Wadena Book Project

The Wadena Book Project involved community members, students and adults, who worked with a journalist, oral history experts, and a book designer to publish a book commemorating the one-year anniversary of the EF4 tornado.

Wadena Book Project
  • Intro
  • Photos
  • Product
  • Learn More/How We Did It
  • Additional Resources

See what people had to say about this project!

"[I discovered] how important it was for the people to share their stories to start their healing."

"[I enjoyed] that people from all different ages can join together and create a masterpiece!"

"It was good to work with a broad spectrum of cross generational people who were interested in providing history."

Click on image to browse all photos.


Wadena book team Wadena final event Wadena final event

“Twisted Together by an EF4” was released on the one year anniversary of the Wadena tornado. All proceeds of the book go the Wadena County Historical Society and the Long Term Recovery Committee.

View and purchase the book.

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Community members, students and adults, worked with journalists, oral history experts, and a book designer to create a book commemorating the one-year anniversary of the EF4 tornado. Participants determined the content, conducted interviews, selected photographs, and designed the book to represent the community’s experience with the natural disaster.

Youth Participants: Beth, Danny, Elijah, Jessica, Kelsie, Sam, and Mariah

Adult Participants: Barb Butler, Denise Ferguson, Allan Lynk, Loni Niles, Ann Pate, Steve Schulz, Jean Siirila, Sara Yetter

For more information: Contact Project Manager Maren Levad at maren.levad@mnhs.org or 651-259-3480.

Background on Wadena
In 1857, Augustus Aspinwall founded Wadena at the junction of the Crow Wing and Partridge rivers. The town moved three miles south when the Northern Pacific Railroad cut through the landscape, creating a boom in commercial activity. 1906 saw Fifty-Two different school districts county wide, fueled by the concept that “no child should have to walk more than a mile to school.” In 2010 Wadena was ravaged by an EF-4 Tornado that destroyed the community center and the high school as well as over 232 homes.

Visit Wadena’s official city website.

Tornado Resources

Tornado information page from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Information about the Enhanced Fujita Scale, used to measure tornado intensity.

Minnesota Public Radio’s coverage of the Wadena tornado.

Pictures of the Wadena tornado devastation

Project Details

Date: February 2011 - June 2011
Partner(s): Sandi Pratt, Wadena County Historical Society; Long Term Recovery Committee; Maren Levad, Minnesota Historical Society, Project Manager
Location: Wadena, MN

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