Crow Wing County Historical Museum and Library
The Crow Wing County Historical Society Museum and Library is located in Brainerd, Minnesota. The museum has been restored with many donated county artifacts and furniture. The historic sheriff's residence was built in 1917 and at the time had electricity, central heat, and hot and cold running water, so the home was very modern for its time. Connected to the home is the Crow Wing County Jail. The jail was open from 1917 to the late 1960s and contained 13 cells. After it closed in the 60s, it was originally planned to be torn down, but citizens felt that it should be saved for display. There are three levels of the museum to show different parts of Crow Wing County history. The first level displays the logging exhibit, which was the first big settlement industry. The second level shows the railroad exhibit. The third level shows the community exhibit, with farming artifacts and historic paintings. There are also Native American and mining exhibits. The research library receives many visitors who are studying genealogy or in journalism, doing a project for a class, etc. to learn a wealth of information.
Backstory and Context
Brainerd, where the museum is located, (as a township) was the idea of the Northern Pacific railroad president John Gregory Smith as he named it after his wife, Anne Eliza Brainerd Smith.