KENSINGTON AREA HERITAGE SOCIETY

Dedicated to the collection, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge pertinent to the cultural and historical heritage of the Kensington, Minnesota area.

The Kensington Area Heritage Society (KAHS) sponsors or participates in a number of programs throughout the year that are consistent with its above mission. KAHS owes its success to date to the members and volunteers who have supported these programs.

KAHS Membership Categories

Individual/Family
Category
Annual Dues
Comments
Individual $15.00  
Family $25.00  
Sponsor (Individual/Family) $50.00 10% discount on gift shop purchases
Benefactor (Individual/Family) $100.00 10% discount on gift shop purchases + free museum admission

Business (Organizations)
Category
Annual Dues
Bronze $25.00
Silver $50.00
Gold $100.00
Platinum $500.00

Make checks payable to KAHS.
Contact information here.

The lobby of the First State Bank of Kensington was the site for our first few tabletop displays. Shown above is “The Town Baseball Team”. Other exhibits of this type featured the mayors, wedding photos from the area’s past, a history of the building that was torn down for construction of the community center and a history of the development of the Kensington Runestone Park.

The local elementary school provided space in the gymnasium and cafeteria exhibits during Kensington’s Runestone Days:


Exhibit Construction

Sweden Circa 1850


Exhibit to storage

<Click on Photos to Enlarge>

Hälsingland’s Roots in Minnesota-an immigrant story was brought to Kensington from the museum of Hudiksval, Sweden in 2004. The exhibit was a joint project of KAHS and the Hälsingland Museum and occupied about 900 sq. ft. of floor space in its “temporary” facility. The exhibit area was divided into four sections that depicted the mass migration from Sweden to America in the second half of the 19th Century. The exhibit was designed around the life of Olof Ohman at home in Sweden, his migration in 1879, and his life in America as a carpenter and pioneer farmer.

The grand opening, attended by about 200 people, was held on June 17, 2004 and the closing ceremony was held October 23, 2004. KAHS currently has the exhibit in storage.

THE RUNE STONE ROOM


Originally intended to serve as an office and reading/research room for KAHS, the Rune Stone Room is used instead for an exhibit area that depicts, in time-line fashion, the growth of knowledge concerning the inscription carved on the Kensington Rune Stone.

The time-line begins in the fall of 1898 when a flat, grave stone shaped rock entangled in the roots of a tree was unearthed by Olof Ohman. Olof's son Edward spotted the strange writing on the stone and thought it might be some kind of Indian relic. It is now known that the weathered inscription was carved using runes from medieval Scandinavia and records the death of 10 men from a group of "8 Götalanders and 22 Norwegians" who had journeyed from Vinland in 1362.

Traveling the time-line, the visitor is introduced to some of the many people who have studied and written about the Kensington Rune Stone. Certain key events are also included-an attempt in 1927 by area citizens to erect a 200 foot monument at the discovery site, the Rune Stone’s exhibition at the Smithsonian in 1948 and in Sweden’s Historiska Museet in 2003, and the stone’s inclusion in the World’s Fair of 1965.

It is hoped that after viewing this exhibit the visitor will have a sense of the strides that have been made to better understand the importance of this medieval artifact.

IN THE WORKS

Student Involvement KAHS began working with the Sixth Grade Kensington students in 2005 to provide them with an understanding of the importance of their heritage and service to the community. The 2005 class repaired the historical time line that had been on display in the barn/visitor center at Kensington Runestone Park.

The service project for 2006 is to research the owners of some of the businesses and prepare a photo collage depicting the history of the current business’s location. Both Kensington and Hoffman businesses are a part of this project since the 6th grade has students from both communities. The project will allow visitors an opportunity for a “walking history tour” of Main Street-then and now.

Collection Day Area citizens bring their special collections to the Community Center in February for sharing with their friends and neighbors. The collectors are each given a table to display their coffee pots, trolls, postcards, turtles, porcelain dolls, town memorabilia……….  

Runestone Days-2006 There are many farms in the area that have been owned and operated by the same family for more than 100 years (Century Farms)—some since the 1860’s. Each Century Farm is being encouraged to tell their individual story through the use of photos, old time farm equipment, etc. for this year’s three-day celebration.

KAHS GIFT SHOP

Kensington-the Real home of the Kensington Runestone Assorted sizes and colors T shirts $12.50-$15.00 Sweatshirts $22.00-$25.50

Kensington’s First 100 Years: 1890-1990 (165pp) Published in 1990 to celebrate the town’s centennial Price $15.00  

The Discovery, limited edition print signed by artist Dan Weimer Edition size limited to 700 Print size-14 by 19 inches Price $100.00  

All-Occasion Note Cards Artwork by Dan Weimer Price $1.50 ea  

The Kensington Runestone-approaching a research question holistically (102pp) Alice Beck Kehoe Published 2005 Price $11.95  

The Kensington Rune Stone-compelling new evidence (574pp) Richard Nielsen and Scott F. Wolter Price $29.95 
The Kensington
Runestone FAQ
Book (38pp)
Michael Zalar.
Updtaed 2006.
$5.50. each

Prices do not include applicable sales tax or shipping/handling..