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The original Burnsville Historical Society traveling displayWith limited resources and a limited budget, the Burnsville Chapter of the Dakota County Historical Society created their first traveling display consisting of 4 panels. Shown are the first two.
The original Burnsville Historical Society traveling displayWith limited resources and a limited budget, the Burnsville Chapter of the Dakota County Historical Society created their first traveling display consisting of 4 panels. Shown are the last two.
After a lull, it's time again to chart Burnsville history 2011The March 4, 2011 Burnsville Thisweek reports on the plan to re-start the Burnsville Historical Society. An effort is underway to revive the level of interest in Burnsville History that has produced two books one in 1976 and one in 2000. Burnsville used to have a chapter of the Dakota County Historical Society in the 1970s which disbanded after completing a number of other projects.
April 1, 1968 Burnsville school's history effortsIn a memo to Charlene Jordan from Darrell Miller -In response to your request for professional leaves of absence for a field exploratory trip by the History of Burnsville Committee, your request is approved....

Cedar Avenue Bridge preserved in art Jan 1981The Dakota County Historical Society's Over the Years Jan, 1981 reports on the Burnsville Chapters history through art project with Burnsville High School students. According to Tina Robertson, then president, the chapter wants to involve students, so they invited John Welckle, a Burnsville teacher to the Board of Directors. The Chapter then contacted Bill Beehler, to see if students might be interested in the project.
Index to tape Historical conversation about Burnsville HistoryBurnsville resident Betty Mae Lannon Sodomka often brought long time Burnsville residents together to remember their history and that of the town. Notes from the late 1960s or early 1970s outlines a tape made including residents - Grace and Ollie Kohls, Pat and Mary Connelly, Bill Connelly, Jim and Anna Connelly, Bill and Helen Lannon and Leo and Josephine Lannon.
The information she preserved would be useful in the production of the Burnsville 76 A Community History book.
You are Burnsville's history 2 pagesAugust, 1979 Letter the Burnsville Historical Society mailed to area businesses and organizations to enlist their involvement in local history. Included is a note to then member Betty Sodomka from Jack Kennelly.
Bethel student writes article on history of Burnsville 1970sBecky Bloom of Dearborn Heighs Michigan, a student at Bethel College, St. Paul often visited her aunt and uncle the Dunn's who lived in Burnsville and elected to write term paper on Community Growth using Burnsville.
Burnsville Historical Society brochure 2015 One of the informational brochures created by the Historical Society.
Burnsville Historical Society Exhibition 2013Poster announces the Historical Society's exhibit at the Ames Center Gallary.
A History of Burnsville 1868 (2 pages)Title: Dakota County. by Mitchell, W. H.
Published in Minneapolis, Tribune printing company, 1868 includes a history of Burnsville.
Burnsville Historical SocietyFirst organized in 1980 as a chapter of the Dakota County Historical Society, the groups motto was There's history in the making. This brochure was available at a traveling photo display and read: We hope you enjoyed viewing our display of the History of the Burnsville area. The Chapter was formed in 1980 and since that time we have been involved in three major projects - the reprinting of Burnsville 76 A Community History, sponsoring educational meetings and this photo display....
A history of Burnsville 1977A summary of Burnsville's history published by the Sun Newspapers.
Burnsville Historical Society 2012A flyer for the Burnsville Historical Society - using a map showing 1879 - 1916 and 2012
Right now the Burnsville Society is getting a fresh start and re-organizing. We're the newest chapter of the Dakota County Historical Society and its going to be a fun year. We need members from 16 to 106 years of age - Materials - your photos, documents and stories that need telling - Business Support - as us how you can partner with us in some exciting projects - Individual support - Your donation will help us reach out to strengthen Burnsville... Kick off meeting September 20, 2012.
Burnsville History Comes Alive 2013Burnsville Sun/This Week News January 11, 2013 provides photos and a follow-up story to the Historical Society's exhibit at the Ames Center.
Burnsville History group revisits 1939 (2 pages)John Gessner, This Week News, reports on the May 8, 2014 opening of the Burnsville Historical Society's Burnsville in 1939.

