MENOMINEE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

 

    

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

Feb. 17, 1966 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.

1970 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.

June, 1976 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.

 
September 1982 A 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 Reference Room.

August 1985 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.

1995 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 Historic Building

1996 The Research/Library area was increased within the Building. The Building Trades Class of Senior Boys from Menominee High School assisted in the renovation.

1998 The 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.

1999 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.

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