Mr. Rue’s or Mr. Airs’ House

Trenham T - LabelsThis week’s photo is “Residences at Mr. Rue’s at the Sulfur Springs” from 1876.
According to J.G. Whittemore in 1940, “This was Stilman Airs’ home on the hill north of Glenwood Fish Hatchery. I remember this place years ago when the Kaldahl boys ran the town herd of cattle. Pictured are George Rue, Mr. Airs, Elder Lathrop, Mrs. Airs and N.W. Scott.”

Some sources say that once Rue proved up his homestead, Stilman Airs managed it for him, so it could indeed be Mr. Airs home on the Rue homestead. An article in the February, 1876 Chicago Commercial Advertiser mentions the springs: “Just below the village, near the lake-side, are white sulfur, iron and magnesia springs, which are beginning to attract attention, and whose medical qualities are attested by quite remarkable results to the invalids who have visited them. These spring surrounded as they are by the most charming lake, forest and bluff scenery, will someday fall into the hand of capital and enterprise to make them a perpetual fortune to the village, the owner and the invalid world. They are at present the property of Mr. Rue, who will sell them at a reasonable figure.”Trenham T

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Mr. Blodgett’s House

Trenham S - LabelsThis week’s photo is “Residence of Mr. Blodget” from 1876.
“Barett E. Blodgett’s home located south of N.P. Hill. Today (1940) the Owen’s home stand there and is occupied by John Cassidy. Pictured are Mr. & Mrs. Blogett and Children, Mrs. Clark and Mr. Samuel Young.” According to J.G. Whittemore in 1940.Trenham S
Barett E. Blodgett was the founder of the grist mill located in the same area, on the hills north of Glenwood.


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Wedding Day

Today was a special day at the Pope County Museum.
A lovely couple said their vows here in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on the museum grounds. It was exciting to see the church in use. And we are happy that they chose to share their special day with us. 

In preparation for the big day, Merlin and volunteer Dave Cooley built a new ramp and entrance stairs. The wedding party made good use of the new structure as they lined up to enter the building.

034Built in 1893 at a cost of $2,000, the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church stood on “Church Hill” in Glenwood (near Central Square). The building came to the museum in 1970 when the Glenwood congregation merged with Alexandria. They still hold a service here each year so that the building remains a consecrated church.

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School Tour Season

Ahh – May!
Tulips and lilacs are blooming, grass is growing – and children are flocking to the museum for school tours.
We had our first tour yesterday when the kids from Woodland Elementary in Alexandria came to visit.

It is always a joy to share history with eager young learners.

In the past few years, we have changed the way we do tours. Today, we have guides cover several “zones” in the museum. I get to give the talk in the encampment exhibit and demonstrate a few Native American tools. The kids enjoy this hands-on part of the tour….and so do I.

002Here is Phyllis leading our visitors through the Helbing Collection of Native American Arts and Crafts. Gail handled the pioneer sections and Merlin guided guest through the buildings on the museum grounds.

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Mrs. Rising’s House

Trenham R - LabelsThis week’s photograph shows the “Residence of Mrs. Rising’s” from 1876.

According to J.G. Whittemore in 1940: “Mrs. H. E. Rising’s home located on Lot 10 Block 20 of the original plat of Glenwood. Remodeled by James Atckinson it is presently (in the 1940’s) used as the Methodist minister’s home. Pictured are Mrs. H. E. Rising and her daughter Etta who later married Peter Peterson.”Trenham R

The house stood on the SW corner of 1st Avenue and 1st Street NE. The tax records at the time list the owner as Mrs. H.G. Rising (not Mrs. H.E.). Henry G. Rising moved to Glenwood in with his widowed mother, two sisters and a brother and was the editor of the Glenwood Eagle in the early 1870s. By 1876, he had moved farther west, so the Mrs. Rising who owned this house was most likely his mother.


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What do you do all day?

I often get asked, “So…What do you do all day at the museum?”

While it is true that there are many hours here without visitors, we are far from idle. I tell people that when we don’t have visitors, we are busy cataloging artifacts, archiving newspapers, researching photographs, designing exhibits and planning events.

The actual reality of a day can seem absurd if I tried to explain it. For example, I spent yesterday afternoon and most of today trying to put a box into storage.

