Crow Wing County Historical Museum Undergoing Renovations
The Crow Wing County Historical Museum is undergoing major renovations this fall. The improvements will extend the life of the building that houses the important history of Crow Wing County. The museum houses a multitude of historical artifacts, exhibits, art, and more.
“Everything we exhibit here has something to do with the history of Crow Wing County. Everywhere from logging to railroad,” said Hillary Swanson, Crow Wing County Historical Society Director.
The building was constructed in 1917 and was previously the home of the county sheriff and the county jail.
“In the ’70s, there was a need for a larger jail. They were going to actually tear this building down. Instead, they decided to make it into a county museum,” explained Swanson.
The museum houses everything from guns from the Civil War to a research library filled with historical photographs, maps, and books. One of the exhibits is two of the original preserved jail cells that were used by the county from 1917 to 1979.
Since the building is over a hundred years old, renovations were needed to extend the life of the historic building.
“We knew that there was needs for the building as far as securing the envelope of the building, and in 2010 we had an assessment done on the building with highlighted all the needs,” said Crow Wing County Facilities Coordinator Rachel Breun.
From there, the county applied for a grant with the Minnesota Historical Society for funds to put forward the construction plan.
“Items that were identified were roof repairs that needed to be done; there’s the brick work outside, the mortar has come out so there’s tuck-pointing repairs to be done; the gutters have some breaks in them,” explained Breun. “Those need to be repaired and then windows are the other big thing.”
The renovation and repairs will be an integral part in preserving the building for future generations.
“It’s just great that the building is going to be repaired because it’s an important part of the history of the community,” added Swanson.
“It is a great asset of Crow Wing County. It shows the history of the area and to lose an asset like that would not be good,” said Breun.
The project is expected to be completed before the new year, and the museum will remain open throughout construction.