PHOToGRAPHS & ARTIFACTS
The Chaska Historical Society has a vast collection of photographs, objects, and documents available for assisting you in your research. With nearly 10,000 photographs and over 4,200 artifacts connected to Chaska history at your fingertips through our searchable database in house—in addition to the resources mentioned below—the history center is a must-stop for your research on Chaska topics.
The Resource Library at the Chaska History Center has a collection of genealogies of many local families who have documented their histories and donated their research to the historical society. These genealogies are presented as their original authors created them and are available for perusing during center hours. We also welcome donations of additional genealogical information to help other researchers of present or past Chaska families.
In addition to published genealogies, the History Center has the Bernice Ekstrom Barris genealogical collection. Begun as the handiwork of Barris, who collected newspaper announcements of births, marriages, and deaths of Chaskans over a fifty-year period, these files are available for researchers looking for actual clippings and attempted family tree constructions by Barris. Today we continue to add to these files.
Looking for more recent Chaska area relatives or friends?
Check out our collection of Chaska school yearbooks! We have Chaska High School yearbooks covering 1948 to the present, many yearbooks from Guardian Angels High School, a few from Southwest Christian High School, and a smattering of elementary and middle school yearbooks from the public schools, Guardian Angels, and St. John’s Lutheran. All are available for onsite browsing.
View yearbooks at the Chaska History Center
Edward Glatzel was a lifelong Chaska resident known as the first historian of Chaska. He compiled and indexed a collection of obituaries from local resources which are greatly helpful when doing genealogical research. He wrote additional documents useful for local researchers which are available at the History Center.
Though not yet searchable through the Center's database, the Subject Files are collections of materials dealing with a wide range of subjects in Chaska history that are available for researchers who are focused on a particular topic. Featuring the history of local organizations, businesses, events, ethnic groups, etc., accessing the subject files can quickly put a group of categorized resources into your hands.
Unusual to find anymore, the Chaska Historical Society has actual paper copies of both the Chaska Herald and the Carver County Sun available for paging through and taking pictures of. Featuring Chaska and Chaska area events, government, schools, businesses, industry, community life, leisure activities and people, these local newspapers provide a fascinating glimpse into the past.
The Herald newspapers have an index available through the Carver County Historical Society website and date back to 1862, while the collection of Suns, a short-lived and not yet indexed publication, covers local news from the late 1960s into the early 1970s.
View newspapers at the Chaska History Center
Most of the Chaska Historical Society’s collection of documents, photographs, business premiums, and other artifacts are easily located at the center by searching through Proficio, our onsite database. Our volunteers can assist you in accessing any pertinent resources we have in our collection when you are onsite.
Online access available at the Chaska History Center
Sanborn Maps are highly detailed city street maps created in the late 1800s and early 1900s for the purpose of helping fire insurance companies appropriately determine their total liability. The Sanborn Company maps are frequently used for historical research on local buildings and properties.
The maps have the footprint of each building/structure on specific properties, providing a wonderful look at when particular buildings or parts of buildings were modified. We have copies of these maps that cover “old Chaska,” the downtown area, available both at the center and online.
Other maps are also available.
In addition to all the resources listed above, the Chaska Historical Society has somewhat limited collections of oral interviews, plat maps and other maps, house histories, local church histories, cemetery indices, flood scrapbooks, immigrant and veteran stories, published histories of nearby communities, books by and/or about local persons, and telephone books from the 1940s until 1982.
The Chaska Historical Society collaborates with other organizations to meet your research needs. Quickly connect to these other organizations below:
Tech savvy? Interested in helping maintain and add to these digital resources? Check out the many ways you can become involved with the curatorial process at the center by contacting us by phone at (952) 448-6077, via email or by stopping into the History Center located at 112 West Fourth Street in downtown Chaska.
Curating photographs, artifacts, digital files and other resources is just one of our activities at the Chaska History Center. Our volunteers would be happy to assist you in accessing our database for your research needs!