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July 2019 newsletter and original story are available.
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Original Stories by local authors can be read under the Story link.
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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

Help us open our doors on the week-end and support our work throughout the year!

Please consider supporting the Afton Historical Museum with a gift. Our goal is to open our doors one additional day per week and to raise funds to operate throughout the year.

To achieve these goals, we hope to raise $8,000 by January 31.

For a long time, the Afton Historical Museum has been open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 6 pm. We have heard from many people that they would like to visit the Museum, but find it a challenge to make it during the week. Our goal for 2019 is to add a week-end day from Memorial Day through Labor Day to better accommodate our visitors’ schedules and share our collections with many more people.

Operating support covers the Museum’s overhead expenses (utilities, supplies, etc.), pays for part-time staff on days the Museum is open, and helps us with our historical and holiday exhibits. Your contribution helps us meet these critical needs. With your support, we will also be able increase the hours that we are open to the public.

Would you donate $50, $100, $500, or $1,000 or more to help us reach our goal? A donation in any amount is welcome!

Being a place for Afton residents to treasure our shared history and to share it with visitors is the reason we exist. We hope you feel that the Afton Historical Museum is your museum. Thank you for your consideration of support!

Here’s how you can make your tax-deductible donation:
1. You can make an online donation through our PayPal account:
2. You can write a check to Afton Historical Museum at PO Box 178, Afton, MN 55001.
3. You can drop off a donation in person during Museum hours on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 – 6:00 pm.
4. You can make a donation by appointment. Call the Museum at 651-436-3500 or Laurel Ross, Treasurer, at 612-720-4052.

Again, thank you so much. Please donate today!