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Kanabec History Center

805 West Forest Avenue Mora, Minnesota

Mailing Address: PO Box 113, Mora MN 55051

320-679-1665 email:

Open Year Round 

Tuesday through Saturday 10 AM to 4:30 PM

Upcoming Events

The Kanabec History Center opened to the public in 1978.  Operated by the Kanabec County Historical Society, the Center is located on 37 acres bordering the Snake River on the west side of Mora, MN.  The main facility contains an exhibition hall, climate controlled storage areas, reference library, conference room, gift shop and office space.  The Coin School, constructed in 1898, now serves as an education building for Kanabec History Center programs. 

It is also available for meeting use and other community classes as is the Kanabec History Center conference room. 

Currently weekly: yoga classes, karate classes,  dancing, Artrageous Art Studio Group, 
& Mitchell Ministries Sunday Services

Organization meetings monthly: Northern Exposure Photography Club, Town and Country Garden Club, Mora Quilting Friends, Kanabec County Artists Assoc.

The one room Whittier School house is used for 
Old Tyme Country School classes each summer.  

Kanabec History Center features include: 
    * Whittier School * Webster School 
* Coin School     * Hiking trail
       * Farm machinery exhibit building 
    * Picnic tables and covered Picnic area.

*Meeting Rooms available for rent

* Museum Gift Shop & Antique Nook

*Research Materials including County

Newspapers from 1884 to present.

*Reference Card Catalog by Name for Obits, Marriage and Birth Announcements

Membership Special BOGO!!
Buy a • New • Gift or • Renewal Membership and get a membership to give a friend!

Help preserve the roots of Kanabec County
Enjoy KHC Member Benefits and
Introduce friends and family to the Kanabec History Center. Learn more about KHC membership click on membership in the side bar! or call 320-679-1665

Fund raising: 

Now raising funds to put a roof over the 1960's Mora Fire Truck.
We need to raise at least $5500 for the roof & Cement slab. If more funds are raised we hope to also pour a cement slab for the truck to set on. This project is extremely necessary to preserve the truck and prevent further weather damage. Already raised for the project, $1230 from the Kay McCarty memorial fund, $2000 from Dave and Patti Purdy for a total of $3230. If you would like to donate for this project you can send you donation to the Kanabec History Center 
PO Box 113 Mora MN 55051

Funds have been raised to replace the roof on Coin School, built in 1898!

The Coin School, constructed in 1898, operated for over 70 years as a schoolhouse until its closure in 1970. In 1995, Robert Blase generously donated the school to the Kanabec County Historical Society, and we have proudly worked to preserve it ever since. 

Through generous private donations and a matching grant from the McVay Foundation, we have raised the funds needed to have the Coin School roof repaired this coming Spring.  We thank everyone who worked on getting donations and bids for this project.

Of course fundraising for the History Center general fund to pay the day to day expenses of operating the facility is an ongoing process.

Use GoodSearch for your internet information searches and help raise a penny for the Kanabec History Center every time you do a search. Shop and up to 37% of each purchase will be donated to the Kanabec History Center. Just go to and enter
Kanabec History Center as your charity!

Upcoming Events

Doug Ohman Returns to the Kanabec History Center With a New 3 Part Program
Canoe Trip on the Mississippi
Part 2: Sun. May 4 @ 2 PM, Part 3: Sun. June 8

  The History Center will be open at 1:30 for people to tour the exhibits and shop in the gift shop. Doug will be at the History Center by 2 PM to visit with attendees
and sign books before the start of the slide
presentation at 2:30.
The programs are free will donations to benefit the Kanabec History Center, coffee and refreshments will be served at each program. Suggested donation is $4 to $5.

Take a journey down the Mississippi River in Minnesota. The river flows along for nearly 700 miles, touching many villages, towns and cities on its route from Lake Itasca to the Iowa border.

Doug has split his journey into 3 parts, He will present "Journey Down the River-Part 1," on
Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 2 PM.

In this first Mississippi River program, Ohman will highlight the many points of interest in the river's upper reaches. This journey will take you from northern Minnesota to the Twin Cities.

