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Bringing Vintage Lumberjack Sports to Life

Beltrami County Historical Society is proud to serve a community whose fervor for their local sports teams and athletes is nearly unbound. One of our volunteers quests to archive the history of Bemidji High School and is already elbow-deep in images, building plans, and related documents from across the decades.

Unfortunately, many of the high school's own archives were lost to time and relocations to new facilities; much of what remains is in the private homes of graduates. Fortunately, thanks to our growing network of Friends of History (thank you!!), the Historical Society recently received a donation of 16mm reel recordings from the 1960s and 1970s of sports films from Bemidji High School.

We took the opportunity to select one film for digitization, a 1966 match between Bemidji High School and Baudette:

The donation includes 11 hockey films, one basketball film, and 62 football films. Nearly all the reels are 16mm film totaling 14 hours of footage. We hope to digitize all of the films in the collection and make them available in our collection and YouTube channel. Without a grant, the films will cost us ~$7500 ($100 per film) to digitize and store.

If you are interested in following the digitization process of these reels, please subscribe to our YouTube channel. We also welcome donations to fund this digitization project. Thanks to our volunteer, Ashton, whose passion has pushed this project and our overall Bemidji High School collection forward! -ET

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