Letter: Don’t give up museum location lightlyIn considering where the Goodhue County Historical Society museum should be located, people seem to be overlooking one or more significant factors. That word “overlook” is key.
By: Winston Kaehler, Red Wing, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
In considering where the Goodhue County Historical Society museum should be located, people seem to be overlooking one or more significant factors. That word “overlook” is key.
While the current facility does apparently have some structural and location issues, the current location offers a priceless opportunity to sense the real ethos of the city of Red Wing and its environs through a magnificent view from its hilltop setting.
I feel an almost mystical sense of connection with the history and way of life in the county as a whole looking out from there. Money can’t buy that kind of experience, and it certainly doesn’t come with looking at old farm implements, photographs, or texts on a wall.
As explained in an earlier letter to the Republican Eagle, I love the Citizens Building. Its architectural distinction (even without the central interior atrium that used to be its chief glory) and a location that is in other ways rich in historical associations as well as convenient to downtown suit it for historical society use. I recall the time when the historical society museum was located in a room in the (then) Courthouse, complete with a Densmore sister who was an artifact herself. There’s a lot to be said for a central location.
But leaving “Hospital Hill” or “Seminary Hill” would sever a very important connection with the landscape of the city and county that is, all things considered, worth more than the advantages of a dry basement and more immediate visibility to tourists (most of whom have cars anyway).
That glorious view that gives the visitor such a powerful experience of the identity of Goodhue County history and land, an unmatched sense of place, should not be given up lightly, if at all.
Is there any way we could have our cake and eat it too?