History of the Sleepy Eye Area
In the beginning a group of interested people met in the kitchen of Romona Witt in the summer of 1979. In 1980 a general public meeting was held in the cafeteria of the old Sleepy Eye Public School. From there an organizational meeting was held on May 8th, 1981.
Actual starting date was May 11, 1981 at which time the Sleepy Eye Area Historical Society was given an official seal, letter of incorporation and charter by the Minnesota Historical Society. At this time, the following officers were elected;
President: Pam Krzmarzick
Vice President: Ed Kolbe
Treasurer: Alma Romberg
Act Sec: Judy Beech
Coordinator of the Museum:Rose Horton.
Having no official home they met in the basement of the old Sleepy Eye City Building, in the City Council Office also in the City Building, and the Chamber of Commerce Office. The Sleepy Eye Historical Society has found a permanent home now at the Depot Museum since 1987.
In 1982, the Historical Society took over running the Great Grassroots Gathering - it is the last "hurrah" of summer - held the last Sunday in September. It features food, flea market, and vendor booths. Jean Caspars and Michal Anderson-Lowther were the first co-chairs.
In 1982, a committee headed by Betty Schmidt started the monument beautification project, with the approval of the City Council. They have planted marigolds and roses as needed around the monument every year.
In April 1984, the Depot Preservation Committee was formed and in September 1984 they purchased the Chicago, Northwestern Brick Depot and renovation began. In 1996, the final interior renovation was completed.