Worth County Historical Society shares vast history

Worth County Historical Society shares vast history Main Photo

30 Jul 2022

News, Blog

The Worth County Historical Society works to preserve all aspects of life within the county’s history, including farming, school, business, military and much more.

The group was formed in 1970, and members stored artifacts in local homes. Now, the society is based in the Worth County Museum in Northwood and consists of roughly 105 members and five board members. The organization also has a director for each location/town it operates within.

Board members are as follows:

  • Ann Hendrickson, president
  • Carolyn Loftaas, vice president
  • Linda Nydegger, secretary
  • Sharyl Nestor, treasurer
  • Lois Hogen, “know-everything person,” nicknamed by fellow board members for her vast knowledge of Worth County’s history

According to Loftaas, what makes the county stick out are its unique buildings, including the Old Creamery Museum and Machinery Museum in Northwood and multiple log cabins.

Another thing that makes the Worth County Historical Society stand out is that it possesses maps of the local cemeteries with names labeling each grave and funeral folders filled with obituaries for anyone looking for information on family members.

Through the society’s extensive research tools and documents, Nestor has been able to dig into her family history and meet her fourth cousins.

“We all have a connection,” said Loftaas.

While touring the Worth County Museum, overseen by curator Amanda Girouard, visitors can explore a plethora of the county’s history, including radios used in the war, military uniforms, clothing, collectibles, instruments and medical utensils. The upstairs is divided into themed display rooms such as a kitchen and bedroom.

The society is currently working on preserving and restoring local buildings, including the Old Creamery Museum and the Stromstein Building. One volunteer is also in the process of scanning old Northwood High School yearbook photos to be placed on display in the Worth County Museum. The images had been recovered from a dumpster and would have otherwise been lost.

The biggest challenges the society faces are funding and active members; however, Girouard reminds people that one does not have to be a member to volunteer their time. Memberships are $20/year and $100/lifetime.

The society oversees:

  • Bolan: Bolan Schoolhouse and Cultural Center
  • Grafton: Heritage Depot Museum
  • Hanlontown: Citizen’s Savings Bank Museum, Slime-Oswald Log Cabin
  • Kensett: Community Church Museum, Chapel Hill, Log Cabin
  • Northwood: Hotel Winifred Museum, Machinery Museum, Swensrud School, Pixley Log
  • House, Old Creamery Museum, Stromstein Building, Worth County Museum

The Worth County Museum is open Sundays from 2-4 p.m. through August, or one can schedule an appointment to visit by calling 641-324-1180. The museum is wheelchair accessible.

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