By Ryan Honl 

The Museum Fund Drive is Here!

 

by Ryan Honl

It’s that time of year again for Roseau County citizens to support their museum and historical society located in the City Center. There’s a lot going on but Britt Dahl, the Roseau County Museum Curator, has a great sales pitch. Membership has been pretty steady but could use some growth. There are currently 270 paid members that support its mission.

According to the museum’s website the mission is “to collect, preserve and disseminate Roseau County history. The Society continues to educate the public on Roseau County history through appealing museum exhibits, an extensive research center, and educational programs.”

“A lot of people use the museum but may not realize that there is a membership,” said Britt. “We’re just trying to bring an awareness of bringing in more members to help support our mission.”

Having a membership also includes being a part of the Roseau County Historical Society.

The benefits are enormous for as little as $10 a year. There’s the quarterly newsletter, 10% off of museum merchandise such as books and other things, access to the research room, 10 free copies of historical materials a year, a free hour’s worth of research done for you that includes for people out of town who can’t access the materials in person. That research normally costs $20 to use it once. There are also huge discounts to a ton of local events.

The next event coming up is for barn quilting which comes with a 15% discount for members. What is barn quilting? It’s not actually making the cloth quilts. It’s painting on squares that look like the ones you’d use in a blanket. You can then hang those decorative squares up on your wall. They’re pretty neat.

And then there’s the Murder Mystery Dinner Theater at the City Center. That is going to be a fun one. You get together for a nice dinner and everyone gets to try to figure out who the murderer is among them just like the old Clue game. There is a discount on the meal and program.

There’s also a Works Progress Administration (WPA) program from the 1930s coming up teaching about historical buildings in the county such as Malung Hall and many others.

Check their website for all of their programs and activities.

Annual membership starts as low as $10 for seniors over 60, with Individual membership at $15, Family at $20, Sponsor at $50, Patron at $100, and finally a Benefactor option for $250.

The Benefactor membership doesn’t get you any more than a senior membership but it does show a great level of support for the museum’s mission of educating our own descendants down the road. You’ll literally “go down in history” to future generations.

The museum is a non profit that gets a county allocation which covers general expenses, but the rest is run off of the fund drive. The memberships help cover the extras of the events and other programming.

The museum is free as it’s always been, but this is an opportunity to show your support. There was a big update in 2021 after Covid with building changes and all new exhibits. The big one right now is the toy exhibit that’s been displayed for about a year now.

The museum experience is really fun. You walk through and the lights turn on as you go. That saves a lot on the energy costs.

Britt is pretty busy with a big project overhauling the storage space in the back. You see, not everything they have is displayed. There just wouldn’t be enough room on the floor so it all gets rotated in and out over the years. When asked about items they like to see donated, she said there’s always the stuff that people will donate from around the time Roseau became a city, but what they could really use is more modern donations. Those things that the current generation would just throw out. To future generations what will a room from the 1990s look like? Anything like that from the 1940s forward. Don’t just bring it by though. Give Britt a call to see if it’s something worth taking.

Britt has a saying. “Yesterday is now history.” Then she added, “Come see us!”

 

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