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Our exhibits tell stories about Beltrami County’s history and showcase our collections.


BCHS preserves historical artifacts, photographs, and manuscripts in the Beltrami County History Center archives. What will you discover when you visit?

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BCHS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization supported by members and donors. Join us to help connect individuals and communities to Beltrami County’s rich history.

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Beltrami County History by the Numbers

Beltrami County Established
Great Northern Depot Built
Population in 1870 per U.S. Census
Paul Bunyan Statue Constructed

Recent Stories

Keeping the Northern Pacific Railroad Rolling: An interview with Lowell O’Brien, Bridge and Building Crewman

On February 16, 2016 I interviewed Lowell O’Brien in Bemidji. Lowell and his crew repaired or rebuilt most of the wooden piling-type train trestles along the Northern Pacific rail line between Bemidji and International Falls, as well as further south towards Brainerd. Lowell was raised by his parents, Guy R. and Blanche O’Brien, near Hines, MN. His Grandparents were living in in Gemmell, MN. at the time—as his Grandfather worked for a cedar pole company. In fact, Lowell was born in Gemmell—his mother went to there to stay with her parents as the time approached for his birth (July 7, […]

Beltrami County Sesquicentennial Quiz

Test your local history knowledge!

Sidetracked (Just the bear facts…Oh deer…)

By Darla Sathre (from The Depot Express newsletter, Fall 2015) While browsing through some Bemidji history publications, I (more than once) came across the famous 1897 photo that looks east on 3rd Street toward Lake Bemidji. Immediately one notices a bear cub and a fawn among the people. The Carson family owned two bears, one of which is seen in the photo along with Evan Carson. The first year they let the bear cubs hibernate over winter in the root cellar behind their family hotel, but come spring Evan got too close and one of the bear cubs stripped off […]

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