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1997 Flood Presentation

Logan Barat of Dawson has given LQPHC permission to share this web presentation he has prepared on the 1997 flooding in Lac qui Parle County and how it affected Dawson.


Lac qui Parle County Fair Scrapbook


This winter Fred Eckhart and Bob Glomstad assembled a scrap book about the history of the Lac qui Parle County Agricultural Society more commonly known as the LqP County Fair or the “Little Minnesota State Fair”. The scrap book contains information from 1873 to present day.  Come and visit the museum to see the new scrapbook.

Unique World War 1 Helmet


This unique camouflaged helmet once owned by Dr. Cyril Beaumont Hiram Hagebak of Madison, was recently donated to the museum by his grandson Beaumont William Hagebak of Plano, Texas. The dog tags along with several pictures were donated by Beaumont Roger Hagebak of Roseville, California Cyril Beaumont’s son.

Dr. Cyril Beaumont Hiram Hagebak was born in Madison, Minnesota on February 23, 1897 to John O. and Clara (Haukos) Hagebak.  He attended public schools in Madison, and also graduated from Madison High School.

When World War I began to involve American troops, Beaumont enlisted in the U. S. Army on July 15, 1917.  The young woman who was to become his wife was visiting her older sister in Madison at the time and was part of the crowd watching the truck leave Madison with new enlistees, but they didn’t know one another then.  They met years later in Madison.

Beaumont’s Army career had two distinct parts.  After basic military training he was sent to Texas, where he became a bayonet instructor for new recruits.  He was later sent on to France, where he served as a guard over German prisoners of war.

His camouflaged helmet is fairly unique, and was passed down to his son, then to his grandson, all of who are also named Beaumont.

To read the rest of his story come to the museum and visit the military display.



Quilt Project


Sam Olson and Donna Anderson have been working on a photo collection of all the beautiful quilts that are in are collection.

One of the most historical quilts in our collection is a crazy quilt that is hand stitched together using a variety of different stitches. The unique part of this quilt is the souvenir ribbons from laying the Corner Stone of the Lac qui Parle County Court House.  These ribbons are dated June 21, 1899 and are stitched into the quilt. I refer to this as the Hannah quilt because the name Hannah is stitched into one of the blocks.  I wonder who Hannah was.   If anyone has any idea please contact the museum.

Outreach Programs

salt lake471 cut

Salt Lake by Dr. W.J. Breckenridge

Rachel Croatt, our outreach assistant, has been working on programs for kids and adults.  She recently developed a program about the history of Salt Lake and the birds that migrate through our area. She has already presented a program at the Dawson Nursing Home and Hilltop. Rachel will be presenting this program at other places and events in the near future.

This spring Rachel will be presenting these programs for the school children of our county.


Back to the 50’s


We are currently working on a new display that will tell the story of what it was like to grow up in the era of the 50’s.

Recently we received a Jungers Oil Heater from the family of Vincent and Madonna Michels that will be displayed in this room.  Vincent farmed in Cerro Gordo Township until 1969.  The heater was brought in by his son Roger.

Roger remembers crawling out of bed when it was so cold upstairs you could see your breath after you woke up and then running down stairs to get dressed in front of the heater. Do any of you have memories like that?  If you do we would love to have you share them with us

We also have a Shellane Gas Range from that era that was donated by Paul Holzemer. This range was used by his mother.  A Dexter Twin Tub washing machine was donated by Lorraine Connor.

We are still looking for a few more items to add to the 50’s room.  If you have a small phonograph that plays 45s, an old hanging tin kitchen cabinet or a black rotary phone that you are willing to donate – please let us know.

Spring Open House

Sunday, May 19, 2013:  Museum opens 1:00 p.m., program at 2:00 p.m.
Coffee and dessert will be served after the program


Join us on Sunday, May 19 when Jill Johnson, author of Little Minnesota,  and her husband, photographer Deane Johnson,  share stories and slides about Minnesota’s smallest towns. Several local towns are in this book, including Nassau, Louisburg, Odessa, Correll, Danvers and Hazel Run.

Jill grew up in Minnesota; the book was inspired by a comment from her father that the tiny towns in Minnesota were disappearing.  She and her husband set out to explore and document 100 of Minnesota’s smallest towns with a population under 100 residents.

What she discovered surprised and delighted her.  Following the signing of the Homestead Act in 1862 and the arrival of the Great Northern Railroad in the late 1800’s, settlers arrived to seek a better life on the lush farmlands and timbered forests of rural Minnesota.   Minnesotans developed farms and businesses, erected churches and also found time for music, art, dancing and sports.  Little Minnesota chronicles the history of each town featured, and highlights points of interest for travelers.

