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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
Beltrami County Historical Society formed

Recent Stories

On the tracks with Andy Mack

By Sue Bruns for the Pioneer. Andy Mack loves all things railroad: railroad history, railroad depots, railroad cars and tracks, lanterns and tools, time tables and correspondences, and even baggage carts. For most of his adult life, he has collected railroad memorabilia, studied railroad history, built model railroads, and toured by train on vacation whenever possible. As a kid born and raised in Pettybone, N. D., Andy’s only railroad-related toy was a small wind-up train. On the family farm, he helped milk thirteen cows by hand. Back then, the railroad transported the milk to market. Cream cans were loaded onto baggage carts and then transferred to train cars. “Depots and railroads were the lifeline for us when we were on the farm,” Andy says, “until […]

$1 per week for tuition? You’d have to go back to 1904 in Bemidji

By Sue Bruns for the Pioneer, Sep 5th 2020 In 1904, Bemidji answered the needs of high school graduates and other adults who wanted training in specific areas of business and opened its first business college. A small ad for Conway’s Commercial College appeared in the Feb. 25, 1904 Bemidji Daily Pioneer, advertising $1 per week tuition, a cut in price from the previous $2.50 per week. The school had recently opened at 108 Sixth Street. In October 1904, the institution’s name was officially changed to the Bemidji Commercial College. The Beltrami County Historical Society’s photo archives include a picture of the Business College class of 1905 with a note that names the 14 graduates. There were 14 graduates in 1905 from Conway’s Business College […]


COVID-19 SELF-HISTORY INTERVIEW   This project is inspired by our friends at the Douglas County Historical Society.   Everyone’s experience matters. Your history matters. Help us record your history. With events being as momentous as they are in Minnesota, we’d like to offer a tool in the form of a Self-History Interview to help us begin recording the daily lived experiences during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Right now we have no way of knowing how significant of an event this may be, but we want to ensure we leave behind plenty of written records of the actual Beltrami County experience for future scholars and historians. Please consider donating a copy of your responses (if local to Beltrami County, MN) to the Beltrami County Historical Society, MN.  […]

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