About Rebecca Holmlund

Rebecca Holmlund is an instructional designer.

Adopt An Artifact

So many artifacts, so little time…
Would you believe that it costs nearly $40,000 in utilities, facility costs, and supplies just to keep the collection items perched on a shelf and displayed in the gallery? With staff time added on top of that…well, we need your help to maintain the great quality of service to Anoka County that we have since 1935.

Adopt one of the artifacts in the ACHS collection for a year and help with the cost of preserving it at the best museum standards.
Artifact Adoption Levels
Patron Level—$50

Your name acknowledged in the History21 Newsletter and on the Adoption Wall in History Center Exhibit Gallery
Thank You letter from the ACHS Director
Certificate of Adoption with history of your artifact
5×7 photograph of your artifact
One ACHS history booklet of your choice

Benefactor Level—$100

All benefits of the Patron Level, PLUS
8×10 photograph of your artifact, instead of 5×7
Two ACHS history booklets of your choice, OR one 8×10 Jon Arfstrom art print of your choice

Guardian Level—$200

All benefits of the Benefactor Level, PLUS
A 45 minute chat with ACHS Archivist for you and up to 25 of your friends. See your artifact in person, and talk to Audra about

Historical Artifact Donations

Notice: There is a moratorium on Artifact Donations for the months of January and February, 2018. Exceptions include any artifacts being donated as part of our Recent Veterans History Project. Please contact the ACHS Archivist if you have any questions. Thank you for your patience!

The Anoka County Historical Society accepts many different kinds of artifacts; everything from paper, to clothing, to furniture. However, our resources to accept, process, and preserve artifacts are limited; we only have so much space, money, and time. For this reason, our Collection Policy lays out some strict criteria than must be considered for any artifact offered to the Collections at ACHS:
Relation to Anoka County History
The artifact(s) must be related to Anoka County in some meaningful way. If it doesn’t have an Anoka County connection, we are not able to accept it here – no matter how interesting an artifact it is.

Historical Context
The artifact(s) should have a story. Stories provide the historical context that makes artifacts interesting and helpful in the future. Who created this item? Who bought or owned it? How old is it? What was it used for? How did it come to you the current owner? If we cannot answer at least

Getting It Done: Anoka County’s Answer to WWII

A new exhibit at the History Center remembers those of the greatest generation who served both overseas and on the homefront.
The exhibit, Getting It Done: Anoka County’s Answer to WWII, begins with a vignette of a 1941 living room, complete with newspaper and radio announcing the news of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Visitors can then follow the escalating involvement of the USA into the war, experience rationing and salvaging efforts, the Red Cross, and the popular Victory Gardens. The influx of women into the workforce, the conversion of local businesses like Federal Cartridge and Northern Pump to produce large quantities of munitions for the war, and other personal stories will round out the visitor experience.

In a gallery space reserved for nearly 15 years to honor those who served in the United States military, the opening of Getting It Done: Anoka County’s Answer to WWII will highlight the experiences of family and friends who served overseas during this, the 75th anniversary season of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Artifacts on display include knitted red socks and the book of approved patterns, a radio that delivered the news, a banner awarded for the determined war bond effort, and the massive story

2015 Anoka County Historical Society Annual Report

The 2015 Anoka County Historical Society Annual Report is available to view and download.
Executive Director’s  Letter
My first unofficial, official appearance for the ACHS as Executive Director occurred at the Annual Meeting last year. Not quite on the payroll, yet hired for the position, I attended not knowing what to expect. I found a room full of curious, enthusiastic people happy to welcome me to an organization I have come to treasure dearly this past year.

To say the job has met my expectations is a lie–it has surpassed them entirely! From the staff who strive daily to present the best information and public face of local history to the Board members tasked with long-term vision and the donors who loyally provide ACHS with their time, talents, and financial support, I am proud to call this museum my work home. In this report you’ll find a synopsis of 2015 that of course can’t say it all, but sure tries hard to represent the highlights of the year. As we leave the “getting-your-feet-wet” year behind and launch into the “what-are-the-possibilities” year of 2016, I thank you for continuing to journey with us through the past, the present, and into the future!

Rebecca Ebnet-Mavencamp, ACHS Executive Director


Natalie Haas Steffen Recognized at ACHS Event

Natalie Haas Steffen has worked in the health and human services arena for more than 50 years. Becoming one of Anoka County's first two female County Commissioners in 1983, she has since served at the local and state level in numerous capacities. To celebrate this pioneer in local and state politics, the Anoka County Historical Society hosted a Recognition Dinner for Ms. Haas Steffen on September 17, 2015 at the Courtyards of Andover.

Oral History Collection

Did you know that our oral history collection contains more than 250 interviews? Interview topics include World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and memories of Anoka County people, places and events from long-time county residents. All oral interview audio files are available in the ACHS Reading Room, and we have a number of typed transcripts available online. Find out more about our Oral History Collection.

Ghosts of Anoka Tours are Back for 2014

The very popular “Ghosts of Anoka” walking tours are now scheduled for Thursdays and Saturdays. Additional tours will be held through October. See the Ghost Tour information page for details.