Eldon Kohls, who was born in 1933 is interviewed and the article includes a photo of John DeShaw at his family farm (now the site of the MInnesota Valley YMCA). Also interviewed, Leo Martin who arrived in Burnsville in 1941 and the Chapter's Vice President Jeff Jerde.
Burnsville chapter of the Dakota County Historical Society 1981Minutes from the April 23, 1981 Board of Directors Meeting. Len Nachman reports that Tina Robertson (president) has had a job change and moved to Minneapolis needing to resign as President. Jack Kennelly was named Acting President until the next annual meeting.
Burnsville looks back at a rich history 2000Thisweek News writer John Gessner looks back at this history of Burnsville in this transcript of an article appearing January 7, 2000.
Burnsville's 50th AnniversaryThe 2014 - 2015 City of Burnsville Guide, produced by Sun/Thisweek News features Burnsville celebrating 50 years in 2014. While settled in the 1800's this is the anniversary of Burnsville's decision to incorporate as a city.
Burnsville Historical Society web banner 2017The graphic appearing on the 2017 website for the Historical Society.
Burnsville Historical SocietyThe poster designed for the 2014 exhibit at the Ames Center.
History in the Making in 'Burnsville - theme of New Historical ChapterIn the April, 1980 OVER THE YEARS newsletter for the Dakota County Historical Society, editor A. Smeby Sr. reports on the approval of a Burnsville Chapter of the Dakota County Historical Society. At their first official meeting February 26, 1980 Tina Robertson was elected president, Len Nachman - vice president, Jack Kennelly - secretary, Jim Kearney Treasurer and Jim Smith and John Welckle trustees.
Burnsville Chapter of Dakota County Historical Society begins 1980An early press release published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune announces the creation of the Burnsville Chapter of the Dakota County Historical Society. The first president is Tina Robertson.
A history of Burnsville by Connie Morrison 1976In celebration of the Bicentennial, the Dakota County Tribune published a number of articles on the history of various towns including Burnsville. (2 pages)
History of Burnsville Township (undated)Prior to 1964, Mrs. Louis Gramsey wrote a history of Burnsville for the Dakota County Tribune.
Burnsville Historical SocietyThe poster for the Burnsville Historical Society's 2015 Exhibit at the Ames Center.
Burnsville History exhibition opens Jan 4, 2013December 28, 2012 This Week News reports on the Burnsville Historical Society's month long exhibition "Stories of Burnsville", taking place at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center (now Ames Center). The following week the newspaper provides photos of the opening of the event.
From the History of Dakota County and the City of Hastings by J. Fletcher Williams, 1881 FIVE PAGESThe first published history of Burnsville - 1881 is found within the book the History of Dakota County and the City of Hastings.
Gramsey history of Burnsville TownshipHistory of BurnsvilleTwp.
By Mrs. Louis Gramsey

The reminiscence of events which have transpired in and about this neighborhood is very interesting, historically. There is a fascination in the study of the intermingled facts and fiction of the past, which is heightened by a familiarity with the localities mentioned.
“Speaking of the Minnesota River, which flows through our native village creates a new inter­ est, when, in imagination, we see the Indians canoe on its surface and the skin-covered tepees on its banks, as in days of yore.”
Many of the folks of today can recall the stories of pioneers who have first settled in this terri­ tory, of the log cabins, straw roofs and rude betterments from which villages, towns and cities sprang up.
Most of the pioneers of this ter­ritory came down from the North, which is now Canada, following the rivers wherever possible en­ countering not only the hardships of bitter cold winters and hostile Indians, but much sickness as well. The first settlement made was Mendota in 1824. It was a trading post of the American Fur Company.

