In April 1867 Beaver Falls Township was established in Renville County.
By that time the community with the same name was already flourishing having been founded in 1866.
Once selected as the county seat, the city during its heyday could claim myriad businesses from banks and hotels to jewelry stores, saloons and two churches.
“Beaver Falls had a huge main street,” said Nicole Elzenga, Renville County Historical Society executive director.
After the rail line that would connect Beaver Falls, Redwood Falls and Sioux Falls failed to materialize and the county seat was moved to Olivia, the community began to diminish.
In fact, today those living in what is Beaver Falls have Redwood Falls or Morton mailing addresses. The community was unincorporated in the early 1900s and the population began to decline.
Today for all intents and purposes the city does not exist. Just don’t tell that to the people who call it home or have their roots running deep in the history of Beaver Falls.
This coming Saturday (June 24) a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the establishment of Beaver Falls Township is being held in Beaver Falls.
The events are being held at the Beaver Falls town hall site.
According to Jaen Weilage, whose family has some of those deeply established Beaver Falls roots, the people of Beaver Falls past and present get together every five years to celebrate their heritage, and with the sesquicentennial of the township being recognized this year it made sense to get together for one of those celebrations.
The events begin Saturday at noon with a potluck. Anyone who plans to attend is encouraged to bring a dish to share.
A Beaver Falls history presentation is being held starting at 1:15 p.m., with a performance by the Red Tree Singers, a Dakota drum group, at 2 p.m. Darlene St. Clair will also be offering some Dakota history, especially as it relates to this area.
During the event a silent auction is being held, and according to Elzenga a number of items have already been donated. However, she added, additional items are being sought. Those may be dropped off at the Renville County Historical Society museum in Morton during regular hours of operation, which is from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Elzenga said those who want may also bring items the day of the event. Bidding in the silent auction ends at 3 p.m. Proceeds from the silent auction are being given to help preserve the Beaver Falls cemetery.
“The Beaver Falls cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Renville County that is still being used today,” said Elzenga.
Starting at 4 p.m., a change of scenery is taking place with the celebration moving to the museum in Morton.
A sing-along is being held in the church on the museum grounds at 4 and 5:30 p.m. with Myron Lindeman providing the music in the church. Also that day bluegrass legend Dick Kimmel will be performing at 4:30 and 6 p.m.
Hotdogs, Cajun curly fries, cake and ice cream are being served. Free will donations are being accepted with those donations being split between the Beaver Falls cemetery and the Renville County Historical Society.
Those involved with the celebration and preservation of the history of Beaver Falls and Beaver Falls Township are also compiling a recipe book, and submissions are being accepted. Forms will be available at the celebration.
For Weilage, the hope is to bring people together in an effort to create a sense of place in Beaver Falls and to share memories of the community, so that those can be passed on to future generations who continue to proudly claim their Beaver Falls roots. Volunteers are needed to help with the activities.
To find out more visit the Beaver Falls Facebook Page @BeaverFalls150, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everyone is invited to come and celebrate the rich history of Beaver Falls this Saturday.