Enderlin Historical Society & Museum



Our Mission

The mission of the Enderlin Historical Society and Museum, Inc. shall be the collection, preservation and dissemination of knowledge about the history of the Enderlin area.

The Enderlin Historical Society and Museum collects artifacts, oral histories and genealogy that pertain to the city of Enderlin and the surrounding community. Among our collections are many historic local photos, athletic trophies, school yearbooks dating back to 1906, early family histories, and Enderlin area memorabilia.

We are working hard to insure the high quality of preservation that our local history deserves. This includes raising funds for museum quality storage materials, instilling professional standards of operations, developing quality exhibits and educational programs.

Getting Started
On February 22, 1967 after Enderlin’s 75th anniversary, ten local residents met to incorporate as the Enderlin Historical Society and Museum. The Jubilee Steering Committee donated all monies and property such as unsold plates, books, etc. to the Society and in November the first officers were elected. By-laws were adopted in 1968. 

Permanent Location

Since that time, several transactions have taken place in an attempt to establish a permanent Museum location. This includes acquisition of the Fingal, ND depot in 1971 from the Soo Line Railroad at no cost except for the moving fee of $460.00.  The depot was placed in Patrick Pierce Park with the intent that it would serve as a museum.  However, due to continued vandalism, the depot/museum was sold to the Enderlin Golf Club in 1976 for $400.00.  In 1972, the Society acquired Lot 29, Block 2, original Enderlin from the city and rented out the garage and lot space for various activities.  In 1990, the Society purchased the Masonic Temple building from the Enderlin Public School District, converted it to a Museum and made improvements costing $13,481.00. This cost,  as well as many, many hours of volunteer time and labor have made the Museum what it is today.  Many artifacts were donated and exhibits have been set up.

Becoming Museum Owners

In 1996, tax exempt status under IRS Code Section 501 (c) 3 was acquired.  Also in 1996, Lot 29, Block 2 was sold in exchange for a new roof on the Museum. At the time of the purchase of the Masonic Temple building, the Soo Line Railroad owned the property upon which the building rested and the Society leased the property.  Later, the City of Enderlin purchased the property from the Soo Line and the Society entered into a 10-year lease-to-own agreement with the city to purchase the Museum property. In 2008, after experiencing financial difficulties, a generous donation allowed the Society to pay off the balance of the lease, thereby becoming owners of the land as well as the building.

The photos below were taken at a May Day program held on the Enderlin School grounds sometime in the early 1920's.

May Day 1920's



As part of the long range planning for the continued success of the Enderlin Museum, the Board of Trustees has established an Endowment Fund through the North Dakota Community Foundation.  The Enderlin Museum Endowment Fund is for the sole benefit of the Museum and the interest earnings are intended to provide a permanent source of income.

After establishment of the initial fund in 2017, all future gifts  help to grow the fund to create a larger income source each year. Gifts to the fund may be cash, bequests, planned gifts, insurance, IRA rollovers, real property and publicly traded or closely held securities.

North Dakota has some great tax incentives for these types of donations and IRA rollovers may qualify as a tax-free way to receive your RMD (required minimum distribution) and support the Museum at the same time!  NDCF provides all paperwork.

Your Museum has become a vital part of the community but your support is essential if it is to continue long into the future!  Please consider the Enderlin Museum Endowment Fund in your planned giving. More information can be obtained by following the link to the ND Community Foundation  www.NDCF.net

Restroom Now A Reality


Thanks to the generous donations of many and to some local grants, the Museum now has a modern, handicap accessible restroom. The project was completed in time to serve our visitors during the Community 125th Celebration and All-Class Reunion held in June 2016.

Thank you for your support and your generosity.


Donations of $500 or More

  •      Joel J. Jankowski
  •       Lola Peterson – In memory of Peterson Funeral Home
  • ·    Gary & Laurel Lindemann
  • ·    City View Fuel, LLC
  • ·    Enderlin Super Valu, LLC
  • ·    Schwandt Goodman Post
  • ·    Ransom County Economic Development Committee
  • ·    Iris Oeder
  • ·    Leo Schall

All donations of any size were appreciated and helped toward the success of the project.


                                 We DID Windows!
        Thanks to almost unbelievable support, all 40 windows in the Museum have been replaced with new, secure, maintenance-free windows!  Through window sponsorships and other generous donations and grants, the total cost of $42,524.85 was raised to fully fund the project.  Installation was completed in two phases with the final installation in October 2012. What was expected to be a multi-year project was accomplished in slightly over one year!  The new windows are similar in style to the original window in order to maintain the historic appearance of the building. All remaining exterior wood around the windows has been wrapped making the windows totally maintenance free.



Board Meetings 
Board Meetings are scheduled as needed. 
(e-mail info@enderlinmuseum.org for exact date, time and location)

Short and Long Range Plans

The Historical Society Board of Trustees has developed a set of basic plans to provide direction as they move into the future. Please follow the attached link to view the basic outline of these plans.

Short and Long Term Goals                     

          Ralph's Red Owl - 1940's
                       Ralph Wavra, Manager 
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