General H. H. Sibley, who was a partner in this Fur Company of New York, arrived in Mendota and built the first stone store and residence in 1835. The stone structure still stands and is, at present, a home for a family who, perhaps, have been unable to find other living quarters.
One by one, families came mov­ing in and around Mendota and westward along Minnesota River.
The township of Burnsville, in the west end of the county, was settled in 1852 by one of the first settlers named William Byrnes. He and his five sons also came down from Canada. Thus this township acquired its name.
More of the first settlers who came about 1850, were the Mc­ Coys, Nixons, McDermotts, O’­ Neils, Woodruffs and many more.
Perhaps many of you descend­ ants of these sturdy pioneers can close your eyes and picture in your minds this community a wilderness of tall trees and under­ growth and inhabited by uncivil­ ized red men. Visualize our fore­ fathers moving by boats all their belongings and then unloading wherever possible to find places for building their future homes. Had it occurred to many of us in thought, what hardships those pioneers endured!
The township of Burnsville it­ self was definitely organized on May 11, 1858. Its boundaries are as follows: On the north, by the Minnesota River, east by Eagan and Lebanon townships, south by Lakeville township and west by Scott County.

As I said before, when the first settlers arrived, much of its landwas covered with timber, mostly what was known as oak openings. As the large timber was cut off, much of the thick undergrowth sprang up. Many fine farms are the results of the persevering in­dustry of our pioneers.

The drainage of the town was and still is, excellent, with the Minnesota river on. the north covering many acres during the rainy seasons. On the east, we have an irregular formed lake called Alimagnet, known now as Erler’s Lake.
In the southeast comer of the township lays a much larger lake. The Indians called it “Minnie Elk.” At the time, when the gov­ernment survey was made, its clear and shining surface led to its adoption of “Crystal Lake.” It covers about 600 acres and on the Southwest corner is a beautiful island of about twenty acres, known as “Maple Isle.”

When this country was the home of the “red man” this lake was a great resort for deer as well as the Indian and according to the earliest settlers, (picture this) large bands of red men pitched their tepees on the shores to fish and hunt. At the west end of the lake is a high hill, an elevation of about three hundred feet, which was named “Buck Hill.”

Then the district was organized, and comprised of the whole town of Burnsville having the follow­ ing officers: Clerk, Pat Lynch, director and treasurer, John Mc­ Coy. This building served the purpose till 1867, when a new building of lumber was construct­ ed on the C. O’Neil farm.

In 1862 this district was numbered 16, when by an act of the state legis­lature all the districts of the state were renumbered. The new of­ficers of district 16 then were: Pat Moran, director, Mr. Welch, treas­urer, and P. Foley, as clerk. In District 15, their first school was built on the Thomas Hogan farm and later a frame building was replaced in 1879 with John T. De­laney as director, T. O’Regan, treasurer and Michael Coffey as clerk.

The first church, built of logs and begun in 1854, was completed in 1855. It comprised of ten fami­lies under the ministration of Father McMannis.
After Father McMannis came Father Fischer and during his ministry, a parsonage was erected of lumber and during Father Stevens ministry, a new church was begun nearby the present Burnsville cemetery.

There were no records of the town politically, if any kept, until 1860 when the first meeting of organization was held April 3 at the house of James Kearney. The following officers were elect­ed: Thomas Burns, chairman, for whom the township was named; Thomas Hogan and Patrick Har­kins, supervisors, and MichaelIn 1854 when Francis Newel land his family came from Chi­cago, he homesteaded near Crys­tal Lake, now the Holman farm.

The Butlers, having homesteaded in 1856. Pat Harkins settled near Lake Earley, now known as the Clarence Nelson farm and W. Connelly, clerk. Earley, where Wallace Day now lives. McDermott once owned the farm now occupied by Earl Swan­ son and Walshs homesteaded on the southeast end of Crystal Lake, now owned by Fischer brothers.

I could go on naming many more settlers who came and homesteaded in those early days, such as the Fitzgibbons, Lynchs,, Gallaghers, Hayes, Keneallys and| scores of others.

