Those of you who have visited the Barnes County Historical Society Museum on Central Avenue - in the old Fair Store location - undoubtedly were as impressed as I've been every time I've stopped in. Wes Anderson, curator, and his staff of volunteers have done a fabulous job in preserving the history of Barnes County, with a special emphasis on Valley City.
However, this COVID pandemic has hit the museum pretty hard in terms of a reduction in visitors and financial contributors. Now would be an especially appreciated time to join the museum with a $20 a year membership or, if can, contribute more. Wes publishes a very interesting newsletter every quarter and since joining I've received these newsy issues with lots of local names familiar to most Hiliners61 classmates. A complete listing of membership categories and an enrollment form to accompany your check is available in a printable PDF by clicking here (there are other ways to send in money, see below.)
Barb (Sheppard) Lang, our Hiliners61 Organizing Chair, is on the board of the Historical Society of North Dakota Foundation, the "ways and means" arm for Society projects. She has a keen interest in the Barnes County museum and says, "Wes and his staff have worked very hard for many years to make the museum an extremely interesting place and, because we have reached 'a certain age,' you will find many items from our youth displayed right there in the museum. They have taken on the task of repairing and maintaining all of the VCHS Class Photos. In the past, those were just kept in an unheated storage area at the school. Now, the museum has finally received possession of all of them, permanently. Wes and his hard-working volunteers display these Class Photos for whichever class is having a reunion."
You'll also find those photos and many other items of Valley City memorabilia along with comments from viewers on the Valley City, North Dakota - What Do You Remember? Facebook page, maintained and very frequently updated by Wes Anderson. If you're not a member of Facebook, it's easy to join (and free!) and you can join that "Remember Valley City" section too. Again, no charge!
Recently, the museum established a new website. You'll find it by clicking on this: www.BarnesCountyHistoricalSocietyMuseum.com There are PayPal and GoFundMe access buttons on both the website and on the Museum's Facebook pages. Let's do what we can to help in the financial support of the museum - just enrolling in a $20 annual membership would be wonderful. Wes says, "If everybody on the Museum's Facebook group would do that much, the Museum wouldn't have any money problems during this horrible pandemic."
NOTE: The Museum is currently open by appointment only (otherwise, closed). Give Wes a call at 701-845-0966 and set-up an appointment. He'd be glad to accommodate your schedule. Besides needing new sources of funding, Wes indicates that, when this pandemic run is over, he'll need more volunteers. If you reside in Valley City, Barnes County, or in eastern or central North Dakota (actually, anywhere) plan to offer some time as a museum volunteer. He has lots of work and projects and he looks forward to your help! - LG 10-30-2020