The arrival of passenger train service to Alexandria in 1879 opened the entire region to growth and tourism. Most visitors were focused on outdoor activities and it wasn’t long before Alexandria’s bountiful lakes were heralded as “Minnesota’s Bass Fishing Capital”. Back then the bass was king! They were plentiful and anglers loved catching and eating them. Vintage photographs show the smiling anglers with large strings of trophy-sized bass posed on the shores of the area’s lakeside hotels. The northern pike, sunfish and crappies were also popular. The walleye was, in fact, only found in limited numbers throughout the region. Today, the walleye has dethroned the bass and fishing is as good as ever in the lakes area.
The Fishing Gallery is all about fishing memories. It recognizes local guides, and displays include an extensive collection of vintage lures, rods and reels and other memorabilia. Visitors learn that fishing is a sport with a rich past and a bright future.
The Museum gratefully acknowledges those who have generously contributed the fishing artifacts and memorabilia displayed the Fishing Gallery. Paul Anderson, Al Christopherson, Evansville Sport & Lawn, The Everett Family, Sid Hanson, Patty Hecker, Anne & Rick Holen, Thad Jameson, Joe Koep, The Lincoln Family, Evelyn Bemo Ljung, Terry Niedenfuer, Bud Peterson, Jim Perske, Roy & Patty Wicken