Note from the Director

Hello!  My name is Brian Haines, Executive Director of the McLeod County Historical Society and Museum.  My journey here has been a long one.  I first realized my passion for history in a course at Ridgewater College.  From there I went on to study at St. Cloud State University to further my education in the discipline.  Shortly after graduation I found myself working at odd jobs that had little to do with history.  Finally, an opportunity presented itself when the Paynesville Area Historical Society began looking for a steward of their local history.

I worked as Director of the Paynesville History Museum for four years.  It was a wonderful experience; however, when the opportunity arose to accept an executive position with the McLeod County Historical Society, I could not turn it down.  Though I’ll always cherish my time in Paynesville, the prospects of directing a large institution, and the history of the county and surrounding area made choosing this organization easy.

One thing I’ve learned as a museum administrator is that a museum is not just a place to collect and store dusty artifacts, but rather it’s a place of excitement – a place where history comes alive.  The stories, the adventure, the passion, and the romanticized images of bygone eras are what live inside the doors of a history museum; no one person can deny the animate sensations afforded by a simple stroll through the museum gallery.  If I could only use one phrase to describe the experience, it would be that a museum like this is a “literal time machine”.

Above and beyond the aspirations for myself as Director of this institute, is to do my part to make the museum experience fun.  I hope to bring some new and exciting events to the museum, events that are outside the standard of what museums are typically known for.  To wit, I’ll do my best to offer you the most fun you’ve ever had in a museum.

Though I could go on and on about the things I’d like to do, and the things I’ve done in the past, I’ll part with a short conversation I had with my wife the other night.  She asked, “Anything new at work?”  I replied, “No, I work at a history museum.”

Brian Haines

Director, McLeod County Historical Society


  1. Welcome Brian to your new passion and a large group of people to work with & to support your indevors. Wishing you a smooth indoctrination.

  2. Glad to have
    you in Hutch, Brian. You’re doing an amazing job and your articles are well-written, thoughtful and, I believe, very accurate.
    I have just recently come across a film you may or may not have heard of. It could be a great follow-on to last years successful showings of “Little Crow”.
    It looks like it’s available for film theatre showings if Red and Linda were amenable.

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