A Look Back

Each week, we post a new video discussing Rice and Steele county history, presented by the Rice and Steele County Historical Societies. Join us each Sunday as we take A Look Back and learn how Rice and Steele counties have evolved.

A Look Back: Zamboni Boot, Steele County
In the 1920s an Owatonna businessman’s invention enhanced his family’s business and rerouted automobile history in the region. Sylvie Zamboni, son of Carlo Zamboni, and owner of the Zamboni Garage created what became known as the Zamboni boot...
A Look Back: Blacksmithing Demonstration, Rice County
Blacksmith Lou Groth, who performs blacksmithing demonstrations near Harvest and Heritage Halls during the Rice County Fair, shows us how he creates a spoon from a nail. Groth has been a blacksmith for about 14 years and said he got into it because he wanted to “try doing something the hard wa…
A Look Back: KOBK News July-August 1917, Steele County
Steve Groening recounts the KOBK news from July-August 1917. Hot topics include World War I draft registration and Owatonna’s Company I preparing for mobilization. Automobiles also were growing in popularity. Steele County had 1,335 cars as of May 1, 1917, and increase from 980 the p…
A Look Back: Hand-Squared Logs in Log Cabin, Rice County
Check out the ceilings in the log cabin on the Rice County Historical Society grounds. The logs have been squared by hand with tools such as a broad ax and an adze. You can see the grooves left in the beams, and also some of the logs in the cabin’s corner, behind the bed...
A Look Back: DeLorean DMC-12, Steele County
Now on display at the Steele County Historical Society: a DeLorean DMC-12. While it doesn’t have a flux capacitor like the car made famous by the “Back to the Future” movies, and so cannot time travel, it does feature the classic stainless steel panels, gu…
A Look Back: Minnesota License Plates, Rice County
Sue Garwood reminds us to look up for this display of Minnesota license plates. Donated by the Schreyer family, the earliest plate is from 1908 and is made of leather. The collection features plates from every year through 1965.
New episodes featuring Rice and Steele county history are posted to the …
A Look Back: Washing Machines, Rice County
If you walk through the Rice County Historical Society’s Harvest and Heritage Halls, you may notice a display on household items, including six washing machines. They range from a scrub board and tub to hand-powered washing machines to an early electric machine to a gasoline-powered …
A Look Back: Hartwig Garage, Steele County
The Steele County Historical Society’s Dan Moeckly tells us about Henry “Hank” Hartwig, who owned some of Owatonna’s first auto dealerships, and this automotive mechanic’s service coat. Hartwig, a lifelong Steele County resi…

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