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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Construction Update

I went to a museum conference for a few days, and this is what the building looked like when I returned to work on Friday morning!

By the end of the day Friday, the steel was up on 2 sides!

Construction is moving along… Now we need to concentrate on getting the yard ready for upcoming school tours and other spring events.

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It is never boring here at the Pope County Museum!

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New Construction

Once the snow was removed from the slab…construction got underway.

Yesterday the first load of lumber arrived and they installed the sill plate.

Today, we have walls.

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Out with the old, in with the new

The “log building” is no more. 2017-03-09 1.JPG

We have had several people ask why we had to tear it down, so I thought I’d give a little history.

Newspaper articleIn the fall of 1983, the 40′ x 80′ Norway Pine log building was constructed on site to house antique agricultural equipment and other large items. It was celebrated with a grand opening event in October of 1983. There were some issue with the logs early on, requiring some immediate repair.

In 2006, the historical society re-shingled the roof. Problems quickly became apparent


Rotten logs by door frame. The doorway was cut in 2006.

when we cut a door on the north side of the building. The logs had clearly rotted from the inside.

We brought in engineers to examine the building and make recommendations. The north and south walls were 1 foot off plumb and there was excessive rot in many logs throughout the building. The contractor had installed inferior logs from the start.

According to the engineer’s report: “Our assessment is that the building as existing is not structurally sound and measures should be taken to ensure the public is safe when entering the building.” All of the repair options given were extremely costly, so we made the decision to close the building to the public in 2006.

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Interior rotting required the beveled edges of the logs to be cut off shortly after construction.

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The logs rotted from the inside and began to collapse.

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Rotten and collapsing logs no longer lined up with doorways and windows. In this image you can see that the log that was originally attached to the hinge has dropped several inches.


The effect of the collapsing, rotten logs was very visible inside the building.

Since then, we have been exploring options for repair or replacement. Fundraising for the log building and improvements to other buildings on our campus was just getting underway when a huge storm damaged the roof of the main building in 2011. Priories shifted. Now that the main building roof has been replaced and other historic buildings have received some needed TLC, the time has come to deal with the log building.

After lengthy discussion and consideration, the board decided that the building should be replaced. Replacement is more cost-effective than repair.

The building was emptied and the artifacts stored away safely in preparation for demolition.

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TKI quickly and safely removed the building in one day.

We are eager to have a safe building that we can actually open to the public. The new building will again be used to hold agricultural equipment. Staff is already planning exhibits to illustrate not only the changes in Pope County agriculture through the years, but also exhibits that show how the products grown on local farms come into our lives, in our vehicles, in our clothing, and to our plates – often in surprising ways.

Please check back regularly to read about the construction progress and exhibit development.  I will also be highlighting artifacts from our agricultural collection over the next few months.




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Statistics for Museum Geeks

The recent storage system installation at the Pope County Museum created some interesting statistics. In planning the system, we had to carefully examine the whole museum collection and how it would best fit into the new shelves. Over the years we have purchased archival boxes of different shapes to best hold dresses, uniforms and other acid sensitive objects. We have also worked hard to manage and protect the photograph collection with protective sleeves, albums and boxes.  The new shelf system was ordered based on the box sizes we use most often.


Our latest shipment of photo storage pages.

One of the best things about the new storage system is that it came in under budget. However, because it is a grant funded project, the savings on one part of the project must be reassigned to other needs that fit the criteria of the grant proposal. Since only a small percentage of our objects and records were in proper protective enclosures, we ordered boxes. $10,000 worth of acid free boxes!  And albums: 121 slip-covered albums. And protective sleeves for photographs and negatives: 180 pounds of sleeves! Even the delivery man commented, “Man, these boxes are heavy!”


The acid free boxes arrived almost a year ago and have mostly been assembled and put to use. The albums arrived next and will eventually hold the photo negatives from the Pope County Tribune, 1956 – 2003. It takes longer to put these together because the images are so interesting, they can be fully identified, and many of them fit into a single album. So far two albums have been filled to help us determine that we needed 121 albums and 9,400 polyethylene pages for negative storage (180 pounds according to Fed Ex!)

A huge project like this is possible because of dedicated staff members, hard-working volunteers, and “Legacy” funding. The Minnesota Clean Water, Land & Legacy Fund was created in 2008 by a statewide referendum. We all contribute to the fund through a small sales tax increase. The Pope County Historical Society has been fortunate to receive a number of these grants. We will continue to apply for funds to protect and improve access to our local history.

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Winter Olympics

IMG_1332.JPGEvery 4 years, our local elementary holds their own Winter Olympics. The students are assigned different nations and compete in modified events over a few weeks.

Today was the opening ceremony. Two students were chosen from each “nation” to carry the torch in the relay.

It is always a treat to bring them our Olympic torch. The adults are usually more impressed by the REAL TORCH than the students, but the torch runners understood the honor.


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