Saturday, May 12, 2012

Verndale Historical Society

Verndale is over an hour's drive north of Sauk Centre, but Thursday's weather was pleasant and Nancy and I enjoyed the trip.  Since 1977 the home for the Verndale Historical Society has been in a small building that had been a church. As with most museums in small and large towns that I've been to recently, their collection of antiques was fascinating and it had managed to grow larger than could be accommodated by available space.
The small church building is tucked in among the old trees not far from the center of town.

President Bill Hess, who arranged our visit, spent a few minutes showing us around the museum.

The sign "the Wadena County Bank" is the original sign from the bank, which was established in the late 1800s. The leading on the glass was recently restored.
Since the space in the museum was limited, we set up for our show in the near-by Senior Center where  a pot luck supper awaited us all. 

The audience was small in numbers but their response to my program, which included my story A Farm Country Picnic, was very gratifying. After the show members told stories of the early days of working on farms as kids and later as adults. They told us of their struggles to make ends meet and their family tragedies.  Shirley, the lady seated immediately to my right, told of how she began milking cows at the age of six on her family's farm north of town. As an adult, she farmed on a dairy farm with her own family.
Muriel or "Murry" grew up farming near Verndale. She married Ralph and moved to the city where he worked. Since they both agreed that they wanted their kids to experience their farming roots, they brought them over to work on her parents' farm as often as they could. 
Even now, long after their children are grown, Murry and Ralph spend a good deal of time at a cabin near Verndale, near  her childhood home.

Nancy and I thank the members who attended my program. We thank them for their kind words and for their for sharing their stories. We especially thank them for purchasing our Farm Heritage stories and we hope they can pass them on to future generations with pride.

Photographs by Nancy A. Fredrickson

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