Historical Society

Where Our History Comes Alive


Historical Society
Monday – Friday 8:00 am to 12:00 pm MT
Phone: (701) 880-0275 Shirley O'Connell
(701) 595-4360 Harold Bruning
(701) 522-3437 Arlene Wells

If you wish to set up a site visit, please contact Shirley or Harold.

The Grant County Historical Society was founded in 1970 as an organization dedicated to preserving, collecting, researching and interpreting historical information or items. It was created with the hope that it would help future generations learn about and understand their heritage. After formation the society decided to rent land from the Grant County Fair Board and establish a site on which they could preserve and display historic buildings, equipment and memorabilia. The Society acquired numerous buildings and artifacts that are now on display at the property located in Carson just west of the city park. Two large steel buildings, erected by the Society, are used for storing and displaying artifacts as well. Through individual donations and purchases, the Society's historical collection continues to grow and evolve in the preservation of Grant County's history.

Buildings preserved by the Society include: a pioneer homestead tar paper shack, the rural Carl School, and the Raleigh depot constructed by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. In addition, a cream station, barber shop, gas station, the Lane building, and Tom's Shoe Shop, all from Carson's past, are parts of the Society's collection as well. Off site building preservation projects include the Heil School and the Old Stone Church.

Because Grant County's main economic driver is agriculture, many pieces of farm equipment are part of the Society's collection. Many of the pieces of equipment are of the horse drawn variety, but a 1920 Oil Pull Rumely fully operational tractor is one of the gemstones of the Society's collection.

Grant County Historical Society is always looking for new members. Our membership base has diminished recently so we are looking for individuals interested in the history of Grant County to come along side our current members. The Historical Society meets 2 or 3 times a year and annual dues are $5.00 per year. If you have an interest in local history and a willingness to help preserve it for future generations, please consider becoming a member. New ideas are always welcome. 

Available Books
Shirley and Harold continue to collect and organize historical information. They also maintain and make available for purchase books that document Grant County's history. Source material used for these books are archived newspapers and various other sources. We are always looking for new source materials to make the history books more comprehensive.
Some of the books or copies currently available are:
Carson School Annuals ( missing the following years: 1926-37, 1942, 1943, 1945-50, 1960, 1961, 1963, and 2000).
Carson 50th Anniversary
Carson 75th Anniversary
Carson 100th Anniversary
Prairie Pioneers - Grant County History Issued During the US Bicentennial
Shield Book by Carrie Weinhandl
Freda Memories
New Leipzig 50th Anniversary
New Leipzig 75th Anniversary
Grant County - 1925
Hertz Family
Koch History
North Dakota 1879-1927
Tall Tales and Small Tales by Ralph Katu
Lewis and Clark
Grant County Courthouse
Scrapbook of Photos from when the Grant County Courthouse burned
Community Businesses and People (Carson)
Community Businesses and People (Elgin)
Community Businesses and People (New Leipzig)
Community Businesses and People (Grant County)
Anniversaries and Birthdays
Births, Generations, and Reunions
Chain of Deeds - List following owners of each lot in the city of Carson beginning with railroad ownership
Area Storms
Newspaper Clippings 25 Years Ago
County Fair
Germans from Russia Memories
Memorabilia at the Grant County Historical Society
Machinery Displayed at the Grant County Historical Society
Stevenson Family
Grant County Wildlife Club
Elgin School (1925-2000)
Carson City Maps
Grant County Plat Maps (1918 and 2012)
1992 Grant County Survey
Patrons in Grant County (1918)
Grant County Land Patents
Grant County Anniversary (25th and 75th)
Grant County Post Offices and Communities
Birth of Grant County
All Grant County Schools
Shields Book
Brisbane Book
Raleigh Book
Leith Book
Various Books on Different Schools in Grant County
Grant County Highlights (1908-2018)
Centennial Farms
Grant County Centennial Book
Spicer Family Memories
Grant County Commissioners
History of the Grant County Fair
Grant County Historical
North Dakota Centenarians
Trails, Trains, and Old Towns
Elgin Memories (1938-1984)
Elgin 100th Anniversary

Some of these books are being added to and should not be seen as exhaustive or comprehensive in nature.

If anyone has a question, suggestion or donation of articles, you may contact Shirley O'Connell, Harold Bruning, or Arlene Wells.

Scroll down for some photos of historic places and things in Grant County.
Color photos by Hannah Diehl. All rights reserved.

Heart Butte Dam under construction 1948
Brisbane Boxing
Brisbane Edited 2
Carson to Almont Freight Route 1910s 1
S C Lane Land Office 1
Elgin 1
Elgin 2
Main Street Shields
1910 Lark (2)
1913 Lark
1910 Leith
1912 Leith November 12
1938 Grant County Courthouse

© 2018 - 2022 Grant County, ND 106 2nd Ave NE, Carson, North Dakota, 58529
Business hours: 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM and 12:30 PM - 4:00 PM Monday-Friday
Official Newspaper of Record: Grant County News

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