GOODHUE, Minn. -- People who visit the Goodhue Area Historical Society often leave amazed at how much local history is on display, according to Roy Buck, president of the board of directors.

“A lot of people come in to go to the library, the research room,” he said. “There is a lot more history here than what they thought.”

An early focus of the museum was the rich agricultural history of Goodhue and the surrounding area. As more donations arrived, the board added other areas of interest. 

The original building was built in 2004 and then an addition, which doubled the size of the display space, was built in 2016.

“By adding the last room, we were able to spread things out,” said Marie Strusz, board secretary. “It’s easier to see now. We can put things together.”

Now the center features not only the research library, but a military section, a kitchen, a tools section, a schoolhouse, and a large room with historic farm equipment including a wooden barn built by local high school students. 

The agricultural room has old tractors, a threshing machine, a plow, and other farming equipment. The railroad room reflects that era of local history and also includes the printing press from the Goodhue newspaper. 

The Goodhue Area Historical Society publishes a quarterly newsletter which has feature stories about historical events and personalities from the area. It also provides information about society membership and events.

School groups often come visit, and Strusz said students like looking at the desks, books, and school memorabilia there.

“They are especially interested in the typewriters and adding machine,” she said. “It usually doesn’t take too long before they’ve got the keys jammed up. They really like the old switchboard, too, and most of them have never seen a dial telephone.”

The museum is handicap accessible throughout, and all the board members and staff working in the museum serve on a volunteer basis. 

With several rooms of displays, Strusz said many people, even locals, stop by and then end up coming back another time.

“You can’t see all of this in one visit,” she said. “You can’t see it in many visits.”

Reporter Steve Gardiner retired this year but continues to write occasional features. People may send story ideas to rtnews@orourkemediagroup.com

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