#Weymu40 – The Museum Might Have Been Elsewhere

Sign at "Future Site" of the Morrison County Historical Society, c. 1960s.
Sign at “Future Site” of the Morrison County Historical Society, c. 1960s.

The Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum sits on a lovely piece of property overlooking the Mississippi River and the confluence of Pike Creek. But this wasn’t intended as the original location of the museum.

In its efforts to construct a new museum in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Morrison County purchased a piece of property on West Broadway, Little Falls. It is the current location of the “new” Bethel Lutheran Church.

According to handwritten notes by MCHS President Art Warner, the first piece of property (Block 3, Lot 6) at West Broadway location was purchased from Helen Haggard in 1968. The second piece (a wedge of property labeled Lot 7 between Blocks 1 and 3) was purchased by MCHS at a tax sale in 1980. The third piece (Block 1, Lots 4 & 5) was bought by MCHS from Helen Haggard in 1982.

During the process of designing the Weyerhaeuser Museum, it was decided that a location on the Mississippi River would be ideal and the organization examined many different properties. Finally, the current location, located directly across the road from Frank and Louise Smuda’s home, was selected. The property was purchased from Frank and Louise in 1972 for a sum of $12,600.

It was a fortuitous arrangement because many members of the Smuda family have watched over the Weyerhaeuser Museum in its 40 years of existence.

Bethel Lutheran Church purchased MCHS’s West Broadway property in 1992.

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Celebrating the 40th anniversary of The Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum.

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