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Historical Society<Projects


Norman County Minnesota Historical  and Genealogy Society

Museums located in Ada and Shelly, Minnesota


Because the Norman County Historical and Genealogy Society is funded by County funding at a minimum of $7,000 a year, it is necessary to apply for grants to continue archival storage projects which tend to be very costly. In order to continue the preservation work of the Society, it is critical to also be supported by individual and business donations. The 2013 project is to raise money to shingle the roof of the Pontopoidan Church.

Prairie Village Projects 2013

Pontoppidan Lutheran was established in 1871 near Hendrum, Minnesota. It was moved to the Prairie Village in 1970 where it has now become the central religious exhibit at the Prairie Village. This year it was necessary to re-shingle the roof at the cost $11,500.00. As a result of a capital campaign that project is paid in full. There are three other large maintenance projects that must be addressed before another harsh Minnesota winter sets in.

  • South end of Pontoppidan is sinking into the ground. It must be raised and a new foundation placed under it.

  • A small pioneer cabin (one of the oldest buildings in Norman County) must be dismantled, a concrete pad laid,
    and the cabin restored.

  • The log museum built in 2000 needs to be re-chinked.

Any gift will be appreciated however these are some suggested amounts:

  • Pioneer: $250.00

  • Merchant: $500.00

  • Investor: $1,000.00. 


Pontoppidan Church
Pontoppidan Church interior
Log Museaum
Log Museum
Log cabin
Pioneer Cabin



Prairie Village Mercantile Project 2012

Store The little red county store that served the Prairie Village for 30 years finally became a safety hazard and had to be replaced. The Society directors voted to replace it with a new 20X20 building which will be made to look like an old store and will provide a home for the 300 artifacts that were removed from the old store. The new store was built by 4-Corners Construction of Ada. The grand opening for the new store will be during the Norman County Fair the third week in June.

Come and earn Pioneer Pennies to spend at the store!

Store workers

Clothing Storage Project 2011-12

Completed Project

This picture shows the first half of this project. Another grant has been written to complete the remainder of the work. Photos will be posted when the work is complete.

Because the Norman County Historical Society is funded at a minimum of $7,000 of County funding,  it is necessary to apply for grants to continue archival storage projects which tend to be very costly. This page will feature the ongoing process of grant projects.
A grant was written in the fall of 2010 to order materials for the organization of 275 pieces of clothing hanging in the loft of the Log Museum in Ada. Best museum practices dictate that vintage clothing not be hung. Instead, each item should be folded in acid free boxes and padded with acid free tissue paper. The grant was approved and the picture shows the process. Clothing was photographed, folded in tissue paper and boxed by museum volunteers. Funding was available in 2011 for only half of the clothing to be boxed, so another grant was written for this ongoing project.

Aubrey Moen, a Girl Scout working on her Girl Scout Gold Award project completed the clothing project for the Historical and Genealogy Society during the summer of 2012.

Fine Arts Grant 2012

Another grant was awarded to the Society by the Northwest Arts Council in Warren, MN. It was also affiliated with the Legacy Amendment.
With this grant two artists were hired to help preserve some of our artifacts.  
Photographer Lisa Myers took two hundred pictures throughout the village. These pictures will be used for advertising the display and promotion. These are but a few of the beautiful photos by Lisa.   Ron Koskela took two years of photographer Arnie Aalgaard’s negatives (we have 5,000) and put them onto a CD that we can use for family history projects. These are but a few of the treasures preserved by Ron.


  Arends children

Lenore Johnson




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This site is maintained by Colleen Goltz with
the dedication and assistance of the
Norman County Historical and Genealogy Society.