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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Day Trip to MN History Center

* Saturday May 6, Free Tour to St. Paul *

The Glenwood Public Library is taking a trip!  This FREE bus tour on Saturday, May 6, leaves Glenwood promptly at 8:00 AM for a day at the Minnesota History Center.  There is NO COST for this tour.  Registration is on a first come, first served basis.  Register for the trip at the Glenwood Public Library or with a call to 320-634-3375.

The feature of the day is the new “THEN, NOW, WOW!” exhibit at the History Center.  You may also enjoy more exhibits like World War 1 America, The Greatest Generation, Weather Permitting, Penumbra Theater, Grainland and Open House: If These Walls Could Talk.

This is a great opportunity to get your “history fix” while we completely change up the exhibits at the Pope County Museum.  We’re on schedule to open up again by May 15.  An open house is in the works for later in June.

The Bus will be back in Glenwood at 5:30 pm.  This Free Bus Tour is sponsored by the Glenwood Public Library and Viking Library System with funds from Minnesota’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.

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Time Lapse Footage

Here is a great video of the entire museum transformation with the installation of the new storage system. 

Thanks, Brent Gulsvig, for all your work recording and producing this video.

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Done! (Mostly)

We are awaiting a few missing parts (such as the garment bars) but the installation crew has left and we get to start the fun job of putting everything away and building the new exhibit spaces.


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Getting closer

The shelves and drawers are appearing.


It’s a good thing we have a rolling staircase so I can reach the upper shelves!

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Wow – That’s Tall

It turns out that KNOWING I ordered 10 foot shelves that would reach up to the girders and actually SEEING 10 foot shelves is a very different experience!


I already have a rolling staircase on hand so we can safely access items stored on the top shelves.

This view shows some of the shelving in place. We have custom shelves for large aerial photos, slots for framed art that you can see in this image. There will also be cabinets with drawers for small items, bars for hanging garments, and LOTS and LOTS of shelves sized for books, banker boxes, textile boxes and for large or un-boxable items.


It is very exciting to see it all come together. It won’t be long now until we get to start filling the shelves with the artifacts that are currently scattered around the museum.

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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Lake Amelia Mill Painting Restored


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.


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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