While the Pope County Museum is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be highlighting historic sites around Pope County. We hope that you can walk or drive to visit these sites while maintaining appropriate physical distancing.
The Fremad Building and the original Pope County State Bank
The Fremad Association building (1893 & 1919) and the Pope County State Bank building (1906) were nominated to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The Fremad Association (Fremad is the Norwegian word for forward or progressive) was formed by Michael, Casper and Nels Wollan and several stockholders in response to the promotion of cooperative warehouses and stores by the Grange. The Fremad’s stores at White Bear Center, and later at Starbuck, were phased out at an early date and business consolidated at the Glenwood store.
First known as the Wollan Brothers Hardware Store, the Fremad occupied a frame structure at the present location in 1874. The business expanded to general merchandise, banking and lumber. The south portion of the current two-story brick structure was built in 1893 and included an auditorium and professional offices on the second floor.
The banking business was crowded out of the busy Fremad building in 1906 into its own building next door. Two years later it was chartered as the Pope County State Bank. The main Fremad building was extended and remodeled to its present appearance in 1919. The Fremad Association was in business until 1949. The Pope County State Bank remains in operation today as Eagle Bank. White marble from the 1906 building teller windows is incorporated into the new building’s décor.
An example of a cooperative company formed jointly by small town businessmen and surrounding farming interests, the Fremad Association played a pivotal role in the commercial life of the county. In addition, the neo-classical revival façade of the Pope County State Bank building remains as a distinctive turn-of-the-century component of downtown Glenwood.