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Lunch with Knute: Douglas County Historical Society to host bean soup fundraisier

It's time again to celebrate local history by commemorating Knute Nelson's birthday with his favorite meal, bean soup.

The annual fundraiser, sponsored by the Douglas County Historical Society (DCHS), will be held Tuesday, February 3 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Governor's Room at Nelson Gables, 1220 Nokomis Street.

Knute's famous bean soup and extras will be served, while guests reminisce about local history and visit with Nelson, Minnesota's only foreign-born governor and U.S. senator (portrayed by Gary Lund, president of the DCHS board of directors).

Lunch cost is $7.50; take-out containers will also be available. This annual event helps fund the preservation of local history and the society's mission to "discover, preserve and disseminate the history of Douglas County and its people."

Historians have written that had Nelson been born in the U.S. instead of Norway, he might have been elected president of the U.S. He was a spokesperson for the common man and greatly respected for the work he did.

Longing for a taste of home while he served as U.S. Senator, Nelson made Minnesota bean soup famous by asking that it be added to the menu of the Senate Restaurant in Washington, D.C. Reports indicate that the soup is still on the menu today. Representatives from the newly-formed Douglas County History Network will be on hand at the luncheon to share information about their specific history centers and historical foundations.

Included are the Evansville Historical Foundation, Evansville Arts Coalition, Kensington Area Heritage Society, Brandon History Center and Osakis Heritage Center. Books and merchandise will also be available.