Ohman has explored much of the river's history, culture and beauty through his photography and personal stories. Enjoy America's best-loved river from the front (bow) seat of a canoe.

Doug Ohman has published numerous books of his photography. They include "Barns of Minnesota," "Schools of Minnesota," "Prairie, Lake, Forest: Minnesota's State Parks," "Cabins of Minnesota," "Churches of Minnesota," "Courthouses of Minnesota" and "Libraries of Minnesota." The entire Minnesota series of books are available along with some of Doug Ohman's  series of note cards in the Kanabec History Center gift shop. Doug will also have items available for purchase at the programs.


During the Museum Day Open House
Sat. May 31, 2014 Noon to 4 PM Free Admission.

The Caboose Opens New Exhibit

We are working on an exhibit for inside the 1950’s caboose with photos and text about the timeline and history of the railroad in Kanabec County. How the railroad influenced development of the various communities and in some cases their demise. There will be photos and text along with some information about the history of the caboose itself.

In the Exhibit Hall A New Exhibit Looks at the History of Our Buildings “If They Could Talk”

In this exhibit we are looking back in history from the perspective of a few of our oldest buildings. When they were built, who built them, what businesses have they housed over the years. A number of our current businesses are in buildings whose history goes back 100 years or more. We will tell their stories with photos and text, included in the exhibit will be the buildings we have featured in our newsletter, Zimmerman’s, The Williams Block and The Zetterberg Building (See article in the last issue of the KHC newsletter).

Museum Day Open House Will Include Food & Fun

Along with the new exhibit openings on Sat. May 31, 2014, the Kanabec History Center will  have food in the main building with hot dogs and chips. The out door oven will be fired up for baking demonstrations and samples. This year we will feature games for kids and a scavenger hunt. There will also be horse shoe toss for the adults. This will also be the first day in the season for all of the out door buildings to be open. Look for more details about Museum Day in our next Newsletter the beginning of May.

Old Tyme Country School
Needs a New School Marm

The History Center is looking for a new teacher for this coming Old Tyme Country School program. Qualified candidates will have had teaching experience (teaching lic. not necessary), enjoy working with children and creating an era appropriate curriculum. The main purpose of the program for the students is a living history experience and of course to have fun. If you are interested in teaching Old Tyme Country School contact the History Center.
    A total of 89 students attended last seasons 3 one-week sessions of Old Tyme Country School. The sessions take place on the Kanabec History Center grounds in the one room Whittier School House. Each one week session of country school has students first grade through eighth grade. The Old Tyme Country School teacher leads the children in lessons and games from the early 1900’s. Students come to class dressed in costumes and bring a lunch bucket or basket. On each Friday family and friends are invited to a program followed by an ice cream social and lemonade. Students bring cookies to share during the ice cream social.
    If you are interested please send a resume and cover letter to the Kanabec History Center PO Box 113, Mora MN 55051. Although it is not a requirement prior knowledge of the History Center is a plus.   

Presentation and Book Signing  by Minnesota Author RHONDA FOCHS
Sun. June 22 @ 2:30 PM

Journey to the past and visit nearly 150 northern Minnesota lost towns. Read what created them, how they grew and prospered, why they died, where they are located and what you’ll see there today. Learn the stages of a “boom and bust” cycle and how lost towns are classified according to their physical remnants. View the comparative “then and now” photo display of some of the historical  townsites. Meet “Minnesota’s Lost Towns” author and former history teacher Rhonda Fochs and hear the stories and tales of the people and places of Minnesota’s past. Feel free to bring memories and stories of your own places of the past to share. There is no charge for the event and books will be available at a discounted price for this presentation.

Up dated 4-5-2014

More History Center Event Listings

View History Center Event Posters

Education: Classes Workshops

Old Tyme Country School

Current History Center Exhibits
• Ojibwe Camp • Music, Music, Music • Quilts from the KHC Collection •  1904 Kitchen • Logging in Kanabec County • Kanabec County Country Schools Research Material • Extensive Research Library • County Newspapers dating back to 1884


Copyright 2002 Kanabec County Historical Society
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