Enderlin Historical Society & Museum



Our Mission

The mission of the Enderlin Historical Society and Museum, Inc. shall be the collection, preservation and dissemination of knowledge about the history of the Enderlin area.

The Enderlin Historical Society and Museum collects artifacts, oral histories and genealogy that pertain to the city of Enderlin and the surrounding community. Among our collections are many historic local photos, athletic trophies, school yearbooks dating back to 1906, early family histories, and Enderlin area memorabilia.

We are working hard to insure the high quality of preservation that our local history deserves. This includes raising funds for museum quality storage materials, instilling professional standards of operations, developing quality exhibits and educational programs.

Getting Started
On February 22, 1967 after Enderlin’s 75th anniversary, ten local residents met to incorporate as the Enderlin Historical Society and Museum. The Jubilee Steering Committee donated all monies and property such as unsold plates, books, etc. to the Society and in November the first officers were elected. By-laws were adopted in 1968. 

Permanent Location

Since that time, several transactions have taken place in an attempt to establish a permanent Museum location. This includes acquisition of the Fingal, ND depot in 1971 from the Soo Line Railroad at no cost except for the moving fee of $460.00.  The depot was placed in Patrick Pierce Park with the intent that it would serve as a museum.  However, due to continued vandalism, the depot/museum was sold to the Enderlin Golf Club in 1976 for $400.00.  In 1972, the Society acquired Lot 29, Block 2, original Enderlin from the city and rented out the garage and lot space for various activities.  In 1990, the Society purchased the Masonic Temple building from the Enderlin Public School District, converted it to a Museum and made improvements costing $13,481.00. This cost,  as well as many, many hours of volunteer time and labor have made the Museum what it is today.  Many artifacts were donated and exhibits have been set up.

Becoming Museum Owners

In 1996, tax exempt status under IRS Code Section 501 (c) 3 was acquired.  Also in 1996, Lot 29, Block 2 was sold in exchange for a new roof on the Museum. At the time of the purchase of the Masonic Temple building, the Soo Line Railroad owned the property upon which the building rested and the Society leased the property.  Later, the City of Enderlin purchased the property from the Soo Line and the Society entered into a 10-year lease-to-own agreement with the city to purchase the Museum property. In 2008, after experiencing financial difficulties, a generous donation allowed the Society to pay off the balance of the lease, thereby becoming owners of the land as well as the building.

                           We DID Windows!
        Thanks to almost unbelievable support, all 40 windows in the Museum have been replaced with new, secure, maintenance-free windows!  Through window sponsorships and other generous donations and grants, the total cost of $42,524.85 was raised to fully fund the project.  Installation was completed in two phases with the final installation in October 2012. What was expected to be a multi-year project was accomplished in slightly over one year!  The new windows are similar in style to the original window in order to maintain the historic appearance of the building. All remaining exterior wood around the windows has been wrapped making the windows totally maintenance free.



 Just because the Museum is closed for the season, doesn’t mean the Historical Society is taking a break! A lot of behind-the-scenes activity is still taking place.

Notification has been received of several successful grant applications. The ND Community Foundation has granted $1,000 toward purchased of UV-protective window shades to help protect the artifacts from damage from excess light. Using these funds and other local donations, special shades will be purchased for the remaining windows in the upper large display room and for the large lower level display area.

The State Historical Society has granted $6,544 dollars from the Cultural Heritage Grant Fund toward purchase and installation of a dehumidifying and air conditioning system to lower the humidity in the Museum. High humidity is known to have a detrimental effect on artifact preservation.  These funds from the state require a dollar-for-dollar match.

The Ransom County Economic Development Committee has granted $5,000 toward the dehumidifier/air conditioner system.  These funds can count toward the matching funds for the project.  A Capital Campaign is currently underway to raise the remainder of the matching funds.

The Board is requesting proposals from several different vendors for both the dehumidifier/air conditioner system and the electrical work necessary to install the system.  Anyone interested in providing a proposal, should contact the co-directors at the numbers provided on the website.

Other projects currently underway include development of displays for the History of Music in Enderlin, the military academy graduates, and the many businesses incorporated into the Lindemann building. Anyone who has memorabilia or information relative to any of these projects is asked to consider either donating it or making it available to scan or photocopy.

To ensure the future well-being of the Museum, the Board has enrolled in the StEPS Program through the American Alliance for State and Local History.  The program is a self-paced program of standards for small museums to help board members document progress toward the national standards and to assist future boards in maintaining the standards which have been completed and in working toward additional standards.  Along that same line, the Board is investigating the establishment of an endowment for the long-term stability of the museum. Please keep this in mind as you consider how you may be able to help provide for the future of the Museum. Watch for more information coming soon.

The Museum continues to receive inquiries from those seeking information on their family ties to our community and the surrounding area.  Unraveling these mysteries is always interesting!  If you enjoy these types of projects, please consider becoming involved with the Museum.  

A special thank you is extended to Roberta Lucio for all her work on special projects at the Museum this year, to Kevin Bratland and the high school boys who used their weight training strength to help us at the Museum and to our individual board members for being willing to volunteer their time on projects. There are many opportunities for you to volunteer too!

Ideas are already being generated for the 2016 All School Reunion and Enderlin’s 125th Anniversary. It will be upon us before we know it! Please share your thoughts and suggestions with the community leaders. Remember, history is being made every day!


Board Meetings 
Board Meetings are scheduled for the third Wednesday of each month - April through October
(e-mail info@enderlinmuseum.org for exact time and location)

Planning for the Future
The Historical Society Board of Trustees has developed a set of basic plans to provide direction as they move into the future. Please follow the attached link to view the basic outline of these plans.
Historical Society Short and Long Range Planning

                Ralph's Red Owl - 1940's
                    Ralph Wavra, Manager 
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