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WDAY: The News Leader

Published May 06, 2014, 05:45 PM

60 year old Richland County Historical Museum could use some restorations

Wahpeton, ND (WDAY TV) - The Richland County Historical Museum could use your help.

By: Catherine Ross, WDAY

Wahpeton, ND (WDAY TV) - The Richland County Historical Museum could use your help.

Limited funding and costly maintenance are causing some setbacks for the museum.

This little building houses and restores some of the region's antique treasures.

But now pushing 60, the Richland County Historical Museum could use some restoration itself.

Jason Heitkamp/ President, Richland County Historical Society: “The water's coming up through the cement and then getting through the tiles and starting to loosen it up. And down in the basement you see can more of that.”

But all those renovations come at a high cost.

The historical society could pay almost $70,000 for this room.

But revamping the basement level and upgrading the electrical wiring could pile on another $100,000

And the museum's funds and grants are barely scratching the surface.

Heitkamp: “We're just continuing to look for money, and you know, if people are looking to donate money to the museum, now would be a good time.”

The museum may have seen better days, but longtime volunteers are still fighting to preserve a cultural focal point for the county.

Lois Berndt: "We've been in business since 1946 and we've had volunteers through the ages that have made a lot of these rooms and contributed financially to make this happen."

And volunteers even helped to build many of the displays.

Now the museum is counting on volunteers to pack up and move out those artifacts.

Berndt: “We just do not have the funds to pay people.”

And with more help, the museum hopes to improve its facility for future generations.

Berndt: “Sometimes you don't know where you're going if you don't know where you've come from.”

The museum doesn't charge admission so most of its funding comes directly from grants and donations.

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