by Dennis Dalman
Three history buffs lovingly arranged and re-arranged more than 100 “orphans” in the lobby of city hall on the morning of Sartell SummerFest June 9.
The “orphans” are historical artifacts that have no home. For years, they’ve been fostered out to basements, attics and garages in the city. That’s why the three history buffs and many others want a museum to preserve those objects for posterity, so newcomers to town and future generations can get a feel for the origins and development of Sartell, a unique river city.
The history buffs at city hall were Ron and Sandy Hurd, husband-and-wife; and Kaye Wenker. They set up the one-day exhibit in the lobby so people taking SummerFest historical trolley rides could peruse some of the prized relics of the past.
Among the artifacts were a pair of roller skates from the 1950s; a Winter Haven tunic and skis, also from the 1950s when Sartell hosted an annual Winter Haven celebration; carvings and a diorama created by Bill Pearson, an expert carver; a series of almost 50 Sartell High School yearbooks, including a 1970 yearbook featuring the first graduating class of the newly built first Sartell High School; pin-on booster buttons of the Sartell Sabres, including one that says “Brand the Bulldogs. Sabres Homecoming Oct. 9, 1970;” a wooden cabinet hand-made by Frank Sartell; a shaving mirror used by workers at the old paper mill; and many more intriguing items.
The Hurds, Wenker and many members of the Sartell Senior Connection are enlisting citywide support for a museum, perhaps in a repurposed police-station building once the new fire-police department building is constructed.
At one point, there were hopes for a place in the Sartell Community Center for a history museum or at least a room or two in which to display artifacts, but those hopes came to nothing in the planning stages of the center.
Sartell museum advocates, all of them diehard history buffs, have been meeting on a regular basis and hope to meet with city officials about plans for a possible museum.