A watercolor from 1948 of the Historic Forestville site by Josephine Lutz Rollins
A watercolor from 1948 of the Historic Forestville site by Josephine Lutz Rollins
The Friends of Forestville and the Minnesota Historical Society are offering a bus tour Friday, Sept. 13, to the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul for a special viewing of items from the Meighen Store and Historic Forestville, which are currently housed in the society's collection.

A coach bus will depart Bluff Country from three locations: Sunshine Foods, Spring Valley, 7:15 a.m.; Fillmore County History Center, Fountain, 7:45 a.m.; Sunshine Foods, Chatfield, 8 a.m. The cost for the bus and tour is $10 and includes lunch. Individuals may also meet the tour group at the History Center, 345 Kellogg Blvd. West, St. Paul. Registration is required by Sept. 6, whether riding the bus or driving independently.

Arrival time at the History Center is approximately 10 a.m. with the tour of collections beginning shortly thereafter. The tour will be led by: Paul Storch, project specialist and collections liaison for Historic Sites; Dan Cagley, collections manager; and Adam Scher, senior curator. After lunch the tour will continue to the society's oversize object warehouse on Mississippi Street in St. Paul.

To register for the tour, call the Friends of Forestville at (507) 272-0494 by Sept. 6 (make sure to allow the phone to ring until the message comes on).

Historic Forestville, the only state historic site in southeast Minnesota, represents a unique time and place in Minnesota's history. Founded by Felix Meighen and his childhood friend Robert Foster, the town flourished as Minnesota became a state. By 1890, railroads were diverting most business elsewhere, but Felix's son, Thomas Meighen, kept the general store running and served the small community. Today, Meighen's store and surrounding buildings are carefully preserved and create a picture of that long ago era. Since the current program began in 1993, more than 51,700 school children have crossed the historic Carnegie steel bridge to learn what life was like for children in another era.

The Friends of Forestville and the Minnesota Historical Society have begun a campaign to grow the endowment for Historic Forestville to enhance the work and mission of the site. All gifts to the Historic Forestville Endowment Fund will remain with and benefit Historic Forestville.