The Goodhue Area Historical Society opened its doors to the community and offered them cake and ice cream on a beautiful summer day. July 24th delivered sunshine without excessive heat or humidity, a perfect complement to the days’ activities. In addition to the permanent artifacts, the museum has items on loan and also showcased a few former 4-H projects in conjunction with the Goodhue Gesundheits 90th anniversary celebration held the same day at Rosie Park.
The area outside the museum showed off 3 restored John Deere tractors belonging to 4-H alumni Lanny Reese in addition to the farm equipment on permanent display. One thing that readily captures attention is labeled a “Horse Sweep, 5 Horse Power”. As explained by Museum board member Elroy Rusch, the sweep was driven by 5 teams of horses circling the massive metal gears that provided the power to run a threshing machine.
Inside the building you can view a threshing machine and a wide variety of other, now obsolete, farm equipment including a rope hay binder and vintage tools. A barn façade is the focal point of livestock and dairy history displays including a scale model dairy manufacturing facility. A 1929 gas tanker truck is on loan from Bob Eppen who purchased the vehicle from Mayowood and gave it a major restoration.
In addition to farm related items, the museum houses antique home and school items ranging from bakeware to cribs and uniforms to desks. If you are looking for information on one-room school houses in the area, you can start with the swinging board display and continue your research in the vast library. The museum focuses on local history and local people. Items are clearly marked with pertinent information and you may see a long-forgotten business name or that of a relative. A knowledgeable guardian will try to answer questions or help you find what you are looking for.
The Goodhue Area Historical Society has been gathering items since 1995, opening the museum in 2005, and continues to acquire and build new displays. An exciting new outdoor feature is being planned and will be built across from the walking trail by the museum parking lot. It is called the Hero’s Memorial honoring firemen, police, medical and the six branches of the military. Money for the project has been donated by the family of Dick Banidt and will be a beautiful and meaningful addition to the museum and the city.
Whatever your interests are, allow plenty of time for browsing. Take a walk back in time when the museum is open weekly Thursdays and Sundays 1-4 PM June through August or by appointment by calling 651-301-5731 or 651-380-5123. Find out more at www.goodhueareahistory.org.
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