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SLCHS and St. Louis County Depot Open on April 1, 2021

New Exhibits and Behind the Scenes Changes

Click below to view the press release with all of the images.

SLCHS and Depot Open on April 1
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The St. Louis County Historical Society will have two new exhibits on display when the Depot opens to the public on Thursday, April 1.

"With the addition of new, temporary exhibits, ongoing inventory projects, new staff, and more programs and events to come, the St. Louis County Historical Society is poised for an exciting revitalization. We are updating everything from our collections management to community outreach!” said SLCHS Curator Natalie Walker.

New Exhibits

· SLCHS is introducing a Veterans Memorial Hall (VMH) Spotlight Exhibit that will feature service men and women from St. Louis County. This free-standing, self-contained exhibit stands near the VMH entrance and is 7-feet tall, 4-feet wide, and 2-feet deep. The first exhibit spotlights Joseph “Joe” P. Gomer, a Duluthian who fought in WWII as a member of the first African American unit of the Army Air Corps. Gomer was part of the 99th Pursuit Squadron (later known as the 99th Fighter Squadron), which was formed in January 1941 in Tuskegee, Alabama. The pilots in that unit were nicknamed “the Tuskegee Airmen.” Some of the medals Gomer received are included in the VMH Spotlight Exhibit.

· In 1963, 12-year-old Harold “Bo” Conrad from Duluth won the Soapbox Derby National Championship in Akron, Ohio. About 75,000 people watched and cheered as Bo raced down the street at 40 miles per hour and won the final race by four inches!

Bo was the only Minnesotan to ever win the Soap Box Derby National Championship. An exhibit honoring Bo is on display in the small Fesler Gallery on the third floor of the Depot.

Behind the Scenes Changes

The SLCHS, through a Legacy Grant, recently hired three Collections Assistants to help catalog more than 80,000 artifacts in storage. The assistants are photographing objects, creating, or updating existing catalog records, and implementing new policies that will ensure the longevity of the collections. They work under the direction of the curator, Natalie Walker.

To facilitate this project, the SLCHS has closed the Ojibwe Gallery on the fourth floor until further notice.

Entrance into the Depot and SLCHS exhibits is free. SLCHS members who show their membership cards can also enjoy free entrance into the Lake Superior Railroad Museum on the first floor, thanks to a reciprocal program between the two Depot tenants.

Memberships can be purchased online at

About St. Louis County Historical Society

Since its inception in 1922, the St. Louis County Historical Society has sought to discover, preserve, and disseminate knowledge about the history of St. Louis County and the state of Minnesota. The Society maintains and operates a museum, the Veterans Memorial Hall and the Ojibwe Gallery, as well as a variety of traveling exhibits. The Society has more than 60,000 artifacts in its collection, and collaborates with six Iron Range affiliate historical societies.

About Veterans Memorial Hall

Veterans Memorial Hall, or VMH, is a program of the Saint Louis County, Minnesota, Historical Society. It is located at the St. Louis County Depot. To learn about the VMH, visit and

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