VUC Donation to the Sand Hill Settlement Historical Society

Jul 21, 2023

    Once again, Valley United Co-op teamed up with Land O’Lakes to provide a donation to the Sand Hill Settlement Historical Society Museum in Climax, MN. Location Manager, Dan Nelson, presented the check to the committee on July, 20,2023.

    Valley United acquired an old Cenex gas station building with the purchase of the Climax, MN agronomy location in December 2022 and gifted it to the society, this past month, for a museum as well as $5,000.00 with a matching donation from Land O’Lakes for a total of $10,000.00. This donation was especially important to Valley United Co-op and CEO, Paul Coppin, because the museum will be able to provide historical knowledge about local co-ops to community members.

    The Sand Hill Settlement Historical Society supplies a collection of historical buildings that give visitors a look at life from earlier times. For example, the society is establishing a “working pioneer farmstead,” by maintaining the 1871 homestead of Ole O. Estenson, a pioneer in the Red River Valley. The homestead includes the Estenson’s barn and cabin that the Estenson’s lived in during the pioneer days.

The lists below include the topics that will also be exhibited at the museum and all the local co-ops that will be featured.

Topics for Exhibits of Local and Historic Relevance
  • Co-op spirit in Climax, NW Minnesota
  • Noel Estenson, CEO of CHS Biography
  • Hunting on the Prairie
  • Old Settlers Picnic, Frog Point Park, Belmont, ND
  • Weather Hazards- Blizzards, Floods, and Tornados
  • LaGuardia Day, Climax, MN April 26, 1946
  • Confluence of the Sand Hill and Red River of the North
  • Draining the Beltrami Swamp
  • Sand Hill Watershed
  • Native Prairie Plants
  • Town Bands and Music
  • Farm Tools and Machinery
  • Sugar Beet Industry in RRV
  • Gunder Dale Biology and Rural Electrification
Local Co-ops
Climax Co-op Creamery                          1903-1920
Climax Co-op Mercantile                        1911-1925
Climax Credit Union                                 1953-present Acquired Crookston-1969 Beltrami-1970 Sherak-1972 Warren-1974 Kittson Co-1994, named Agassiz Federal
Climax Grain Co-op Association            1939-1994
Climax Potato Company                          1917-1997 Merged with Minnkota Potato Co
Climax Shipping Association                  August Linblad, mgr. Livestock and farm produce
Farmers Co-op Elevator Climax            1927-1939
Estenson Stud Co-op                                1892-until Grand Tender was ‘out of service’
Farmers Union Oil Company                 1935-200?
Halstad Telephone Company                 1904-present merger of Belmont, Buxton, Reynolds, and Climax Exchange (1902)
Red River Valley Co-op Power               1939-present
Valley United Co-op                                  2018-present
Vineland-Huntsville Mutual Ins Co      1884-present

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