Imagine a small group of volunteers deciding that they wanted to build a museum! In 2003 the Society directors, with development options ranging from a large barn for storage to a full service museum and visitor center, decided to build a small museum that would focus on the area’s pioneer families. David Salmela, nationally acclaimed Finnish architect, agreed to design the museum and a fund raising effort was initiated. In 2005 it was clear that the funds needed to start the project were available, and, based on the understanding that all of the construction labor and some of the materials would be donated by local carpenters and businesses, construction began.
The museum is constructed of 8×8 white pine timbers with an exposed timber truss system roof. The museum contains 9 individually lighted displays and a number of free standing displays. The photo to the right represents the work completed at the end of 2006.
Volunteers prepared the slab with in-floor heating for the museum. Both the museum and the school house are set on concrete slabs which were formed and laid by a large number of volunteers. Finland may be a small community (very small actually), but when a call for help with projects is issued, the results are impressive. More than a dozen workers responded to the call for help with the foundations, a number of which were concrete specialists. The building was completed at the end of Sepember 2008.