Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Goodhue Area Historical Society, Goodhue, MN

For historical societies to flourish they need lots of local support. It appears that local support is exactly what has made Goodhue Area Historical Society successful up to the present, and there is every indication the support will continue into the future.
They've outgrown the new building they built in 2004 (above) and are in the planning process of  adding on to the structure.
Ardy Henrichs, who contacted me to arrange for my doing a program at the society's March meeting, also arranged to open the museum early so Nancy and I would have time to visit the museum and view photographs of harvest on farms and to look for pictures we might use in our upcoming book, A Farm Country Harvest. We found many interesting pictures that the members generously let us copy.
Pictured above from left to right are President Roy Buck, Director Ray McNamara, Dorothy Buck, and Secretary Ardy Henrichs. The fact that they all came to open up the museum and greet us made us feel especially welcome.
In addition to checking out the pictures, Nancy and I viewed the variety of tractors, horse-drawn implements, hand tools, household tools of all types, and many other pieces in the museum. One thing that caught my eye was the terracing plow, which has an auger powered by the tractor's PTO. Roy explained that the plow works by having the auger throw the dirt, which will pile up and create a terrace on the field to prevent soil erosion. He said it was used by the WPA as well as a number of farmers in the area. 
Terracing plow owned by the Goodhue Area Historical Society

Needs of farmers vary from region to region, which is why I always enjoy visiting museums in different parts of Minnesota and other states. I do not claim to have "seen it all," but much of what I see in museums are tools I've either seen before or I've seen something like it before. This seed separator shown below stopped me in my tracks because I had never seen one like this. The museum had several like it, where the seed is dumped into a hopper and guided into rolling screens. I would love to see one of these work. Only the good seed makes it all the way through the screened tubes.

Examples of seed separators with rolling screens in the pictures above and below.

After the museum tour we followed Ardy with our truck to St. Peter's Lutheran Church, where we unloaded and set up our equipment in the basement. There was a good turnout for the meeting, which lasted less than an hour, as the members set up committees and discussed projects, including a new addition to the museum, a display of rural schools, and an oral history project.

My Farm Heritage Program (above) lasted about 50 minutes and afterwards while eating lunch the members visited with each other and with Nancy and me, and many of them purchased some of our Collector series of Farm Heritage Books. We were delighted with all the time people were willing to share with us telling their stories about their experiences farming.

We thank all the members for being such a fun audience and for their kind words about my Farm Heritage Program. Among the many members we talked to were David and Kay Betcher, who shared their dairy farming stories with us, and R. Duane Aaland from the Zumbrota  News Record, who shared some of his interesting background stories with me.

We thank Roy, Ray, Dorothy, and Ardy for greeting us at the museum and Treasurer Karleen Franklin for delivering to me the member's generous donation for our travel expenses.

And, Ardy, thanks so much for arranging for me to speak at the Goodhue Area Historical Society. Nancy and I had fun and we hope your members did too.

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