Mamie’s Legs

In July 1948, two-year old Mamie Fischer of Villard ran toward her father as he used a power mower. She had been sent to the house with the mail, but ran back toward her dad before anyone knew what she was doing. He had been adjusting the power take off didn’t see her when he got back on the tractor.  She lost both of her feet above the ankle.

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Her story was picked up by George Grim in the Minneapolis Sunday Tribune. He encouraged readers to send her cards and to contribute funds. And they responded in an overwhelming fashion. Her hospital bills and the cost of her prosthetic legs were covered.

The hospital room was filled with dolls and toys, which she personally delivered to other hospitalized children.

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She quickly re-learned to walk, using her new prosthetic legs. The artificial legs didn’t slow her down. Here is a photo of her rollerskating!

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As she grew, she need larger legs. In 2012, she donated her first 4 sets of prosthetic legs to the Pope County Historical Society.

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Morning Glory Gardens

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.

Morning Glory Gardens

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Testing the mettle of the Minnesota Conservation Department and a 1961 law specifically allowing Minnewaska property owners to fill in lakeshore lots, Ed Barsness began hauling rocks and dirt to a swampy lot on the north shore of the lake.  Conservation officers routinely advised Barsness and his crews to cease the operation. “We ignored their demands. All we wanted to do was to make desolate swamp land a place of beauty, and in another year we shall make a flower garden out of it, that will be open to the public,” said Barsness in a 1967 article.  He continued, “The name of the place will be “Morning Glory Gardens.” We saw the sun come up over the broad waters facing Glenwood early one morning and the heavens were filled with brilliant colors, full of glory. That is where “Morning Glory” came in. To you, the motoring public, take a look as you go by that last filled lot on this side of the Minnewaska House.  We will have some flowers this summer.”

The Challenge Homes Chapel was moved to the site in 1981.  

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Glacial Lakes State Park

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.

Glacial Lakes State Park

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The idea of the park was conceived by Bennie Signalness, a farmer who lived just north of the park.  Beginning in 1960, 1400 acres of farmland were purchased and park development began. The park has expanded to 1860 acres today.  Located about five miles south of Starbuck, Glacial Lakes State Park embraces a unique segment of hills and a large valley formed as the last glacier receded some 11,000 years ago.  Native prairie plants are a highlight along the park trails. Glacial Lakes State Park boasts a very active Friends of the Park group to promote, maintain and improve the park.

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DNR Fish Hatchery at Glenwood

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.

DNR Fish Hatchery at Glenwood

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The Department of Natural Resources Fish Hatchery at Glenwood has been in continuous operation since it’s opening in 1905.  In early years, the hatchery superintendent lived on premises in the office building. Many seasonal employees stayed in bunkhouse accommodations as well.  The property is ideally suited for the spring fish hatch due to the 95 acre natural catch basin of spring water which flows through the property into Lake Minnewaska.  Concrete bass ponds along the shore of the lake were filled with earth in 1930 to create the boat landing and parking area. The Hatchery grounds were also a popular picnic area in the early 1900’s.

The new Glenwood Area Fisheries office was built in 2017. According the Kraus-Anderson website, “It was designed to promote and highlight sustainability in Minnesota. Every aspect of the building was developed and constructed with nature in mind. It earned a zero energy rating, representing a 100% reduction in carbon producing fuel. The building has earned recognition for its environmental leadership and innovative design, including a 2018 Best of B3 Design and Best of Sustainable Buildings 2030 awards. The project team went the extra mile to ensure the new facility was both high-quality and of minimal disruption to its surrounding land.”

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Mount Lookout

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.

Mount Lookout

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The wayside rest overlooking Glenwood was donated to the city in 1934 by Mrs. E.M. Webster.  The five acre site was developed as a scenic overlook in 1938. Highway 55 was completed in 1938 and the overlook was predicted to be a stopping point for thousands of tourists along this new route.  Constructed by the National Youth Administration, the Mount Lookout wayside rest is eligible to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1948, 200 citizens including 110 children excused from school, and local business and professional men, planted 22,000 coniferous trees on the property.  “They did more than plant trees. They showed a community spirit that enriched every individual who participated and in the same token left a lasting monument for their splendid deed.”

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Holly Skogen

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.

Holly Skogen

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Holly Skogen is a little gem of a park on the west edge of Starbuck.  Privately developed by Arne Pederson, the three acre Holly Skogen pays tribute to Starbuck’s Scandinavian heritage and to nature’s beauty even within the city limits.

By the way, Skogen is Norwegian for “forest” or “woods”, so Holly Skogen means “Holly Wood!

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The Fremad Building

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

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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.

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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.  

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Fremad Association Store built in 1893

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.

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Daniel Pennie House, Villard.

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.

Daniel Pennie House, Villard.

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The Daniel Pennie House is associated with one of Pope County’s most prominent early settlers and is also notable for its unusual grout construction.  Pennie was one of the organizers of Pope County, holding the office of county commissioner for a number of years. He named Lake Leven and Leven Township after Loch Leven, Scotland, his boyhood home. 

A mason by trade, Mr. Pennie constructed this stone and concrete grout house during the 1870s or 1880s to replace an earlier log home. The corner tower was one of his trademarks.

His brick kiln produced the hardened brick used in a great many chimneys in the Villard area.

It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. Read the Application here.

The home is privately owned and has had several additions and improvements over the years.

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Terrace Mill District

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.

Terrace Mill District

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The Terrace Historic District encompasses nearly the entire village once known as Chippewa Falls.  It was added into the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and expanded in 1982. (Click the year to read the full applications for each year.)

The beautiful setting along the Chippewa River lends itself to water power milling. The Terrace mill, 1903, was one of five water powered and four steam powered mills in Pope County.  It operated through the late 1960’s. Some other structures in the historic district include the stone-arch bridge, 1903; Wheeler house, 1873; Moses house, 1873; Coburn hotel, 1870s; Takken house, 1930; general store, 1882 & 1905; townhall, 1906; and Chippewa Falls Church, 1886.  The Terrace Mill is now a cultural center hosting a number of summertime events including a children’s theatre workshop.

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Grand opening in 1904

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Peters Sunset Beach Hotel

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.

Peters Sunset Beach Hotel

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Peters Sunset Beach Hotel was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.  Henry Peters organized a company in 1914 to build the hotel. In continuous operation since opening on June 1, 1915, the Sunset Beach Hotel remains the most visible link to one of Pope County’s most significant industries; its seasonal visitors.  The Hotel’s historic character and craftsman style details have not been lost despite significant change and expansion.

The current Peters Sunset Beach Resort features not only the historic hotel, but also cabins, condominiums, and family reunion cabins. Recreational options include an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, boating, and swimming.

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