By Enterprise Staff
When you take a drive through Lake Bronson this spring, you’ll see a big change at the Kittson County Historical Museum.
Since it opened in 1973, the main museum building bears a few additions, such as the machine shed to the south, but hasn’t seen much change otherwise in a few years.
In late 2019, the museum board approved moving forward with building a new addition. Bakken Construction, Hallock, poured the foundation last fall. This spring, they built the walls and hauled them over to Lake Bronson.
And it’s been a whirlwind of activity since late April when the skeleton of the structure emerged. Less than a month later, the 48×80-foot structure is enclosed and phase one is nearly complete.
“I was shocked at how fast it’s going,” said Cindy Adams, museum director.
This addition will give the museum an opportunity to not only hold larger gatherings, but host larger historical displays, host traveling displays and rent out the space for different events.
Because the museum is a nonprofit entity, the project is being completed in phases. This first phase included the exterior structure, some plumbing, electrical, doors, windows and ceiling sheetrock, roofing, soffit, facia and so on. However, it did not include siding, so interested parties driving by will see the outside covered in Tyvek paper. Phase one cost approximately $230,000 and much of it was covered through a donation from the Curtis Miller estate.
“We are relying on fundraising and donations to complete phase two,” Adams said.
Phase two will include items such as outdoor electrical outlets and plumbing, other windows and doors, heating and air conditioning, and indoor fixtures like a kitchenette, bathroom and archival storage.
The double glass entry doors alone cost $5,000.
The museum board met on Thursday, May 7, looked at siding samples and discussed how to make the addition look as similar to the main building. They have asked for samples of different siding and possibly of rock to match the exterior of the main building – it is actual rock cemented in place, Adams said.
She added that Dan Jaszczak, of Lancaster, has volunteered his time and efforts toward landscaping when the time comes.
“He said he loves the museum and really wants to do it,” she said.
This will help the museum tremendously as this spring water ran into the main building after the area had that wet, heavy snow. The water didn’t cause major damage, but it brought to light the issue that the ground slopes toward the building. Adams hopes that can be solved when Jaszczak does landscaping.
Although the museum remains closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Adams has continued to work on what she can. Employees Kathy Pederson, who does genealogy research, and Donny Hendrickson, maintenance, are not working but have received unemployment for the time being. During this uncertain time, nonprofits such as the museum will see a drop in donations. To keep the project moving, Adams and the museum board hope the public will continue to support the museum as it moves into the future to continue preserving the past.
Donations can be mailed to Kittson County History Center/Museum, 332 East Main Street, Lake Bronson, MN 56734.
By Enterprise Staff