Museum News from the board president

Artifact Storage
The museum is working hard to create a state-of-the-art environmentally controlled artifact storage room in the museum’s basement. We have received two Legacy grants from the Minnesota Historical Society to begin the renovation work. Our first projects are to reconfigure our existing HVAC duct work to provide independent temperature and humidity control; and clean, waterproof and seal the basement floor with a durable epoxy coating.
We have applied for three additional grants that will complete the HVAC upgrades, install new dry wall windows to eliminate any daylight from entering the artifact storage room.
In July, we will apply for a large grant to complete the project. The final phase will include state-of-the-art mobile compactible storage shelving and a fire suppression system. We expect all work to be finished late in the winter of 2020. Once completed the entire museum’s collection will be safely stored away and protected for years to come.

Mt. Hope Cemetery
Mt. Hope Cemetery is a work in progress. With advice from Belwin Conservancy staff we implemented a strategy to cut back and combat the regrowth of buckthorn. Our efforts have been very successful. When we started, the entire cemetery was heavily overgrown but now the cemetery has a park-like appearance. Each year we continue to cut back trees and buckthorn in various sections and seed with no-mow fescue grass. We are working to raise $3,000 to hire the Northern Bedrock Historic Preservation Corps to do restoration and preservation work on the headstones.

Share Your Family Story With Us!

Share Your Family Story With Us!

The Afton Museum would like to include letters and photographs from your family story in our new Early Family History Exhibit that will open this spring. The items you submit will then become part of the museum’s permanent collection.

Why did your ancestors settle in Afton? When did they arrive and what country did they come from? What was daily life like for them in those early years? Did they encounter hardships along the way? If your ancestors were Native American and living in the St. Croix Valley, can you tell us their story?

Please mail, email, or drop off your short story (one or two pages) and copies of photos and/or letters (if you have them, but not necessary) by Thursday, Mar. 28, 2019.

We will announce the grand opening of the exhibit soon. We look forward to hearing from you!


The Afton Historical Museum’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce a new benefit for our members: unlimited use of Ancestry research software at no charge.

Are you interested in discovering your family history? Ancestry is the world’s leading resource for genealogy, providing online access to census data, birth and death certificates, immigration and military records, and much more. This software tool along with our newly reorganized Family and Institutional files can assist in your research. Our Ancestry account is available only at the museum and we can’t wait to help you get started!

We sincerely appreciate your continued support and hope you will find this new benefit valuable. If you are interested in learning more about Ancestry and the museum’s collections, or becoming a museum member please contact Vickie Winge at 651-436-3500 or email