The Chaska Historical Society will inspire an appreciation of Chaska’s diverse community today and in the future.
The Chaska Historical Society will stimulate community engagement in history by collecting, preserving, recording and sharing Chaska’s past and evolving history.
The Chaska Historical Society is an all volunteer organization that welcomes your involvement.
The Chaska Historical Society supports the city's values of:
Human Worth and Dignity
and believes in:
Educating Through Stories. Members of the community recognize their part in the story of Chaska and will become more engaged in preserving its history.
Openness. We are appreciative and supportive of new people, new ideas, and new traditions within the city.
Innovation. We believe we need to embrace new and creative approaches in carrying out the society’s mission.
Lisa Oberski, President
A transplant to Chaska with deep Chaska roots, Lisa has been involved with the History Center since 2000. Fond of gardening, crafting, educating and sharing history, Lisa became President in 2015. At the History Center she does a little bit of everything but thoroughly enjoys helping people discover their own history.
Julie Wiese, Vice President
A transplant to Chaska in 1979, Julie has been a special education teacher for secondary grade levels and an elementary teacher in the Chaska school district. Her passions at the History Center include research on historical buildings, oral interviews, tour leader and social media.
Doris Coghill, Treasurer
Doris was born and raised in three different houses along Walnut Street in downtown Chaska. She spent her corporate career as an accountant, auditor, programmer and IT professional before starting her own web mail order business. She is currently the Treasurer and resident "Geek" at the History Center.
Barb Van Eyll, Secretary
Barb moved to Chaska 45 years ago but was very familiar with Chaska growing up as her mother attended high school and her grandmother did her farm business in Chaska. Barb inherited the interest in history and genealogy from her dad who researched his family background and instilled the importance of documenting the past for future generations. Volunteering at the Chaska History Center has always been on her bucket list.
Jeanette McGillicuddy, Board Member
Jeanette moved back to Minnesota from New Hampshire in 1997 to change careers and then moved to Chaska in 1998. She spent her career in the military,(US Air Force) university education and corporate IT. Jeanette also serves on the Exhibits team working on the WWI and WWII exhibit and the recent Why Chaska exhibit. She looks forward to continuing her work at the History Center in IT.
Jay Molnau, Board Member
Jay is a lifelong resident of Chaska. The history of his home town is important to preserve and share.
Rick Engelhardt, Board Member
Rick has been volunteering at the Chaska History Center for several years now. He respects the dedication and passion all the volunteers have to preserve the history of Chaska for future generations.
Kelly O'Neill, Board Member
Kelly is a native of a small rural Iowa County Seat town, similar to old Chaska in size. He and his Minnetonka-native wife Cindy moved to Chaska from northern NJ during the height of the COVID pandemic. A lifelong lover of history, Kelly reached out to Lisa about volunteer opportunities, and they landed on him conducting oral history interviews; both as a way of contributing to the Chaska Historical Society, and his learning about his new home of Chaska. Becoming a CHS volunteer helped make their transition to Chaska a great experience during a most difficult period in our nation's recent history.
After completing his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Iowa State University, Kelly had a 35 year Human Resources corporate career which took him and his family all across the nation. Interviewing great people and learning about local history is a dream come true; and he looks forward to continuing his learning and contributing to CHS in other ways.
Connie Jacobs, Board Member
Connie Jacobs is a retired attorney. While she is not a native Chaskan she has lived in Chaska since 1995. Connie is passionate about history and enjoys historical research, re-enacting, historical interpretation and cooking. She also enjoys talking with people about history and listening to their stories.