Jill will have copies of the book available on Sunday, or you can order a copy from our Amazon link below, a percentage of the purchase price comes back to support the History Center.

New Lighting System


The Lac qui Parle County Historical Society/Museum recently received a grant from the Minnesota Historical Society’s Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant Program for $79,700 to replace the existing lighting system in the museum display area.  The project focuses on reducing deterioration on artifacts, reducing energy consumption, improving color rendition of objects on exhibits and increasing visibility directed to spots or areas where needed.

Writing grants has certainly been a learning experience for our curator, Barb Redepenning. She has completed 12 previous grants for the museum, of which 10 were awarded, totaling over $30,000, and she is the process of working on two more. The application process for some of these grants is long and very competitive but well worth the hard work. Writing grants for the Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant Program is highly competitive and very detailed. Once the grant is completed it goes to the review with hundreds of other grants. After two long months of review, the Minnesota Historical Society’s board announces the winners.

Some of the other grants we have received from the this program are the microfilm reader and computer, microfilm from all of the Lac qui Parle county newspapers (some dating back to 1880’s), the PastPerfect computer program and laptop to do inventory, a new video security system and a collection of library books about the history of Minnesota and Lac qui Parle. Barb has also written grants to the Dawson Community Foundation and the Madison Community Foundation and received funds to purchase binders and protective sheets for the military story collection, funds to update our county school book and recently received funds to compile the history of town schools in to one album. 

Outdated lighting system in the main hall

Outdated lighting system in the main hall

We started working on the lighting project over a year ago. First, a grant was submitted to have an assessment done on the entire museum, including  the existing lighting system.  Elisa Redman, Associate Director of Preservation Services with the Midwest Art Conservation Center in Minneapolis, spent two days in the museum assessing everything inside and out. Then the lighting system was further assessed by  lighting expert Richard Rummel, who works with the Minnesota Historical Society. Both assessments found the existing lighting system in the museum to be unacceptable. The present system was not designed for a museum, it is highly variable in type and intensity. In some areas the light levels were dangerously high for collection materials.



Spot lights can cause deterioration of collection items.

Spot lights can cause deterioration of collection items.

They both recommended a new uniform lighting system that would reduce and even out the irregular light levels, be aesthetically pleasing, and significantly reduce energy output. Our current lighting load is 21,620 watts of electricity and the new lighting load will be reduced to 3,960 watts, a savings of over 81%.

The lighting system that will be installed was designed by Richard Rummel, consisting of of 120 Lumelex LED lights that will light the displays and 40 Gemini uplight florescent lights that will show the unique architecture in the museum.  LED lights have a life of 25,000 to 50,000 hours, saving cost of replacement bulbs and the labor to install them.

 The work on the lighting system will begin this month.




August 18 Bus Tour

August 18: Program and Tour of LqP Historic Sites

Reservations for this tour include a seat on an air-conditioned coach bus; the fee of $15 per person goes to cover the cost of the bus. Spaces are still available, make your reservation soon.

The Lac qui Parle History Center presents “1862 – A Fateful Year for America”, a program and bus tour of historical sites around the county.  This year marks the 150th anniversary of the U.S.–Dakota Conflict of 1862. We will visit the site of the home of the Huggins family;  Amos Huggins was the only white person in what was to become Lac qui Parle County to be killed during the conflict. Other destinations include LqP Lake Overlook, Ft. Renville, LqP Mission, LqP Village, the Frank Stay home site, two Montevideo cemeteries, Wegdahl, Stony Run or Red Iron Creek, LqP Trail remnant, Red Iron’s Village and Camp Release.

The program will begin at 10:00am sharp at the Lac qui Parle County Annex Media Center (the east end of MMN Elementary School) in Madison.  Attendees are encouraged to bring a box lunch for a picnic at the Madison City Park Shelter at 11:30am followed by boarding the tour-bus at 12:30pm.

Tour guides will be Russ Olson and Dave Craigmile.

More info here.

Call for Photos – Town Schools

You may have seen our recently restored album of Lac qui Parle County country schools. Now it is time to create a companion album of the town schools. We are looking for photos of schools, students, teachers, and other historically significant subjects relating to schools in the county towns, including Madison, St. Michael’s, the Normal School, Bellingham, Boyd, Dawson, Marietta, Rosen and Lac qui Parle Valley.

For more information on how you can help, please visit our Current Projects page here.