Telling Smalltown Stories in the Streets of Lanesboro

History Alive! Lanesboro presents original history programs in Lanesboro Minnesota. Our Pop-up Play productions feature acting, storytelling, dance, and music to bring to life well-researched stories from our community’s rich history. Our goal is to foster community identity and a better understanding of American smalltown heritage through local stories and the broader national and international events effecting folks across various time periods.

We create new Pop-up Plays about Southeast Minnesota every September which tour the streets of Lanesboro, highlighting a new era of history each year. The various scenes are set at sites accurate to the original events they portray. This is possible because Lanesboro has so many lovely historic buildings and spaces to explore and enjoy.




Upcoming Events:

  •  Pop-up Plays: Roma, Norskies, and Bumtown 1935 – The seventh full-length show by History Alive! Lanesboro. Experience a Lanesboro Roma (gypsy) camp drawn from a Lanesboro elder’s memories and watch a revived of a local Norwegian play from 1935. Meet local ‘character’ Cyclone Johnson as well as Cecil Ward, local journalist, projectionist, and one-woman humane society! Hear how town bankers and farmers survived the Great Depression.

Saturdays and Sundays September 17, 18, 24 & 25 at 1pm and 3pm
Tours leave to the indoor and outdoor scenes from Sons of Norway Lodge, 200 Parkway So. Lanesboro, MN
Entrance is free!

  • The Ladies’ Business – Enjoy a scene from Henrietta Turner’s dress shop and school circa 1869. The scene features live actors in period costumes portraying early Forestville residents, Henrietta Turner and her students, as well as Harriet Stevens- an abolitionist of Rushford Minnesota and Sarah Stearns – first suffragist of Rochester. Requires two blocks of walking. Wheel chair accessible.

Saturday June 25th, 2022, 11am, 1pm, and 3pm
Historic Forestville, 21899 Co Rd 118, Preston, MN
Entrance fee to the Historic site – $8 for elders and under 18  //  $10 for other adults

  • Censors, Swimsuits, & Scandal – A lecture and slideshow with live music and refreshments. From horse drawn bathing machines to the rebellions of beachgoing flappers, Theo St. Mane examines past norms and conflicts around vintage bathing costumes.

Sunday May 29th, 2022, 2pm
Sons of Norway Lodge, 200 Parkway So. Lanesboro, MN
Admission: $15 / Under 18 $5

  • Sunday Best – A historic fashion show with live period music and refreshments. The audience is encouraged to come in vintage attire for this fun event co-sponsored by History Alive Lanesboro and the Lanesboro History Museum.

Sunday May 8th, 2022, 2pm
Sons of Norway Lodge, 200 Parkway So. Lanesboro, MN
Admission: $15 / Under 18 $5