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Brainerd History Week: Blast from the past

The fourth annual Brainerd History Week, from June 12-17, will focus on southeast Brainerd. The week runs Monday through Saturday, which is a deviation from past years, when the week wrapped up with Sunday events, said Mary Koep, one of the week'...

People tour the Northern Pacific Center during last year’s Brainerd History Week. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch)
People tour the Northern Pacific Center during last year’s Brainerd History Week. (Kelly Humphrey, Brainerd Dispatch)

The fourth annual Brainerd History Week, from June 12-17, will focus on southeast Brainerd.

The week runs Monday through Saturday, which is a deviation from past years, when the week wrapped up with Sunday events, said Mary Koep, one of the week's organizers. Sunday events usually aren't well-attended, she said, and June 18 is Father's Day, so organizers decided to forgo Sunday events.

Monday, June 12

The first event of Brainerd History Week is a downtown Brainerd history walk. The event begins 9 a.m. at the Brainerd Public Library and will take place rain or shine. The roughly 1.4-mile route has no stairs or steep grades.

At 10 a.m., there is a tour of Brainerd City Hall followed by a noon tour of the Crow Wing County Historic Courthouse.

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At 3 p.m., there will be another history walk along the Mississippi River. The walk starts at the parking lot south of the North Star Apartments and goes to Kiwanis Park, Buster Park, then around Boom Lake. The 1.9-mile walk will take about an hour.

The keynote event Monday night is a night of music through the decades from 6-8 p.m. at Tornstrom Auditorium. There will be live music as well as a slideshow featuring music from the 1900s through present day.

Tuesday, June 13

There will be a children's day parade at 10 a.m. around Harrison Elementary School. A genealogy program at 2 p.m. at the Brainerd Public Library focusing on descendents of original Brainerd settlers.

At 4 p.m., there will be another downtown Brainerd history walk. The event will take place rain or shine. The roughly 1.4-mile route has no stairs or steep grades.

At 6 p.m. at Harrison Elementary School, planning commission member Chuck Marohn will host a presentation on the architecture and geographic layout of southeast Brainerd. After the presentation, Marohn will lead a walking tour in the neighborhood to point out some of the things he talked about. The talk and tour will run from 6-8 p.m.

Wednesday, June 14

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., there will be an open house at the Brainerd National Guard Armory featuring military history displays. Displays include the 34th Tank Company starting in 1936, 94th Tank Battalion in World War II, mobilization for Korean War and deployments to Iraq.

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The Camp Ripley Military Museum staff will set up a WWII display of U.S. and Japanese uniforms and equipment as worn in Bataan. Walt Straka, the last survivor of the Bataan Death march, will be in the regimental room from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

At 4 p.m., the Elk's Lodge will host a Flag Day ceremony at the Crow Wing County All Veterans Memorial at the Crow Wing County Courthouse. A social hour at the Elk's Lodge will follow.

At 7 p.m., there will be a downtown Brainerd history walk. The event will take place rain or shine. The roughly 1.4-mile route has no stairs or steep grades.

Thursday, June 15

From 1-5 p.m., there will be tours of Northern Pacific Center tours, leaving every half-hour from the Clock Tower building. Following the tours, participants can stop by the Roundhouse Brewery or the NP Event Space.

From 5-8 p.m., a flotilla of canoes and kayaks will float down the Mississippi River from a landing near Evergreen Cemetery to Kiwanis Park. Local rental companies will provide canoes and kayaks at a cost of $20 per person, Koep said. Typically, organizers like to provide events at no cost, she said, but a fee for this event is necessary to cover rental costs. Carl Faust will be on hand to provide history about Brainerd's relationship with the river.

Friday, June 16

From 2-4:30 p.m., there will be a centennial celebration at the Crow Wing County Historical Society to celebrate the museum's 100th anniversary. At 2:30 p.m., the museum building will be rededicated.

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Saturday, June 17

At 10 a.m., there will be a plaque dedication ceremony at Shipman Auto Parts, 1711 Southeast 13th St., in honor of the historic Rosko Field airfield in southeast Brainerd.

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