With these early pioneers came the desires not only the thoughts of schools, but religious services as well. The first services was held in the home of Wm. Byrnes 1853 by Father Ravoux, then a Priest at Mendota. The first child born was Kate Kearney, a
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Kearney, in 1854. The first mar­riage united was James Lynn to Ellen Rowan in 1856. The first death was Mr. O’Hara, father of Mrs. John McCoy, in 1854 and the second was'Francis Newell. Both men were buried in a little grave on the top of what was known as Tepee Hill, later called Burnsville cemetery.

The first school was taught in the home of John McCoy by John Mullen in 1856. In the meantime, a log schoolhouse was erected on a corner of Mr. McCoy’s land and in 1857 school was taught by Andrew Carberry.
A special town meeting was called June 20, 1860 and a tax of $100 was voted for current ex­penses of the town. It was at this meeting, S. Newell was elect­ ed postmaster and Patrick Hynes, assessor.
The first road established in the town was the old territorial road known as the St. Paul and Shakopee road opened about 1853. The first town road opened south from the center of section 15, bearing southeast to Crystal Lake and leaving the town from Section 32 was known as Lakeville and Shakopee road.

The first railroad was chartered as the Minnesota Valley railroad company March 4, 1864. This construction from St. Paul to St. James was completed in 1870. This is now known as the Omaha railroad.

The first store was built in 1872 and owned by John Berrisford. Its site was at the junction of St. Paul, Shakopee and Lakeville Shakopee roads.

The first and only hotel called “Lakeside Hotel” was operated by Lewis Judd at Crystal Lake on the north shore on what was known as the Newell estate. His home, then opened to excursionists and travellers, still stands and is now the home of Mrs. Ella Holman.
Historical Society Okay's Burnsville Chapter.Burnsville Current February 20, 1980

The Burnsville Chapter of the Dakota County Historical Society was approved Feb. 2 by the Historical Society’s board of directors.

Christine Robertson, acting 'president of the chapter, contacted the South St. Paul office of the society about eight months ago trying to find out if there was a group in Burnsville.
She was directed to some interested people in Burnsville, they scheduled a meeting and have "been organized-ever since, Robertson said.

A number of people have always been interested in the city’s history. A group of them, under the direction of Richard Brooks, compiled and published a community history in 1976. Since then people have worked on projects on an informal and in dependent basis.

Although some of the new group’s efforts w ill center around the past, members w ill also work to preserve the present for future generations.
"So many say, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if the pioneers had kept more information?’” Robertson said. "But if we are not careful, future residents could say the same about us.”
In order to maintain the theme, "There’s history in the making in Burnsville,” the chapter is urging all community organizations, churches and groups to place clippings, photos and other information in the chapter’s files at the Burnsville branch of the Dakota County Library, 1101 W. County Road 42.
Robertson pointed out that photo copies can be made and the originals returned to the organization.

"Another project we have already begun is an inventory o f existing photos o f Burnsville,’ ’ Robertson said. "Thanks to The Burnsville Current and the Burnsville Sun, recent newspaper photos are being organized and placed in our files.”
Robertson is hoping that villc. Savage and Lagan consider joining the chapter.
see writers, artists and photographers become involved in projects."
The chapter also plans to work with District 191 teachers and students tor
“ We arc looking for supporting members.” she said. “ There is a stereotype as to who is interested in history. We would like to see writers, artists and photographers become involved in projects."

The chapter also plans to work with District 191 teachers and students tor “ We are looking for supporting members.” she said. ideas and work on projects.

(photo caption) MEMBERS OF THE BURNSVILLE CHAPTER of the Dakota County Historical Society have begun working on filing recent Burnsville photographs by sub­ject. The photos were donated by local newspapers.
including The Current. Pictured above. From left to right, are: Len Nachman. Christine Robertson. Jack Kennelly and Jim Kearney.
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