008Let me explain – A week ago today I had a couple of researchers stop in looking for information on the local GAR post. I pulled out the files from the cabinets, a shadow box full of ribbons etc., but had a challenge locating two boxes of GAR records. The boxes used to sit on the bottom shelf of one of the bookcases in our meeting room. The shelf had moved, and the boxes were no longer residing on the bottom shelf.

After a thorough search, I located the boxes on a high shelf in our photo storage room. Crisis averted. But how to avoid the situation in the future….?

We have a database that we use to track all the objects in the museum. Almost every object is listed and we are adding photographs on a regular basis. But – most of the archives are in boxes on shelves and we rely on our memory to locate each box as needed. 006

So – Yesterday I set out to get the Grand Army of the Republic records into the system.

The first step is to look through the records so I can tell the database what we actually have. It turns out that most of the stuff is from the Ladies of the GAR, and auxiliary organization. Membership in the GAR was limited to honorably discharged soldiers of the Union Army, so the auxiliary groups were often bigger. The Ladies here were particularly active.

009I did find a list of the members of the Glenwood GAR, and took the time to add each of their names to the database so that anyone researching those men would instantly know that they were connected to the GAR. Then, while I had the list in my hand, I made certain that each of those men were represented on our master Veterans of Pope County list. Surprisingly, many of them were NOT on the list.

Another document in the records noted that the body of James A. Canfield (for whom the GAR post was named) was moved with much pomp and circumstance from one cementery (possibly the one where Central Square is today but there was another, earlier cemetery as well) to the “Glenwood Cemetery”  in 1884. This led to another bit of research as we have had some discussion about the date the in town cemeteries were closed and whether the bodies were moved directly to the current cemetery or the cemetery near the Soo Depot, which also eventually closed. There is still some discrepancy, but today’s research at least confirmed that the current Glenwood Cemetery was established in 1884 on land donated by Tory Thorson.

Finally, I printed the label and put the box away on the shelf. Now, anytime a researcher wants to know more about the GAR or the men involved, all we have to do is tap into the database, and we will know that all the information is in Box #9 on the second shelving unit in the central storage area. I can pull it of the shelf in a matter of minutes.

While the GAR box project in itself did not take that much time, it was squeezed in between finding projects for volunteers, assisting a researcher look up information on local railroads, finding a new location for the piano that we moved when we rearranged the shelves (this is different from the rearrangement a few years ago that resulted in the missing GAR boxes), updating the weekly “Trenham photo” blog post, scheduling school tours, taking pre-orders for the upcoming Glenwood history book, checking e-mails and answering the phone.

So – what did I do today?

I put a box away.



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Mr. Lathrop’s House

Trenham Q - LabelsThis week’s photo is “Residence of Mr. Lathrop’s” from 1876. This house stood on Lot 8 Block 28. That is to say -the north side of 2nd Ave SW between 1st and 2nd streets, very close to the city park.

In 1866, A.W. (Alfred W.) Lathrop owned the NW 1/4 of Section 7 Township 125, range 37

Site of the Lathrop house in 2015.

Site of the Lathrop house in 2015.

The yellow section is the original plat of Glenwood.

The yellow section is the original plat of Glenwood.

and Kirk J. Kinney owned the SE & NE 1/4s of Section 12 Township 125, range 38. That is a fancy way of saying that Lathrop owned that land that would include 12 blocks of the original in NE Glenwood and Kinney owned the rest of the original plat. They joined their land together and make the original plat of Glenwood (seen here in yellow). The plat was filed December 13, 1866. That date could be considered Glenwood’s Birthday.

Several copies of this photo call this the house of A.W. Lathrop. A.W. Lathrop and his family appeared in both Glenwood and Trenham B - Labelsin Chippewa County – Benson Township in the 1870 census.  By 1875, they were firmly established in Appelton in Swift County. So – it appears that while A.W. was responsible for platting the town, he moved on to other areas rather quickly. According to the county tax records, in 1876 when this photo was taken, the land on which this house was built belonged to E. Lathrop – or Ebenezer (father of A.W.) and was sold to A.C. (Alfred Crofts) Lathrop. So, it is definitely a Mr. Lathrop’s house, although we are not certain WHICH Lathrop lived there when the photograph was taken. Trenham Q

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