Cindy Adams, director at the Kittson County History Center/Museum, shares a rendering of what an addition to the museum could look like with Julie Lindegard, Karen Sele and Deb Cederholm during an open house Friday, Nov. 16 to celebrate the museum’s 45th year.
(Enterprise Photo by Anna Jauhola)
By Anna Jauhola
Although the Kittson County Historical Center/Museum receives a generous allocation from the county commission each year, it takes additional funds to continue operating the 45-year-old building and its grounds.
“We need the county for survival, but the board is trying make a contribution of our own,” said Butch Fossell, historical society board member, during the society’s annual meeting on Thursday, Nov. 8.
The board of commissioners allocated $61,000 this year for the museum, which mostly covers salaries, said Cindy Adams, museum director. But, fundraisers, donations, grants and other funding, plus volunteers, keep the museum operating.
Total fundraising efforts in 2018 brought in $20,397.95, which included money raise at several events organized by the board and volunteers.
The board held a silent auction in August and raised $3,043. Most recently, the board held its annual barbecue dinner fundraiser at the Kennedy VFW, which raised almost $2,000.
In June, Adams sent out annual membership letters for 2019 to all postal customers in the county.
She said the membership letters alone brought in nearly $2,000. The board also implemented a new and successful fundraiser this year by selling t-shirts, sweatshirts and tumblers, and raised nearly $8,500.
Throughout the year, many people give to the museum, including through estate donations, such as those from the R.C. Nelson and Curtis Miller estates, which helped cover the cost of replacing shingles on the Two River Church and the Depot this summer, Adams said.
The museum also has an endowment fund, which has been growing year-over-year. This endowment fund is not used, but rather the interest and dividends are rolled back into the fund each year to continue growing it to ensure the future of the organization, Adams said.
Adams gave a progress report during the meeting, noting several high points during 2018 including the completion of a tavern exhibit using Folke Backlund’s bar.
Backlund operated establishments in Orleans and Hallock, and after his daughter, Karen, died, Julie Lindegard and board member Deb Cederholm purchased the bar and donated it to the museum.
Adams also mentioned the museum hosted numerous groups including “Under the Northern Lights” and the Sutter Brothers to entertain visitors, and also school groups who researched family histories.
The board cast a unanimous vote for the slate to retain its same members.
And finally presented personalized coats to Jim Sjostrand and Fossell for their years of service. Sjostrand joined the board in 1999 and Fossell in 1997. Ray Ward was also recognized earlier and received a coat for having served on the board since 2000.