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Hometown gal manages history museum

The Hubbard County Historical Museum is open May 1 through Sept. 30. Director Megan Breitweser encourages elementary schools to visit. One of the exhibits depicts the home life of an early pioneer in Hubbard County. (Enterprise file photo)

By SHANNON GEISEN

sgeisen@parkrapidsenterprise.com

The Hubbard County Historical Museum opens for the season May 1, with director Megan Breitweser returning for her second year at the helm.

Breitweser’s roots are firmly planted in Park Rapids. Her parents, Lori and Glen Goebel, own Super 8 and husband Joe Breitweser owns Microtech Computer Center.

“My interest in history began in college,” said the 2007 Park Rapids High School graduate.

Breitweser earned a double major in computer science and political science at St. Olaf College in Northfield.

“I really liked American politics and history,” she said. “It’s the political aspect that drew me to the historical museum.”

The beautiful Victorian building, located at 301 Court Ave., was originally built as a courthouse in 1900.

It still retains its original tin ceiling, eight vaults and gilded lettering on office doors.

It’s continuing mission: “To educate the public and display the county’s heritage through generous donations from the community and its residents, past and present.”

Admission is by freewill offering. The museum relies heavily on donations.

“We’re looking into a heating system and hoping to re-do the carpet,” said Breitweser.

A roast beef dinner, root beer float sale, and soup and salad luncheon are slated for this year’s fundraisers.

Donations to an endowment fund, managed by the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, support the museum as well.

Volunteers are welcome, as are ideas, added Breitweser.

Memorabilia from area schools – yearbooks, scrapbooks, homecoming pins, etc. – are also being sought for the museum’s collection.

New this year, the museum’s community room will have rotating exhibits.

For instance, in May, the Hubbard United Methodist and First Baptists Churches will be featured.

The town of Hubbard will have a display in June, followed by the Northern Light Opera Company in July.

August’s exhibit will focus on the All-School Reunion.

As of May 1, the historical museum will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

The permanent collections include vintage clothing, a one-room schoolroom, communication devices of old, farming and logging tools, Civil War memorabilia and an example of an early settler’s cabin.

This summer, the museum hosts the following monthly presentations at 7 p.m.:

n “Butterflies” by John Weber Monday, May 18 at Northwood Bank community room.

n “Hubbard County History Through Postcards” by Russ Brown Monday, June 29 at the Park Rapids American Legion.

n “Restoring Old Photographs” by Joel Maxwell Monday, July 27 at the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.

n “Itasca State Park” by Deane Johnson Monday, Aug. 31 at the Northwoods Bank community room.

n “Running a Resort” by a panel of former and present resort owners Monday, Sept. 28 at the Northwoods Bank community room.

The Hubbard County Historical Society board meets prior to the guest speakers.

Breitweser said she works closely with board members to schedule events, produce a brochure and newsletter as well as manage the overall operation.

“It’s very much a cooperative effort,” she said.

Current board members are Virginia Cameron, Russ Brown, Marion Town, Rod Nordberg, Gene Henderson and Brian Longazo.

For more information about the museum’s 2015 season, visit www.hubbard countyhistory.org.

Breitweser can be reached at 732-5237 or his toricalmuseum@arvig.net.

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