Posts Tagged ‘museum’


museumdisplay0I am not sure how many small town communities have their own museum of local history, but I am happy to say the Melrose has one. The Melrose Area Museum is located in the old St. Mary’s convent building, found near St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the Lake Wobegon Trail. It features historical artifacts from the communities of the Melrose School District which include Melrose, Freeport, Greenwald, Meire Grove, Spring Hill, and New Munich. Items from the Birch Lake area are also included. Two of the three floors are filled, with the upper floor dedicated to storage.

Over the last few decades several people, along with myself, have donated items related to the local Girl Scout and Boy Scout programs. The Scouting display is found in the same room as the school and sporting items. Recently, a third display case has been added for the Scouting related items.

I have already told Roger, the museum’s chairman, that someday the museum would probably get all the Scouting memorabilia that I have collected over the last 35 years. In fact, I kidded that he may need one room in the museum just for all this Scouting related stuff I have. To tell the truth, I bet I could fill up a good portion of that “new room”. After all, my own collection features dozens of coffee mugs, 2001 National Jamboree items, three ring binders full of patches, thirty photo books, camping gear, and over a hundred Scouting handbooks and fictional novels. And don’t forget the two patch blankets. (Which reminds me, I should get started on the third blanket.)

This post features a few pictures of the current Scouting display in the Melrose Area History Museum. I would like to read your comments about it, and what your community museum has in its display.

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EaglePicsIf you were reading this blog last December, you probably read the article I wrote about my “Eagle Project”. It is not an Eagle project in the normal use of the term. I am too old to be working on my Eagle Scout requirements, after all. No, this was a project which would recognize those Scouts who attained Scouting’s highest award. It was to be a display for the local history museum which would feature a picture of each of Troop 68’s Eagle Scouts.

I finished my project in February and presented 22 framed 5″x7″ portraits to the museum chairman, representing the Eagle Scouts from the 1980’s to present time. He took these photographs, found a stand for them, and added them to the museum’s Scouting display. I was not sure how the pictures were going to become a part of the display but I was pretty happy with how it turned out. Roger, the museum chairman, was even able to get a picture of the one Melrose Troop 68 Boy Scout who earned the Eagle Rank in the 1960’s. That was a great addition to the photos and now makes the collection of Troop 68 Eagle Scouts complete.

Last month the troop had another Boy Scout turn in his Eagle Scout application to the local council. We may have to expand this photo collection very soon. Hopefully, we will be adding a lot more portraits in the next few years.

IMG_4450Most of the time when you hear of someone talking about their Eagle project they are referring to their project for their Eagle Scout Rank. I am too old for that type of Eagle project. However, my Eagle project does involve work for a local organization. No, it is not a group that works with rehabilitating wounded birds. The organization is our community museum. My project is to have a framed 5×7 picture of each of the young men of Boy Scout Troop 68 who have earned their Eagle Scout Rank on display at the museum.

There have been 22 Eagle Scouts of Troop 68 over the decades. The first was earned in the 1960’s, I believe, before I became a Boy Scout. The rest were earned from the 1980’s to present day. Eighteen of these Scouts became Eagles during my tenure as the troop’s scoutmaster. My project is to make a display featuring every one of these special Boy Scouts. Each photo also contains the Scout’s name and the year they earned the award. You can see in the picture above that I have most of them framed and ready to go. Unfortunately, I ran out of frames so it is time to run to the store and find some more.

Does your troop have a special “Eagle Scout Hall of Fame” or wall of fame? Do you have a local museum that features an Boy Scout display? Right a comment and let us know about it.

Melrose Historical Museum Visit - 22The president of the Melrose Area History Museum and I met at the museum this morning to set up my shelf display and Scouting coffee mugs. We both thought this would be a quick process but the cabinet had other ideas. In order to place the shelves in the cabinet we needed to remove a partition. The partition decided it did not want to be removed. The above photo from 2012 shows the two dividers that were painted tight into the shelf grooves. We spent over 15 minutes trying to get the left one to come out. Once we finally removed it we decided to take out the second one also. It was also stubborn but it did not take as long to remove.

Then came the fun part of reorganizing the display with the new shelves and the coffee mugs. I discovered a batch of membership and award cards that I thought should be set up for everyone to see and was able to use the new shelf rack to do that. We also put a piece of rigid insulation into the Girl Scout uniform so more of the shirt could be seen. The newly arranged display may look a bit more cluttered than the old arrangement but a lot more items can now be seen. To tell the truth, I think i like the new arrangement better. What do you think?

The pictures below show the new arrangement. I am already starting to form some ideas for other changes to this cabinet and two other cabinets that Roger said we could use for Scouting displays.

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Scouting mugs displayI have collected a lot of Scouting memoribilia during my 35 years as an adult leader in Scouting. I have hundreds of patches, dozens of handbooks, a large tote of 2001 National Jamboree souvenirs, and enough coffee mugs to go over two months without needing to wash one. One wall in the family room is covered with honors. Another features pictures of the troop’s Eagle Scouts. And there are the Beagle Scout Snoopy Hallmark ornaments, in addition to all kinds of other stuff. Yep, I have quite a collection. Maybe too much.

In December I became a member of the board for the Melrose Area History Museum. They have a small Scouting display featuring items from local Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Boy Scouts. Most of the Boy Scouting display features items I donated over the years, but they do have some interesting items donated by other people including a Boy’s Life article featuring an Eagle Scout from Melrose. (See the post about that article HERE.)

On Wednesday I stopped by the museum and took a look at the display. It could use a few more items, I thought to myself. I had an idea. Maybe it is time to thin out my collection of coffee mugs. I took a few measurements of the display case and designed a little three level shelf that could display 15 coffee mugs, and still allow some other items to be placed in front of it.

Today I decided to put my idea into action. I bought a couple 1×4 pine boards to make the two foot wide shelf. This evening I took the time to nail it together. Then I choose fifteen mugs from the collection to donate to the museum to be part of this addition to the Scouting display. The picture shows the shelf and the mugs chosen. Now I need to paint the boards white to brighten the display and highlight the mugs.

Yes, I will loose fifteen coffee mugs from my collection, but that still leaves over sixty of them on display in my family room. The 15 I chose to give are doubles I have and Central Minnesota Council mugs used as incentives during various promotions over the decades. I think these mugs will make a nice addition to the museum display. What do you think?

The Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 took their May 7 meeting night to have a field trip. They gathered at the Melrose Area Historical Museum for a tour of the facility which worked into their monthly theme of Historical Places. One of the museum curators, Roger Paschke, lead the Boy Scouts through the rooms while explaining several of the more interesting of the exhibits. The Scouts learned a little about the founders of Melrose, Minnesota. Mr. Paschke stopped the troop at the Charles Lindberg display for a short explanation of his famous plane trip and his links to Melrose. The boys enjoyed the “war room”, but quickly passed by the religious displays in the “chapel” for some reason. Other popular areas of the museum included the prohibition (moonshine and stills) area, the old printing press, the railroad displays, and the case with the old Scouting memorabilia.  The troop plans to go back to the museum later this month for a scavenger hunt.

Here are a few pictures from the field trip.

 The Boy Scouts learn about the ties Charles Lindberg had to Melrose, Minnesota.

 

 

 

 

 

 This is part of the Scouting display found at the museum.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 The group photo was taken in front of some of the old farming machinery found in the museum.