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.

The photos below were taken at a May Day program held on the Enderlin School grounds sometime in the early 1920's.

May Day 1920's



   This may seem like a strange question for a museum article, but many times the significance of a single family history is overlooked until it is too late to obtain the best information. Don’t let that be the fate of your family’s story!

   At your Enderlin Museum, the volunteers are constantly on the lookout for anything which can help tell the story of our community and we hope you are looking too!  You would be surprised how many times we have been able to help a researcher by just searching the family history files which people have provided, looking through the old photos or the community history books!  Please keep the Museum in mind if you think you have something of interest concerning Enderlin’s past.   

   The Historical Society always welcomes new members!  Your annual membership helps fund the current expenses such as electricity, insurance and other supplies. (Membership and Donation Form can be found elsewhere in this publication.) Volunteers are desperately needed to help with projects and greet and assist visitors. Please contact us if you can help!

Restroom Now A Reality


Thanks to the generous donations of many and to some local grants, the Museum now has a modern, handicap accessible restroom. The project was completed in time to serve our visitors during the Community 125th Celebration and All-Class Reunion held in June 2016.

Thank you for your support and your generosity.


Donations of $500 or More

·    Joel J. Jankowski
Lola Peterson – In memory of Peterson Funeral Home

·    Gary & Laurel Lindemann

·    City View Fuel, LLC

·    Enderlin Super Valu, LLC

·    Schwandt Goodman Post

·    Ransom County Economic Development Committee

·    Iris Oeder

·    Leo Schall

All donations of any size were appreciated and helped toward the success of the project.


                                 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.



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.

Long and Short Range Goals

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