Vintage loom

Since our floor loom is getting warped (re-strung) this week, I thought I would do a bit of research on it.


Donated by Jerrold Ness and Mrs. Francis Fielder, the loom was used by Mrs. P.M. Danielson of Cyrus, MN. It was hand made in the early 1880’s. There are no nails or screws in the original parts, but some repairs have been made over the years. It is held together by pegs and can be disassembled to take it through doorways.

Emily Westberg Danielson (Mrs. P.M) was born in Sweden in 1865 and came to America in 1881. She settled in Sauk Center, where she met at married Peter M. Danielson. They moved to Cyrus in 1884 where Peter opened a blacksmith shop. They had 12 children. She passed away in 1935. The loom was donated to the Pope County Museum by her grandchildren, Jerrold Ness and Mrs. Francis Fielder.

The loom is a machine for weaving cloth, or in this case, rugs.
String – or “Warp” is wound around the warp beam at the back of the loom. Then it is threaded through the “Heddles” – the parallel guides at the center of the loom. The heddles are alternately raised an lowered by the foot treadles. Pressing one treadle raises alternate warp threads, while lowering the other threads. The other treadle does the opposite. When the warp threads are thus separated, the weaver can pass a shuttle between them. The shuttle carries the weft material that is woven into the warp threads. The reeds in the front of the loom keep the warp evenly spaced.



Image from Wikipedia.


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We rely on our volunteers here at the museum. Some people spend a little time with us each week, others help out on specific projects. I thought I’d highlight what we have going on this morning:

Phyllis, our collection volunteer and tour guide, is conducting an inventory of items in the drawers of the new storage system. We need to update our database with the new locations of each item in the collection. 004.JPG

Gavin, our summer intern, is writing our weekly newspaper column with highlights on what happened 100 years ago in Pope County. This afternoon he will continue working on an exhibit featuring the Masons and Eastern Star.006.JPG

Mary, our board member and genealogy expert, is answering family history questions for researchers. She is an Ancestry ninja and can often solve family history mysteries.007.JPG

And we have a special guest volunteer today. Lisa is here “warping the loom” so we can use it for demonstrations again. I am thrilled that she has taken the time to visit us and help us get our vintage rug loom in working order once again.003.JPG

These are just a few of the wonderful people who donate their time and talents to the Pope County Museum.



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School House Roof

The north side of the school house is nearly complete. It looks great and smells so good. We have enjoyed the sharp scent of cedar all week!



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Schoolhouse Roofing Project

We are pleased to welcome Northern Bedrock Historic Preservation Corps back for their second year. This year’s team will be re-roofing the Pleasant Hills School here on our museum grounds.

Pope County’s own Tim Lang will be serving as project manager and instructing the students as they learn preservation skills while restoring our historic schoolhouse.






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Thank you, Courtney

CourtneyOur high school intern Courtney Grammentz created a new exhibit here at the museum in honor of the 100th Anniversary of America’s entry into World War I.

We are impressed with her work. She completed all the research, selected the artifacts, painted the text, and wrote the labels and signage.

Please stop in and see the exhibit.
Thank you, Courtney, for all your work this year!


You can read about Pope County’s involvement in the Great War in future posts.

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Renovation Update

The storage system is installed and filled with artifacts. Now I need to tell the collection database where each item lives. That is the very last step in the storage project.

Now our attention is focused on constructing new exhibits. Since we had to move everything around to make room for the construction of the storage system, we decided it was a great time to update the exhibits as well.

The front half of the museum and all the historic buildings will be open to the public this summer, but the new exhibits will be under construction a bit longer.

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School Tour Season

We are taking a break from the remodeling project to host school tours. The last few weeks of the school year brings us hundreds of children from surrounding communities.

We appreciate energy and enthusiasm of our young visitors and look forward to this time of year.

With the renovations in part of the gallery, we did some demonstrations in the meeting room and had the second graders try their hand at spinning yarn on a spindle.

The outside buildings are popular with the students. In these photos, the Minnewaska Kindergartners imagine what it would be like to be in the same classroom with their older siblings.

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