MENOMINEE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
“A museum becomes
a proprietorship to safe-keep articles that tell a story of another time, a
reminder of the changing way of life.” Anna Pearl Murray
marked a tiny beginning when Mark Kronauer
presented the idea of a historical society to the Menominee County Board of
Commissioners. Myron Ross, chairman of the commission, approached Michael
Anuta, and the idea flourished. It was "go" from
that time on. Temporary quarters were found in the Jordan College building.
Washington School was acquired as a temporary home. A mountain of work and
mountains of sawdust would give way to a semblance of order, walls were
painted, artifacts were turned into displays and doors were opened.
Claire Brissette, President of the Society,
presented an idea was presented which would spark and grow into a beautiful
museum housed in St. John the Baptist Catholic Church Building. Here was an
ideal place and, above all, a priceless artifact in itself, standing empty
since 1972. This building, offering 7,300 square feet, located just off
US-41 and on the street level, making it easily accessible to the
handicapped, was a perfect find. The Catholic Planning Committee considered
the windows the most valuable part of the building, after much
consideration, a price of $20,000 was put on the beautiful leaded windows
and the building would be included. One stipulation: it must always be used
as a museum. An additional $5,000 was soon added to purchase two vacant lots
at the rear of the building.
committee was appointed to determine needs, plans, costs and financing for a
Resource Center Building The committees decided
that the building should have two main functions; (1) to provide storage and
(2) to provide a reference room. Artifacts from the Second Street Museum
(old Washington School) would be moved to the new building,
exhibits would be rotated and rehabilitated as needed. The Society
had many items that needed to be made available for research in the
saw the completion in of a beautiful 40 foot by 60 foot brick Annex
building. The building cost $69,947.00 with additional expenses of
approximately $5,000.00 for landscaping, sidewalks, parking, etc. Beth Brown
became the first Librarian for Reference Room. She began the
task, which continues
to this day, of classifying and safely storing
the extensive collection the many hundreds of. paper
items of historical value, including photographs, and books which had
been donated to the Museum. Included was the collection of bound volumes of
the various Menominee newspapers 1885 - 1970, and the City Directories from
1885. Biography files, a general history file (limited mostly to Menominee
City and County), church histories, Menominee High School annuals, Sanborn
maps of Menominee City for 1895, 1921, 1950, D.A.R. genealogical volumes,
and many other items continue to be added to the collection.
A Conservation Assessment was made of the buildings. Recommendations - fix a
beam in the ceiling (done immediately) and restore the stain glass
windows( finished 2003 with a Museum and
Libraries Grant. The Museum Building was placed on the National Register of
Research/Library area was increased within the Building. The Building Trades
Class of Senior Boys from Menominee High School assisted in the renovation.
Research Building was dedicated and named for M.J.
Anuta , a
lawyer, judge, author with a great interest in history, one of the founders
of MCHS. Many of his collections have been donated to the Center which
bears his name.
A major addition were the Bound Volumes of the Marinette
Eagle Star from 1880
2007 A Storage building was
acquired across the street from the Anuta Center. This allows for the
enlargement of the research facilities as well as more storage for article
not on current display.