Collections Carousel – Photos of O. A. Churchill Store/Muske Implement Building, circa 1985

Until its demolition in 1988, the O. A. Churchill Store, also known as the Muske Implement Building, was the oldest standing commercial structure in central Minnesota. Built in 1855 at the northeast corner of First Street and Broadway in downtown Little Falls, Minnesota, the building housed the store during the…

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Collections Carousel – Duck-Billed Push Pole, Circa 1955

An essential tool for wild rice harvesting, the duck-billed push pole was used to move a canoe through the thick stands of rice that grow in Minnesota waters. The hinged metal “duck-billed” end of the long wooden pole helped the poler, the person handling the pole, find leverage in the…

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Collections Carousel – Rain Gauge from La Fond Building Supplies, Inc., Circa 1970

Minnesotan’s love to talk about weather – “Did you notice how warm it was the other day?” “Man is it windy.” “I wonder when we’ll get some rain.” A premium, or giveaway, from LaFond Building Supplies, Inc. of Little Falls, this rain gauge would have been a welcome gift to…

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Collections Carousel – Swanville’s McRae Brothers and George W. Friedrich Park

While doing research for the Stearns History Museum on George W. Friedrich Park, a natural conservation area in southeast St. Cloud, Minnesota, that is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, I stumbled across a wonderful tidbit of information that directly ties the early history of the site to…

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