Keeping History Alive, Becker County Museum Capital Campaign



In 1882, the citizens of Becker County recognized the need to preserve the history of the community and formed the Pioneer Settlers Union, a group comprised of many founding residents, who actively worked to preserve the history of their community as it was happening. In 1924, this organization was renamed the Becker County Historical Society.

The Becker County Museum, founded in 1943, was initially housed in the basement of the Becker County Courthouse. Prior to that time, the “collection” was stored in a closet at the Detroit Lakes Public Library

As the collection grew, there were plans to renovate the old Holmes School building as a museum. However, a fire in 1980 prevented that from happening. In 1989, Becker County Historical Society purchased our current building from the Assemblies of God congregation and converted it to the present museum.

The present BCHS Museum Building was constructed in 1948 for the Assemblies of God Church. The building was destroyed by fire in 1956 and rebuilt in 1957. Several additions/modifications have occurred within the building’s history. Currently the building has multiple displays on the upper level and storage on the lower level requiring the space to be off limits to the public.

The facility has no handicap access from floor to floor. In addition, there are no handicap accessible public restrooms. The building has little historic merit and would not be considered for National Historic Register status.

Currently the museum operates in a building where priceless artifacts and documents are at risk for mold, mildew and possible fire damage due to lack of air circulation and a modern sprinkler system.

We are tomorrow’s history. What we know and believe about our world, what we care about and how we live is recorded for future generations. History is important because people are important. People from the past, present and future, through their stories, possessions, inventions and artifacts speak to the values and progress in communities.

Our Current Collection

• 14,000+ photographs

• 20,000+ artifacts

• Library/archive holds over 1,000 original documents/reference books for research

• Repository for Becker County Property Tax records from the 1880’s – present

• Repository for historic records for 14 of 37 townships in the county

• Collections are stored in four locations

+ Museum facility

+ Red house adjacent (northwest) of the museum

+ Offsite storage near the Canadian Pacific (formerly the Soo Line) Railroad tracks

+ Log cabin at the Becker County Fairgrounds


Financial Impact of Museums in the Community

“Museums are essential contributors to the vibrancy of communities throughout Minnesota as anchoring institutions that entertain, educate, and preserve” Economic Contribution of Museums in Minnesota. University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality.

86 out of 87 county historical societies in Minnesota operate at least one stand-alone museum.

In 2011, Minnesota’s museums directly infused $674,000,000 in spending into our state economy.

Museums attract visitors. The majority of museum visitors are from within the local region. A portion of visitors are also tourists to the area spending money in retail, restaurants, hotels, health care and more while visiting the region.

Our Vision –

Becker County civic officials, business leaders, institutions and individuals are joining together as advocates to help raise funds for the construction of a new museum.

The proposed 16,810 square foot facility will include a 10,200 square foot fully accessible exhibit space, research office, meeting/conference room, and administrative offices. The remaining 6,610 square feet will provided space for collection storage.

The new building will be first-class facility to serve the needs of youth, adults, and seniors – enhancing the quality of life for members of the community in and around Becker County.

We Will –

  • Create programming to educate students from all over Becker County. With upgrades and new technologies our capabilities to engage and inform our youth will increase linking past to the present as the ultimate “time machine” experience.
  • Host interesting events and programs showcasing our rich culture making these events a source of civic pride for its citizens, the White Earth Nation, city and county leaders, businesses, and institutions.
  • Employ staff and volunteers who are knowledgeable about the city and county making them valuable resources for townships, businesses, churches, and other organizations and those moving to the county.
  • Build a Museum that will preserve the historical interests and importance of Becker County in an attractive, fresh, and visually impactful facility.

Donate -

Please print out this PDF file (link found below). Fill it out and mail it, or better yet, drop it off and look around. All gifts to the campaign are fully tax-deductible as provided by current law. Thank you for your commitment to help secure the history our community!



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