Saturday, July 13, 2013

Museum: Military Room

Last Fall the Military Room was painted.  Previously it was very blue. The paint was procured through a grant from Valspar and all the painting was done by volunteers.

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Before

Museum after

After

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Before

Military room after two

After

Far Guy worked really hard getting all the pain specks off the oak floor. More uniforms were brought out of the vault and displayed on a clothing rack. One of the displays will be redone with Minnesota’s 2nd in mind.  A volunteer Civil War buff is working on that display. I am not involved in THAT project.

The museum has an extensive Civil War Collection.  WWI and WWII are well represented.  Korea and Vietnam not so much.  I am on the lookout for Women’s Military Uniforms..we should have at least one..just my opinion. (Children should be able to see that both men and women are in the Armed Forces.)

In my “findings” at the museum, I found a journal from a POW during WWII that lived in town.  I have not read it yet.  We also have a Civil War Journal from 1862.  We have a good collection of War Newspapers. 

The next thing that needs to be done in this room is to redo the signs.  All the descriptive signs are so old worn and faded soon they will be unrecognizable.  I also have three more flags that need to be in flag cases.

Through grants we were only able to raise half the money needed for Ultra Violet Filters for the windows in this room.  Since that disappointing news I wrote five “ding” letters to area American Legions and VFW’s and their auxiliaries asking for help.

Other museum news:

The museum applied for a grant for $6,300 to cover the cost of having a HVAC evaluation of the historic building.  It is the first step toward heat and or air conditioning.  The evaluation will tell us what we need which in turn will help us to write yet another grant for those needs.  Once we get heat and air conditioning in place there is no money for those added utilities..seems like a loosing battle.  A long time ago the museum had part of a mill that they used for operating expenses..and somehow somewhere that mill was taken away.  The New Courthouse is going through a multi million dollar renovation but I cannot get funding for thread bare carpeting or even the $100 Fire Department Key Box that I asked for almost a year ago. ( One of the Commissioners who said “Let it burn” was not re elected..tough patooties.  When I heard the news I cheered..I am a mean old broad sometimes.)

Some days the struggle seems to be too much.  I get discouraged. I should look at the improvements that have been made slowly one by one instead of what still needs to be done.  The summer is almost half over, which means I am that much closer to the last day in September when I close the doors for the season:)

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24 comments:

  1. You've made tremendous improvements since you have taken over as director. Non-profits always have a tough time and the present economy doesn't help.

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  2. I think it's amazing the difference you have made. I remember when you took over and how hard it's been to get anything done, and now you have more volunteers and lots of determination. But no wonder you get discouraged sometimes. Has it been three years or longer since you took the job? They are lucky to have you.

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    1. this is my third year..although it seems longer than that:)

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  3. The paint made a big improvement. It's a shame that the museum is not high on anyone's priority list. You certainly have given it your best...they are lucky to have you.

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  4. With limited money it does take time. But your doing it! We'll be attending the Civil War exhibition at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul next Wed. Its been a while since I been there and am looking forward to it. Hope I can take some pictures for the blog...

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  5. Far Guy did a wonderful job ! Looks great ! The Museum is lucky to have you on board ! Thanks for sharing ! Have a good weekend !

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  6. The museum did not know how it was blessed when you and the mister walked through their door. Fantastic job.

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  7. I'm thinking I had better come and see this museum while I am in the area this summer. Where is it? In Detroit Lakes??

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  8. You are making so many positive changes, and moving this dinosaur forward inch by inch. Make a list of what you have done, and hang it in a prominent place. Funny thing about historical archives, they are missed more after they are gone, then when they are available.

    Keep moving forward, and I cheer too that "let it burn" wasn't elected.

    Jen

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  9. You are doing a wonderful job with that Museum and little by little things are shaping up. They are so lucky to have you. I wish I lived near there so that I could visit/volunteer by alas I now live in Oklahoma used to live in the Twin Cities. Shirley H.

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  10. The white paint makes the room brighter and more inviting. Keep up the good work!

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  11. Great job!! Have you considered enlisting the services of your utility company? They could probably evaluate for free, and perhaps they know about available grants for HVAC installation. Maybe applying to be a solar energy provider? I know how difficult it can be to find 'hidden money,' and how careful the spending needs to be. Good luck.
    Peace,
    Muff

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    1. Hi Muffie, Since the building is Historic the Minnesota State Historical Society won't even look at HVAC Grants unless they have been evaluated by approved people so we have no choice in the matter. I have been working with the State Historical Society, they have determined the road map we have to follow. :)

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  12. I like the after look. Looks nice. Have you ever considered doing some sort of fund raising auction or community sale of donated items. Our local animal shelter has one annually. They raise a lot of their funding that way. People look forward to cleaning out their unused items and donating them. Just an idea.

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    1. Hi Rae, Our Rummage sale is slated to begin the end of the month. Hopefully we will get some more "stuff" donated. Last year we made about $300 from our sale.:)

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  13. The changes you have made look great! I would love to read the POW book and see the Civil War collection (well all of the museum). If I ever get to Park Rapids I will stop in.
    I'm glad that Commissioner was not reelected.

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  14. the important thing is that you have vision as to where this museum should go. Yes. I know ! Always begging for money is demeaning. Museums are priceless. It's amazing that governments are so unwilling to put anything into museums.

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  15. I know it's a lot of hard work, but don't let yourself get discouraged. You are doing so many great things for this museum. I agree with Jen: it is a dinosaur, but you are moving it forward, bit by bit. A list would help with morale, if nothing else. Hope you find lots more grant money and bring this thing up to par with the way it deserves to be!

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  16. You are making a huge difference. I wonder whether there are some national veterans' organizations, or informal web sites, where you could make your case. Original material like those journals are valuable stuff! I can imagine you basing a summer-long series of programs on them (because that's the kind of thing you do!).

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  17. You have done and outstanding job! I know it doesn't feel like it, but we can see and we watch and we know!
    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
    http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

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  18. When you were saying that I was thinking of all the things you have done and the improvements that have been made since you arrived!! You have done so much and motivated many!! Those rooms look so much brighter and more inviting now, too, BTW. :)

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  19. Wow! The improvement is really fabulous! It looks updated and modern. Great job!

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  20. "pain specks" probably really a true description

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie