The Silent Auction Has Begun

Twas a month before Christmas and throughout the museum
the baskets were waiting – you just gotta see ’em.

The baskets were wrapped by staffers with care
in hopes that the bidders soon would be there.

The Board had been busy, the volunteers too
getting the baskets all ready for you.

Please come in and see them, they’re all though the hall,
The party is Saturday – come one and come all.

Yes indeed – the baskets are scattered throughout the museum and ready for bidding. Stop in any time during the week – we are open 10-5 Tuesday – Saturday. The official Open House is Saturday, December 1 from 1-3. The bidding will end at 3:00. We’ll have goodies to eat and  fellowship to share.

There really is something for everyone. There are fresh baked goodies, toys, works of art, wine, tickets to upcoming events, clothing, hand made items, and gift baskets. There are gift certificates for parties, oil changes, dinners, bowling, lodging, and more. We hope you’ll stop in and see us.

All proceeds benefit the Pope County Museum.


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Archaeology Lecture Nov. 4

Over the last year, Archaeo-Physics, a team of archaeologists, conducted a survey of known and potential Pope County archaeological sites.  A public presentation of survey findings will be held on Sunday, November 4, 2:00 pm at the Villard United Methodist Church, 540 Lincoln Avenue, Villard, MN.

At the start of the survey, there were 35 recorded sites in the county, plus unverified reports of 20 more sites.  As a result of the survey, Archaeo-Physics confirmed 40 new sites.  Several of these are significant enough to warrant further study.  A full archeological dig is being planned for one of these sites in the next year or two.

The Pope County survey identified sites of interest using Lidar topography maps.  The survey team then walked through fresh plowed fields, dug small test excavations, surveyed lakeshores and river banks by canoe, and by walking below the ordinary high water marks.  At some sites, the archaeologists  used ground penetrating radar, electrical resistivity tests, and related “remote sensing” technology to examine subsurface features.

This survey is part of an ongoing effort by the Office of the State Archaeologist and the Minnesota Historical Society to improve our understanding of the long-term history of the state.  Results will inform our understanding of Pope County’s past, guide land management decisions, and help prevent impacts to places of human burial.  The Pope County survey was conducted by archaeologists from Archaeo-Physics LLC, including Dave Maki, Sigrid Arnott, Kent Bakken and field crew members.


Test hole near Lake Pelican


Stone point

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Collection Available On-Line

MALHM Screenshot 2We are thrilled to announce that  you can now access our collection on-line.
There are over 13 THOUSAND items from the Pope County Historical Society available at

Over 90% of the three dimensional objects can now be researched from the comfort of your home! We are adding photographs and archival objects all the time.

The website is still under construction, so you may notice a few glitches that will be smoothed out in the next month, but we are so excited that we couldn’t wait to share the link with you.

I welcome your feedback as we work with the Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museum and the web designer to make MNCollections as user-friendly as possible.

We are a pilot site for the project, and more museums are being added all the time – so soon you will be able to search through collections across the state for objects, records and photographs of your family or other Minnesota topics. The Stevens County Historical Society is another pilot site, so we can easily search for families that live just over the border.

While the site is under construction and a bit tricky to use at first, here is a little guide to get you started.


Getting Oriented

Welcome to Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums’ public website MNCollections! This website lets you explore the collections of museums from across Minnesota. You can browse through objects to see what there is to find, or search to see specific records. Return to the home page at any time by clicking on Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums in the top left corner.


Perform a basic search of all the collections on MNCollections by using the search bar. The search bar appears by clicking the magnifying glass in the top right corner of every page. A search in this box will look through every field in an object’s record. Once you perform a search, you can click on “Full Results” and filter the results for more specific results.

You can search in specific fields by using the Explore function, For example, if you type dress in the basic search, you will get every record with the word dress. If you use the Advanced Search form, you can type “Dress” in the Object Name field and only find records for dresses.

You can see all the collections found on MNCollections by clicking Browse. There will be filters along the right hand side that will help you narrow your search. You can search by a person’s name or a very specific type of object.

You can change the way you view your results by using the icons on the right side of the blue bar on the results screen. The timeline will order objects by the date they were created.


Filters let you make your search more specific by narrowing down your results. You can add filters by selecting them from the column on the right-hand side of your screen. Applied filters will appear in a row at the top of your search results. To remove a filter, simply click the “X” next to the filter’s name.

If you want to see only objects from our collection, select Pope County Historical Society as the first filter.

Registering with MNCollections

This is your chance to get involved! Registered users can create Galleries of artifacts. These Galleries can be kept to yourself, or published to the site so that others can enjoy them.

Once you are registered, we encourage you to comment on object records. Share your stories and expertise about that artifact or ones like it. Correct errors you see. Help us enrich our history by telling us what you know.

MALHM Screenshot

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The Shed Update

IMG_4110Finishing touches on the outside of our new building, “The Shed,” continue this week with sidewalks.  John Whittemore’s concrete crew is replacing the ramps to the main building and placing new sidewalks.  The design calls for sidewalks that create outdoor exhibit spaces for durable machinery.  The exterior wall of the building will be a sturdy backdrop for signs and description too.

A few personalized imprints were left in the concrete.  The date of the work is a frequent message left in building projects.  We imprinted a few leaves and flowers near the fossil rock too.  Minnewaska Schools Sixth Grade will be here next week to put the latest work to the test!IMG_4117

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New Building Update

The interior of the new building is finished. Three walls have a section of “Slat Wall” where we can easily hang items from movable hooks. One wall has a high shelf for displaying small items.

We had a reception for donors this spring in the empty building.

Then started moving in artifacts. Most of the artifacts had been stored in a shipping container next to the museum. Staff and volunteers carefully unpacked, cleaned and photographed each object before carrying it into the new building.


Now the building is filling up with artifacts. Out next steps are to sort which items belong in the Agriculture Building, and which should move into the main building. Then staff will plan and construct exhibits.


Today we started adding the concrete around the building. We will have all new sidewalks soon!

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St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Services

Evening Prayer Service and Sunday Service at St. Paul’s Church

We are blessed this year to host TWO services at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on the museum grounds.  An Evening Prayer Service will be held next Wednesday, August 29 at 7pm.  This is a brief service and the public is invited to attend.  This will be an “old-style” service using the 1928 Episcopal Book of Common Prayer.

A regular Sunday morning service will be held on Sunday, September 23 at 10am.  We have partnered with Emmanuel Episcopal Church of Alexandria since 1971 to maintain St. Paul’s Church as a consecrated Episcopal Church by holding at least one service here each year.  Thank you, Emmanuel Episcopal Church!


St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

Confirmation service

Confirmation Service

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Ag building update

The siding is on.

The interior is insulated and the walls are finished. Complete with high shelf and slat wall for displays.

Today the big doors were installed.

The idea is that we can look out of the “barn” across the field.

Anyone who has farmed will have memories of watching the weather change from inside the barn door.

We couldn’t have a wide open barn door in the exhibit hall, so this was the next best thing.

Now all that remains is the electrical work. Then we get to bring the artifacts back in!

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