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The work never stops at Pioneer Village to showcase the past

When visitors arrive Sunday for the 13th annual Pioneer Day in Kenmare, they will see several changes that have enhanced the Pioneer Village experience.

7/05/16 (Tue)


Anne’s Dress Shoppe . . . Through generous support from Reservation Telephone and Kenmare Vets Gaming, The Lake County Historical Society was able to purchase several mannequins for Kenmare’s Pioneer Village that have been placed on display in a new addition in Anne’s Dress Shoppe.

By Marvin Baker

When visitors arrive Sunday for the 13th annual Pioneer Day in Kenmare, they will see several changes that have enhanced the Pioneer Village experience.

Lake County Historical Society President Bryan Quigley is quick to point out that work never stops in the village along U.S. Highway 52. However, the most recent changes are always showcased on the second Sunday in July.

Lake County Historical Society is the organization representing Pioneer Village.

One of the biggest changes is a 10-foot by 36-foot addition to Anne’s Dress Shoppe. It’s an addition of previous work that was done to repair parts of the existing floor.

“It’s done and it’s ready to go,” Quigley said. “It’s complete with mannequins.”

According to Quigley, Reservation Telephone gave the society a $500 donation to purchase some mannequins. Several male and female mannequins are dressed in Victorian clothing in the new addition.

Several new items have been included on the dressed mannequins and additional furniture has been added.

Kenmare Vets Gaming also played a major role in bringing the latest additions to the dress shop to fruition.

The Hartland Church has a new addition as well that graces the northeast corner of the church. The society has added the altar from Bethlehem Lutheran Church that should help provide a unique experience when people worship in the prairie church on Sunday morning.

Niobe Hall, which already had an impressive display of historical memorabilia, now has stained glass windows that came from Hope Lutheran Church in Coulee and several late stained glass additions have come from Bethlehem Lutheran.

The hall is also said to be locally famous because Lawrence Welk once played music on the stage, which now houses a musical display.

Norma Hall has a new appearance as well. A canopy has been added to the front exterior of the building.

According to Quigley, it will keep the building cooler during hot weather, will provide shade for Pioneer Day and will help make the front door more visible.

And when the canopy is rolled out, that’s an indicator that the village is open for tours.

All of the changes that have been made, have been completed to accommodate the Pioneer Day crowd on Sunday.

It’s a full day of activities that begins with a church service featuring pastors Cole Bentley and Michon Weingartner. The service is generally well attended so Quigley suggests getting there a bit early for a good seat and to marvel at the new altar.

Lunch will be served by Wheels & Meals, a scavenger hunt follows, children’s games will be held in the school house, a hymn sing will take place in the church, the ever-popular log cutting contest starts at 4:30 and dinner, which usually draws well over 300 people, starts at 6.

Unfortunately, Quigley said there will be no pig roast this year as there has been in the past.

Instead, a pulled pork dinner will be featured for guests who are asked to provide a free-will donation as Pioneer Day is the only fundraiser the Lake County Historical Society carries out.

Quigley said it’s the intent of the society to get back to the popular pig roast next season.

He said the health department requires the meat to be state or federally inspected when serving the public and society members weren’t able to secure an inspection ahead of Pioneer Day.

Numerous other features will take place on Sunday including vendors, face painting, raffle, antique tractor and stationary engine displays and village tours.

Check the ad on page 2 of today’s edition of The Kenmare News for exact times.

The day’s finale will be music provided by Wild Hands, a bluegrass band from Minot. Their show will begin at 7:30 that features music from past and modern times.

Max Patzner is the lead singer and guitar player, Joe Andrus plays the banjo and Nick Holwagner is the drummer.

Wild Hands has made some impressive appearances during its tenure including shows in Minneapolis, Chicago and Denver. They recently released their second album titled, “Growing Like a Weed,” following “Oh, River.”

The band has been featured on Prairie Public Television’s Prairie Mosaic segment and they performed live on KFAI, a public radio station in Minneapolis.

In addition, the band has done several shows at Cross Ranch State Park near Center.

Beyond Sunday, Pioneer Village is open from 4-7 p.m. daily through Labor Day and private tours may be arranged.

Quigley said there is a lot to see in the village, from turn-of-the-century newspapers to antique dolls to posters featuring a car dealership in Niobe.

Medical and dental instruments are located in the Norma Hall and antique farm machinery is staged on the Pioneer Village grounds.

But John Mogren, editor of the Lake County Historical Society newsletter, said Pioneer Day is the ideal day to visit. All the displays are there to see and enjoy, but people with a connection to the area come from all over to reminisce about days gone by on the North Dakota prairie.

“Pioneer Day is much more than raising funds to preserve some old buildings,” Mogren wrote in the newsletter. “It is about the small-town values that we grew up with.” ... Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!