Fort Museum prepares to open

Since last fall, several changes and improvements have been made at the Fort Museum, and will be ready for the public to see when the museum opens for the season April 27.

A new stoneware exhibit will be on display in its own building featuring artifacts from the Fort Dodge Stoneware Collectors Society, and several buildings were adopted by Cargill and local service clubs that have come together to restore buildings, exhibits and give some buildings a fresh coat of paint.

“The new stoneware building will be having a grand opening,” said Alan Schaefer, director of the Fort Museum. “We’ve had a lot of good, exciting projects going on; Cargill restored a building, some service clubs have helped with painting.”

The museum will open at 9 a.m. April 27 with the raising of the flags and will offer a day of displays and demonstrations including blacksmithing by Matt Alcazar, printing demonstrations by Joerg Rochlitzer, of Wellsburg; spinning demonstrations by Lyle Schwendemann, of Humboldt; rope making by Jim Johnson, of Clarion; and quilting by Tammi Calvert, of Paton.

Visitors will have a chance to meet an 1840s-era soldier portrayed by Harold Stewart, a member of the Ghost Garrison re-enactment group, and sandwiches, chips, cookies and beverages will be available from Terry Cook.

Admission to the museum for the weekend will be by freewill donation. Normally, admission is $7 for adults and $3 for students age 5 to 17.

“We decided to try the freewill donation to give everyone a chance to come visit,” said Schaefer. “Every once in a while I still hear of people who have been here their whole lives and haven’t been to the Fort yet.”

Season memberships will also be available for purchase at $30 for individual memberships and $50 for families.

Everyone who visits the museum opening weekend will be eligible to enter a drawing for a 10-pack of passes to Rosedale Rapids.