The Fridley Historical Society was founded in 1985 for the purpose of saving Fridley District 23 School from demolition. This historic schoolhouse is located adjacent to Hayes Elementary School. Fridley is the only community in Anoka County to have its own local museum—the Fridley History Center. In 1987, the Fridley Historical Society leased the Common School District #23 School at 611 Mississippi Street for use as a historical museum, saving it from demolition.
Fridley History Center
Fridley District 23 School was built on the pasture of the C. A. Nelson Tipperrary Farm in 1931. The school later became known as Hayes Annex when Hayes Elementary School was built next door in 1950.
In 1988, the school building was upgraded to be accessible to persons with disabilities, and the rooms remodeled and outfitted for use as a museum. The museum was dedicated in 1989. The classrooms on the main floor are now exhibit spaces with many artifacts and publications preserved that represent Fridley’s history. One room still has the look of an original school room in the 1930s.
In the lower level of the museum is a timeline of Fridley’s history. Another wall has many photographs of Fridley’s commercial buildings in 1949 when Fridley became a village. There is also a large exhibit with many photos of the 1965 tornado. The most interesting images are two large aerial photos of Fridley in 1953 and 1964 (prior to the tornado) showing the community transformed from a rural farm area into a burgeoning city.
The Fridley History Center is the only local community-based museum in Anoka County. It is open 11 am to 3 pm the second and fourth Saturdays of every month and staffed solely by volunteers and is free to the public. We welcome visitors.
Fridley Historical Society
The Fridley Historical Society was incorporated in 1985. It is a nonprofit organization that receives no public funding. The maintenance and operation of the museum and Society operations are funded primarily through memberships in the Society and local fund raisers. The Society has 250 members that include individuals, families, nonprofit organizations and businesses. For membership information, go to Membership.
We sponsor and produce over ten events for the community every year. Many of these events are free.
- Several History Conversations that are telecast on Fridley Municipal Television Channel 15,
- Annual Lasagna/Spaghetti Dinner/Raffle/Live Auction,
- Annual Meeting,
- Fridley Hall of Fame Dinner,
- Kindergarten Holiday Art Fair, and an Annual Christmas Concert.
For a list of events, go to Upcoming Events.
Our Vision 2014
- Update our online presence to be more accessible to our community.
- Increase our volunteer base to insure the continuation of our Society as we move further into the 21st Century.
- Extend the reach of the Historical Society programs and events to more Fridley citizens.
- Produce Video Histories of Fridley Families, Businesses and Organizations. (Volunteers are needed!)
- Create Interactive Programs with school field trips with Fridley school children to engage them in understanding the history of their city.