Curator’s Corner – May 2012

The museum is officially open, and we’ve accomplished so much in just a few short weeks. It all starts every year, at the end of April, with Clean-Up Day. A couple board members came out on a rainy Saturday morning to help me clean and get things ready for opening day. Jerry Bohm and the STS crew also helped with lots of projects, including finishing painting the schoolhouse, washing windows in the North Porch, and polishing hallways on 1st and 2nd floors. A big thank you to all those wonderful volunteers who help every year get this building in shape for another season.

We are happy to announce that the historical society received a Legacy Grant to redesign our website which was quite outdated. Sarah Kuglin of RV Technical Solutions did a wonderful job developing the website that features history, photos, events and other information regarding the Redwood County Museum and Gilfillan Estate.  Visit our new website at: www.redwoodcountyhistoricalsociety.com. Let us know what you think of the new website by emailing us at: rchsrf@redred.com. This project has been made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2008. Administered by the Minnesota Historical Society.

The Carl and Verna Schmidt Foundation awarded the historical society a grant of $4,500 to be used to paint the front porch on the Gilfillan house. We are very grateful for their support. Last year we received a $10,000 grant from this organization to fund 3 major projects at the museum. The support we receive from organizations and local businesses is very much appreciated and helps support ongoing preservation projects at the museum.

So far in May, we’ve had 3 school tours visit the museum. The first group was from Cedar Mountain in Franklin. This was an after school program and kids ranged in age from first grade all the way to 12th grade. St. John’s Lutheran School of Okabena, MN was in the area for an “adventure day”, first visiting Ramsey Park for a picnic lunch and then touring the museum. St. Anne’s School, Wabasso started out with a picnic lunch behind the museum, then spent time in the one-room schoolhouse, followed by a tour of the museum. After that, we all hiked to Ramsey Falls where they spent some time looking at the beautiful Falls before boarding the bus and heading for home. The highlight of the day was that each child got to ring the schoolbell! All groups had a very enjoyable time visiting the county museum and hope to come back again next year. Our next school tour will be here next Wednesday and I’m looking forward to showing them around.

The Gilfillan site was very busy on May 9th with “Ag Day”. There were approximately 225 kids that toured the site that day; one bus coming all the way from Minneapolis! Delores Berg, Lorraine Tauer, and LaVonne baked cookies for the children in the old, wood burning stove in the Heritage House. This was a real treat for the kids.

Featured in Exhibit Hall this season is the Girl Scout display. This exhibit features 100 years of girl scouting and is presented by Cheryl Hammer and the Redwood Girl Scout Troupe. On display in the curator’s office are books written by Native American, Charles Eastman, a famous author, lecturer, and physician; along with 3 large binders of family history and newspaper articles. Come out and visit us this summer to see what’s new!