- Associated Press - Monday, September 22, 2014

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - The Ward County Historical Society Pioneer Village Museum in Minot is thriving three years after being swamped by Souris River floodwaters.

Damage to the museum on the North Dakota State Fairgrounds from the June 2011 flood was estimated at more than $1 million. But all 12 buildings have been restored with the help of Federal Emergency Management Agency money, private donations and volunteer help.

The museum village has a schoolhouse, log cabin, train depot, general store, post office, blacksmith shop and church, among other structures. The buildings feature early 1900s decor, and the train depot also has displays of Native American artifacts and materials depicting the history of coal mining in the region.

Volunteer auto mechanics have gradually been restoring antique vehicles that were severely damaged by the flood. A rotating antique car display was showcased on the grounds this summer. A different era was highlighted each month, featuring things such as horse-drawn vehicles and antique Model T’s.

The historical society also has formed a partnership with the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. Representatives from the tribe set up a display at the museum during the State Fair that included a Red River cart, artwork and other historical artifacts.

The museum draws about 7,000 visitors each year, mostly during the State Fair and the annual Norsk Hostfest Scandinavian heritage festival. This year’s Hostfest is Sept. 30-Oct. 4.

“A lot of out-of-state people think (the museum) is a treasure,” Site Director Sue Bergan told the Minot Daily News (https://bit.ly/1B1uFMX ). “People are just amazed how perfect everything is since the flood.”

The 2011 flood caused by excessive spring snowmelt and rain inundated more than 4,000 homes, businesses and other structures in North Dakota’s fourth-largest city. Total damage was estimated at more than $700 million.


Information from: Minot Daily News, https://www.minotdailynews.com

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