St. Louis County MN Historical Society

Traveling Exhibits and Educational Resources 

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St. Louis County Historical Society’s Traveling Exhibit Program 


The St. Louis County Historical Society offers a variety of traveling exhibits to any interested business or organization.  Click on the links below to view our traveling exhibit brochure and application.













For more information, call 218-733-7586 or e-mail susan@thehistorypeople.org












Return to the River

This exhibit was developed and produced by the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District, funded in part by the Coastal Zone Management Act through NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, in cooperation with Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program.  St. Louis County’s history – social, political and economic, as well as environmental - is deeply rooted in the history of the St. Louis River.

It depicts the history of the St. Louis River and current and ongoing progress in restoring its water quality, as well as the history of the WLSSD.  The river is the second largest of Lake Superior’s tributaries and the largest American tributary. 

The exhibit covers early usage of the river by the native Ojibwe people, industrial use of the lower and middle sections and its resulting pollution, and the clean-up efforts made possible by various increments of environmental legislation beginning in 1948.

The exhibit is constructed with 10 hinged wooden panels, each 72” x 24”, totaling 21 linear feet (with hardware). It includes three acrylic boxes highlighting the return of the sturgeon, graphic illustrations of earlier fish kills caused by the sludge of industrial dumping, and simply steps that anyone can take to avoid polluting the river and Lake Superior. 

It is suitable for educating all ages.  Set-up and take-down instructions will be provided to anyone requesting a loan of the exhibit.

Select river to view the display information in a separate window.

To reserve this exhibit, contact 218-733-7586 or susan@thehistorypeople.org

2017 Mike Colalillo Medal of Honor Scholarship

Veterans’ Memorial Hall, a program of St. Louis County Historical Society, annually awards a scholarship in memory of Mike Colalillo, who was the last known surviving World War II Medal of Honor recipient in the state of Minnesota.  To learn more about Mike Colalillo’s military service, visit our website at http://www.vets-hall.org/stories/world-war-ii/mike-colalillo. 


The scholarship is funded by the Mike Colalillo Medal of Honor Scholarship Fund, which is fiscally administered by the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation.  To make a donation to the scholarship fund, make your check payable to the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation.  Please specify that the funds are designated for the Mike Colalillo Scholarship Fund, and mail to: Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, 222 East Superior Street, Suite 302, Duluth, MN, 55802.  Online donations may be made at http://www.dsacommunityfoundation.com/mike-colalillo-medal-of-honor-scholarship-fund.

In 2017, a scholarship award of $1,500 will be given to one student.


In order to be eligible, applicants need to be:


  1. A full-time student who is enrolled in a higher education institution in St. Louis County, or
  2. A resident of St. Louis County, Minnesota who is a full-time student enrolled in a higher education institution outside of St. Louis County, Minnesota.


Scholarship applicants are required to submit a research paper on a topic relevant to veterans of St. Louis County, Minnesota.  It should be a minimum of three (3) and a maximum of ten (10) double-spaced pages in length, including listed sources. Research papers must include a bibliography.


Research papers may address a historical event in St. Louis County, Minnesota, related to a conflict, a war, the homefront or tell the story of a county veteran.  We encourage applicants to contact us for possible project ideas at 218.576.3114.


A minimum of one resource from the Albert J. Amatuzio Research Center must be referenced.  Staff members are available to assist researchers, by appointment: Monday – Friday from 10 AM to 3 PM.  Please call 218.576.3114 to make an appointment.  If you have specific research questions, you can email them to: samantha@thehistorypeople.org.


Applications can be downloaded at the link below.  Completed applications and research papers should be submitted to: Veterans Memorial Hall, 506 West Michigan Street, Duluth, MN, 55802.  For further information, you may contact Kathleen Cargill at kathleen@thehistorypeople.org or 218.733.7586.


All submitted research papers will become the property of Veterans Memorial Hall/St. Louis County Historical Society.  The 2017 application deadline is November 1, 2017.  

To view the scholarship application click on HONOR.

Society Internship Program


Please watch for future opportunities to be posted.



County History

The information below was provided by Patricia Maus, Curator of the Northeast Minnesota Historical Center.
If you have any questions, or need additional information, please contact Pat at pmaus@d.umn.edu or 218-726-8526.
Please click on the appropriate title to view or print the document.
Timeline Part 1
Timeline Part 2

Timeline Part 3
County History 1
County History 2
County History 3A

County History 3B
County History 4

Genealogical Resources 

Select search to view a list of resources for genealogical research.


Veterans' Memorial Hall Educational Resources 


125 Field Artillery: http://www.vets-hall.org/125th-field-artillery-history              


Duluth Naval Reserve History: http://www.vets-hall.org/uss-paducah     


Duluth's First Memorial Day (1920): http://www.vets-hall.org/duluths-first-memorial-day-0                     


Contact Staff:  http://www.vets-hall.org/about/contact



Copyright 2007-2008 St. Louis County Historical Society