We're probably best known as those crazy people who cheerfully talk about Chaska's history on the carriage rides in sub-zero weather. Or maybe as the ones who share the tantalizing historic tidbits from Chaska's local newspaper, the Herald, which dates back to 1862. Maybe you know us from this year's "Hauntings and History" tours--or for the yearly exhibits we curate for the Chaska community. Did your class or scouting group visit the history center for a presentation? Were you part of the Lodge for active older adults who toured the community with a historical society docent?
Regardless, we provide many services to the Chaska community--all as volunteers.
That's right. From President of the Board to all of those staffing the desk and running the museum, including archiving pictures and artifacts and genealogical resources for the public to see at no cost, we are ALL volunteers.
We do it because we care. We care about the Chaska community. We care about its rich history dating back 1500 years to the time of the indigenous people who are buried in the mounds in City Square Park. We care about the Dakota who more recently lived in the area. We care about the early settlers arriving in the early 1850s, about the brickyards and brick industry that began in 1857, about the evolving agricultural community and the transitions over time to New Towns and biotechnology and more.
We tell Chaska's stories. We tell people about how the community developed; how change was the only constant. We talk about the civic organizations and churches and community events that brought people together. And we share stories of the hardships like floods and fires and other disasters that also brought people together, even people who otherwise might not associate because of different beliefs or ethnic backgrounds or bank account balances.
We preserve the historic web of support that makes Chaska unique from other, more typical suburban communities.
And we do it in the way our community has always done it: Helping one person at a time. Finding that image of a birth mother for the child who never knew her. Giving Grandpa bragging rights by finding that story in the Herald in the 1940s that tells about his athletic prowess on the baseball diamond. Interviewing the people who lived Chaska's many changes and chose to provide support in the ways they knew how.
And so we keep making connections. We keep recording the stories that build this community of ours from the ground up.
Yes, our community has gone from a 100-year stagnant population of 2,000 to 28,000 today. But we haven't lost the desire to support our entire community, one relationship at a time. Yes, the connections are looser than 100 years ago, necessitated by the greater population. But they're still here.
And we want that to last, which is why we're still here.
We understand that not everyone is interested or able to volunteer at the Chaska History center. We would, however, appreciate your considering a donation to help us continue our mission of serving the Chaska community as it evolves and grows.
You can make a lasting difference.
It's your choice.