NCHGS<Red River Museum



Norman County Minnesota Historical  and Genealogy Society

Museums located in Ada and Shelly, Minnesota

Red River History Museum

Museum Hours
Tuesday: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. or
by appointment: 218-886-8895

History Matters!!

The Norman County Historical and Genealogy Society opened the Red River History Museum in the old Shelly School in 1999. The school is a unique 1930's art deco building. It is the repository for the society's military collection. An unique feather in this building is a room filled with five looms. All of which are operational. This museum is one of the attractions on U.S. Highway75, the Historic King of Trails.

In 1938, the two-story wooden Jefferson School (District 18) was replaced by a new brick building. It was built under the auspices of the WORKS PROGRESS AMINISTRATION (WPA) program which provided employment for many who had been left jobless during the depression years. The architecture of the building is Art Deco. It's identified by the rounded brick corners and the use of glass blocks. The total cost to build the school was $46,000.00.  Interior features include a terrazzo floor in the hallway and hardwood flooring throughout the 4 classrooms. The bathrooms had automatic flush toilets and showers. Many families didn't have indoor plumbing, so this was a real treat! By 1993, declining enrollment caused the closing of the school. Looking for a use for the empty building, the City of Shelly contacted the Norman County Historical Society after the 1997 flood and asked if they wanted to use the building for storage. On May 29, 2000, the doors opened for people to not only see the uniqueness of the building but also to become aware of more of the wonderful collection of the society. (Article written in the Norman County Historical & Genealogy Society NEWS, May 14, 1013)
Shelly Museum

  The Museum is fortunate to have five working looms in various styles and sizes. Members weave items such as rugs and place mats using a variety of materials. A class will be offered in October for anyone interested in learning the art of weaving. blue loom
loom 2
  Loom  loom 5 loom 3 

military 3

military 2 
A large collection of military memorabilia from veterans of Norman County can be found at the Red River History Museum.
Volunteers work hard to fill other rooms in in the museum with interesting exhibits designed to educate and delight the visitor. kitchen  Dolls  room


This site is maintained by NCHGS with
the dedication and assistance of the
Norman County Historical and Genealogy Society.
Copyright NCHGS 2017