Curator’s Corner

Now that the museum is officially closed until next spring, we’re busy covering the artifacts in each room to help protect them from the long, harsh winter ahead. Many thanks to volunteers who help me get the buildings winterized before the cold season hits.

We closed out the season with the Gilfillan Fall Festival. There were so many things to see and do, along with great food; including homemade ice cream and assorted pies, as well as, great entertainment. The weather was beautiful and lots of people attended the fall festivities.

In October, the Red Hat Ladies of Redwood stopped by for a group tour of the museum and schoolhouse before they headed to Belview for lunch at the Coffee Tavern. They thoroughly enjoyed taking a step back in time.

We recently spent the day in New Ulm taking in some of the historic sites. Our first stop was the Brown County Historical Museum which was once the New Ulm Post Office. This building was built in 1910 of German Renaissance style and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is one of the city’s most architecturally distinct structures. It has 3 floors of wonderful exhibits. The 3rd floor was my favorite, which featured a fabulous Native American exhibit. This exhibit was recently set in place to commemorate the Dakota War of 1862.

The “Gag” House was a great place to visit. This house was designed and built by Anton Gag in 1894. Anton was of Bohemian descent and was a photographer, artist, painter and decorator of homes, churches and buildings. His art works are displayed at the Brown County Historical Society, Defender’s Monument, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Turner Hall, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church near Zumbro Falls, and in private collections.

We ate lunch at Turner Hall in the “Ratskeller”. The walls are covered with beautiful, hand-painted murals of scenes from Switzerland, Italy and Germany; painted by an Italian artist in 1873. The murals were restored in 1999. Our next stop was the “Lind” House, once the home of Governor John Lind, the 14th governor of MN. We were unable to tour the inside as there was a private activity going on at the time.

On our way home we stopped at the Harkin Store; a general store from the late 1800s that overlooks the MN River. About 40% of the inventory is original and it operated from 1870 to 1901, when its post office function was usurped by rural free delivery to the area farmers. It is now owned by the MN Historical Society.

There is a correction to the story in last month’s issue regarding the log cabin that sits in the Belview Park. The log cabin was moved from the “Christ Olson” farm in Swedes Forest to the Belview Village Park on July 8, 1922. Christ Mardal was the supervisor on the project. The cabin was dismantled and each log numbered and reassembled in the new location in exact order to keep the cabin in its original shape. A fireplace was put in as close to the former one as possible. Christ Mardal received $25 for 66 hours of work on the cabin and $17.50 for the mason work.

During the month of November our gift shop will be open from noon to 4 pm for your holiday shopping. We have lots of great gift ideas. The MN Historical Map, featured in last month’s newsletter, makes a great gift and has been selling very well.

The 2011 season was a great success and I wish to thank all our volunteers who worked on special projects and events. A big thank you to those people from the community who loaned items for the “History of Towns and Townships” displays and to everyone who came out to share in the fun at our summer programs. I’m already looking forward to next summer for more good times. This will be the last newsletter of the season. Look for the next one around May 2012. Wishing you all a wonderful and safe holiday season!

Until next time,

Pat Lubeck