Herald Journal - Enterprise Dispatch - Delano Herald Journal
Dassel History Center to celebrate recent improvements, expansion July 18
JULY 5, 2010

By Kristen Miller

DASSEL, MN – The Dassel Area Historical Society invites the public to join them in celebrating the completion of the Dassel History Center and Ergot Museum Sunday, July 18 at 2 p.m.

The event is a way to celebrate the work of the many volunteers who have contributed to the success of the exhibits, events, programs, and general operation of the Dassel Area Historical Society, according to the organization’s newsletter.

Former Dassel resident Karen Humphrey will speak. She is the senior major gifts officer for the Minnesota History Center, and was instrumental in establishing the Dassel Area Historical Society (DAHS) in 1987.

Music will also be provided by the Crow River String Band, whose roots were in Dassel in the mid-‘70s. Band member Kevin Anderson was the architect for the restoration of the Universal Laboratories building and designed the new annex.

Anderson is a 1972 graduate of Dassel High School, and currently lives in Little Falls. Other band members include Lanny Anderson (class of ‘74), Little Falls; Paul Johnson (class of ‘75), Rockford; and Marlin Kottke, Howard Lake.

Refreshments will also be served.

Attendees may also view a video of the beginning of the Universal Laboratories building restoration narrated by the late Wilton Anderson, who was the manager of the company for many years. The video will be shown on the third level of the museum.

Restoration project

The restoration project of the Universal Laboratories building took nine years to complete because it was done in phases as funds became available, according to Carolyn Holje, director for the Dassel History Center and Ergot Museum.

Dick Johnson Construction of Dassel was the contractor, along with many other local vendors. The project was completed in 2001, and funded in part through the Minnesota Historical Society Grants-in-Aid program.

Years later, when the DAHS outgrew the Universal Laboratories, including its archive room, plans for an annex began, according to Holje.

A capital campaign, Building on a Vision, raised $339,000 for the project. The building now includes a welcoming entryway, offices, archives and research room, catering kitchen, handicapped accessible restrooms, and a meeting room.

The City of Dassel also added a community room that is available for the public to rent.

Board approves logo

Along with changes made to the building itself, the Dassel Area Historical Society board also adopted a new name, Dassel History Center and Ergot Museum, and a complimentary logo.

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