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‘Behind The Scenes…at The Stearns History Museum’ [VIDEO]


ST. CLOUD – Today on WJON we’re launching a new weekly series we’re calling “Behind the scenes…”.  We’re planning to take our video cameras to places all around central Minnesota, which the general public doesn’t have access to, and show you what goes on behind the scenes.

In our first segment, we checked out the private backrooms of the Stearns History Museum, to see what they have in storage.

The backrooms at the Stearns History Museum in St. Cloud are packed full of one-of-a-kind and irreplacable county artifacts.

The archives are kept in rooms that are both temperature and humidity controlled, in a private area that only the staff has access to.

Archivist Sarah Warmka is in charge of preserving the “2D” materials: pictures, audio, certificates, and newspaper clippings.  Warmka says they have 1,800 recordings of oral history interviews they collected with Stearns County residents back in the 1970’s and 80’s.  They also have the entire Myron Hall collection in their archives – which includes more than 300,000 photographs.  Hall was a photographer for the St. Cloud Times from 1937 to 1976.

Curator Adam Smith is in charge of collecting the “3D” items with ties to Stearns County.  He says each item is cataloged with a number, so they can track where it came from, and the personal story behind it.  Just a couple of the treasures include a donut maker created by Sam Pandolfo, and a 1938 baseball uniform from Farming.  Some of the bigger items the Stearns History Museum has collected over the years include the original jail cell from Kimball, and the large sign from the old Kleis Motel.

The Stearns History Museum is the second largest museum in Minnesota, only behind the Minnesota Historical Society, which means there’s a lot of history to keep track of.

If there’s a place in central Minnesota that you’ve always been curious about, please send us a message.  It could be a future segment in our “Behind The Scenes…” series.

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