SAUK RAPIDS (WJON News) -- When you are out at the Benton County Fair this week poke your head into the Heritage Building for a special display.

The Benton County Historical Society has two exact replicas made by a man named Clifford Balder back in the 1990s.

He worked on each piece for 300 hours.  Clifford was an industrial arts teacher who took his skills and put them into an exact replica of his family barn and an exact replica of the St. Lawrence Church Duelm.

Historical Society Executive Director Mary Ostby says the church was torn down in 1985, so many parishioners who attended that church are enjoying seeing it again.

Photo by's Jim Maurice
Photo by's Jim Maurice

When Balder died in 2001 both replicas were donated to the Stearns County Historical Society and they have pretty much been in storage since then. The Benton County Historical Society acquired them about a year ago and has them on display to the public for the first time ever.

AM 1240 WJON logo
Get our free mobile app

After the Benton County Fair is over, both replicas will be on display at the Benton County Historical Society building in Sauk Rapids.

Meanwhile, the Heritage Building dates back to 1916 and is the second oldest building on the fairgrounds, only behind the old schoolhouse. The Heritage Building used to be known as the Poultry Barn.



175 Years of Benton County History

More From AM 1240 WJON