Lake Amelia Mill Painting Restored

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Damaged painting before restoration.

The Pope County Museum is pleased to present a fully restored painting of the Lake Amelia Grist Mill.  The work was completed with funds from an Arts & Cultural Heritage grant awarded through the Minnesota Historical Society.  The extensive repairs to this painting have taken six months to complete.  The work was done by professional conservators of the Midwest Art Conservation Center at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

The Lake Amelia Mill was located between Glenwood and Villard at the south end of Lake Amelia on the Chippewa River.  It was operated by Enoch West from 1875 to 1888.  The village of Glenwood had a small mill, but poor water supply led to construction of other mills in the area with stronger, more reliable water power.  The Lake Amelia Mill was an important facility for area settlers and early farmers.  It could produce up to 25 barrels of flour per day compared to the 5 barrels of flour that the Glenwood mill produced.  There are many stories of early settlers walking or skiing to St. Cloud for flour in the days before local mills.

The Lake Amelia Mill allowed farmers to convert wheat to flour not only for their own use, but also provided a local market for their extra wheat.  Before the first railroad came to Pope County in 1882, it was difficult to get crops to market outside of the county.  The Lake Amelia Mill and the other small, local mills marked the transition from subsistence farming to a cash crop system in which wheat was king.

Though the artist did not sign the painting, it follows the technique of itinerant artists of the time. Restoration of this painting was a local priority because it is the best image available of this mill. Another unique quality of this painting is its color.  Photographs of the 1880’s were limited to black and white. We also learn from this painting the breed of sheep raised in Pope County at that time.  The restored Lake Amelia Mill painting is on display at the Pope County Museum during regular hours, Tuesday – Saturday, 10-5.

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Cleaned and repaired painting without frame.

This project has been financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society.

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Rail Installation

Today we are getting the rails installed. The green line along the back is a laser that they are using to make certain the rail is absolutely level.

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This project has been financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society.

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Progress!

We are all ready for the new storage system. The air duct is moved, the new lights are in, and the ceiling is painted. We have decided to scrape and paint the far wall while the installation is going on since we have everything moved out of the area. Why not add a few more tasks to the list?

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Today, the pallets arrived! It is fun to see all the pieces get lined up and ready for the installation next week.

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We will have big changes to report next week. Stay tuned.

This project has been financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society.

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What’s behind the curtain?

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The prep work continues at the museum. The duct work has moved, the new lighting is installed. Today the ceiling is getting painted, next week the floor will be stripped and waxed. Then the fun really starts!

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This project has been financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society.

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Starting with a “Clean Slate”

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We have a clean slate!
The central exhibit walls are all down – ready for the utility changes and the installation of the new artifact storage system. Then comes the fun part – creating new exhibits!

In the meantime…we are enjoying imagining fun things to do with the big empty space, such as inviting the Laker dance team to practice – or holding our own dance – maybe some bowling?

We will keep you posted on our progress.
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Merlin, Brent and Ann taking a moment to celebrate the “Clean Slate.”

 

This project has been financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New year from the Pope County Museum!
2017 will bring big changes to the museum.

We are busy beavers here, renovating exhibits and preparing for our new storage system. This project has been financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society.

Here’s a sneak peek at what the museum looks like right now. Artifacts are packed moved to the perimeter of the building and the old exhibit walls are coming down.

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Thank you notes

One of my favorite parts of my job is giving school tours. It is great to share stories with kids and get them excited about history.

Many schools have students write thank you notes afterwards. The last batch of thank you notes was especially fun.

Here are a couple of my favorites!

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I especially like the drawings because I can identify the different objects and exhibits that the students remembered.

To all the students – thank you for visiting us. You are the reason we exist. We are saving the past and present – for you… the future.

Come see us again soon!

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