About This Project

Alvarado snowAs time passes, a lot of great stories, photos and memories are being forgotten as the town’s early residents have passed away, and many more of us have moved away. This website will serve as a repository of some of that content, including much of the information from the book, Alvarado: A Harvest of Memories 1905-2005, which was printed for the town’s centennial celebration.

Roger Thompson, the book’s publisher and editor, graciously shared his files so that everyone can enjoy the book’s content in a digital format. He specifically called out a handful of folks who contributed to the original books, including Norma Nicholls, George Sands, Norman Thompson, Bob Sands, Floyd Johnson, Dorothy Manz, Matt Edman, Wendell Sands, Ruth Moen, Dolly Erickson, Sandy Dahlstrom, Norma Edman, Milton Sands, Lloyd Nystrom, Ruth Solberg, Charles Ranstrom, Robert Edman, Phillip Edman and Mark Edman.

Many of you will recognize those names, and sadly, many of them have passed on.

We will also include as much other information that we can digitize and post, such as yearbooks, cookbooks, family histories, and other historical information. Thanks to a project by the Library of Congress called Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, editions of the Warren Sheaf, the weekly newspaper for the county, are available online from 1880-1922. The Minnesota Historical Society also has a rich online archive which I’ve drawn from, and I’ve also used information from the fantastic Internet Archive.

1983 Alvarado Minnesota Yearbook CoverI’d also like to thank everyone who has written in with a memory, photo, correction, or a note of appreciation. It’s great to know this work is sparking fond memories.

Feel free to explore the site as it is being built. I’ll be adding content – both from the book and new information that you submit – over time, so make sure to check back often. You can add comments and your own memories on each section. Do you have specific memories of an event or a person? We’d love it if you shared! Also, don’t be shy about making suggestions for corrections or changes.

Make sure to sign up for our email list or Facebook page to learn about updates. Please, please, consider submitting your photos, videos, stories and audio interviews to be included!

I intended to complete this website in less than a month. But as I started building it, I knew it would grow into much more. So I abandoned the idea of publishing a book (for now at least) and have focused on getting as much information here as possible. It may very well turn out to be a multiple year project to get it all done and archived.

If you want to save or copy any of this website’s content, please feel free to do so. This history belongs to all of us.

To find specific content or individuals, I would suggest using the Search box. If you need help locating someone, just send me an email – I might know who you are looking for!

And finally, I hope that this website will reconnect some old friends and remind you all of some great times.

About Me

Dale Olson family Alvarado
I’m Jen Olson. I’m Dale and Dorothy’s youngest daughter, and my sisters are Paulette and Deb.

I graduated from AHS in 1986, and now I live in Seattle, where I own a creative consulting group called Wired Ballywho.

I’ve had the Alvarado history book sitting on my coffee table for years and flip through it from time to time. I also have a couple hours of audio recordings of my grandmother, Hildeborg Olson, talking about the early days of Alvarado. We’re in the process of publishing a couple of history ebooks, and I thought it was a great opportunity to do the same for Alvarado.

If you have any questions or comments or just want to say hi, please drop me a line at jenolson@live.com. I’d love to hear from you.