposed transit hub is envisioned as the central element of a redevelopment of the Q-Block which would also include the relocated and renovated Northfield depot.  For those interested in learning more about this issue, here is a timeline and a compilation of documents and links related to the transit hub project.

Q-Block Transit Hub and Save the Northfield Depot: Compatible Projects


At the City Council work session on Tuesday, November 27, the consultants for the Northfield transit hub (WSB & Associates) reported on their assessment that ranked the Q-block highest of the three sites considered for the transit hub location.  Some observers of the session have expressed concern about the implications the potential selection of the Q-block for the transit hub would have for the Save the Northfield Depot project.

Thank You from The Key

Thank You from the Key

This piece was written and submitted by members of the youth board at The Key.

The Key has been through a lot this past year. With new staff, a new youth board, daily programming, keeping ourselves financially stable, and trying to serve as many youth as possible (just to name a few things), we have been so busy and so constantly moving forward with new ideas that we rarely take a chance to step back and appreciate how much has been given to us. Seeing that Thanksgiving has just come and gone, we would like to take a moment and thank everyone (well all the people we can think of at the moment) that has helped us this past year. Note that all the people/groups on here are not on in order of importance. We love you all equally.

We really want to thank all our granters that have helped us throughout the years and have given us the chance to provide great programming for so many youth every day. We would also like to thank the donors that have given money to the organization. All of your contributions, be it $1 or $1000, mean the world to us and its great to know how many people care for The Key and want to see it continue to grow.

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