Learn about local history at CrossingsLearn about local history on a national scale with three presentations at Zumbrota’s Crossings on Thursdays in March, May and September.
Learn about local history on a national scale with three presentations at Zumbrota’s Crossings on Thursdays in March, May and September.
These 90-minute presentations at 7 p.m. by John Grabko of the Minnesota Historical Society are free and open to the public; donations will be accepted.
On March 22, Grabko recounts the tragic events of Sept. 1, 1894, when two forest fires converged near Hinckley, then a booming north central Minnesota lumber town of 1,500 people.
The town found itself in the path of a firestorm that laid bare and charred more than a quarter of a million acres of land in a matter of hours.
Officially, some 400 lives were lost, but estimates rise to the 800s. Those who survived found rank refuge in a swamp or were on a train that managed to speed through the fire because there was no time to stop before hitting the wall of flames that suddenly appeared before them.
The compelling tales of survival and heroism made the Great Hinckley Fire a sustained national story and are no less powerful today, he said.
On May 10, Grabko will present part 2 of his talk about the U.S. Dakota Land War of 1862. A September 2011 talk introduced the topic.
This program will touch on the main points of that presentation, then move on to the conflict related to the Upper Agency, the events of Lake Shetak and Slaughter Slough, the Dakota banishment and Henry Sibley’s 1863 expedition.
“It becomes clear that a battle of cultures to last 30 years has begun at a little place known as Afton, Minn. This would go on to involve great leaders of the Dakota/Lakota people such as Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, and was not to end until the events of the Little Big Horn & Wounded Knee,” Grabko said.
On Sept. 20, Grabko presents “The Sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”
The Great Lakes freighter’s sinking, with the loss of the 29-member crew, was made famous in newspaper accounts and a song by Gordon Lightfoot. The ship set sail into the calm seas of Nov. 9, 1975, from the port cities of Duluth/Superior. Then it plowed into raging storms Nov. 10, never to return.
People will receive material from Historic Adventure & Travel Tours during each program about a related excursion later in the year.
To reserve seats, call 507-732-7616 or stop in to Crossings at 320 East Ave. For more information, visit www.crossingsatcarnegie.com.