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Enjoy bean soup with Knute

The annual Bean Soup with Knute lunch, sponsored by the Douglas County Historical Society in partnership with Knute Nelson, the organization, will be held Tuesday, February 2 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Governor's Room of Nelson Gables at 1220 Nokomis Street.

Knute's famous bean soup will be prepared by Knute Nelson chef, Tom Knutson. Lunch will include soup, rolls, sugar cookies and beverages. Cost is $7.50 and take-out containers will be available.

The historical society and Knute Nelson continue their partnership in providing opportunities for the citizens of Douglas County in preserving their history. Knute Nelson, the statesman, donated his home and several acres of land to the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America in 1923 with the provision that its title be turned over to the church after the death of his only surviving child, Miss Ida Nelson.

Although his daughter died in 1942, wartime shortages meant Nelson's dream of providing his home for the aged became delayed. By 1948, the senator's house was remodeled, redecorated and ready for occupancy to serve older adults. In 1985 the house was donated to the historical society and became its headquarters. The house was moved to its current location on Nokomis Street.

Building improvements and expansion of Knute Nelson, the organization, has continued throughout the years. In 2009 Knute Nelson donated the parcel of land just south of the historical society headquarters to the society. Plans are under way to develop a history center in the future.

"Knute Nelson has provided an opportunity for us to begin realizing our dream to build in the future," said Rachel Barduson, executive director of the historical society. The partnership of Knute Nelson and the historical society continues.

Plan now to have a delicious lunch and support the mission of the historical society to discover, preserve and disseminate the history of Douglas County and its people. Pay at the door. Eat in, or plan to "take-out" with containers available for the complete lunch.