MINSTER — The heritage in Minster is rich and community members can experience it firsthand at the Minster Historical Society and Museum which is open, showcasing all new exhibits.

The museum held an open house on Sunday for the community to view exhibits that are on display for the first time ever. 

The museum, located at 112 W. 4th St., outgrew its space and was looking to expand so when Mel’s Decorating came up for sale, historical society officials knew they had to buy it. 

“We were fortunate three years ago that this building became available,” said Mary Oldiges, museum curator.

“We had this part of the building, which is owned by the town, we bought the building next door when it went up for sale which was Mel’s Decorating — which that building in itself has such a huge history,” said Lisa Watercutter, president of the Minster Historical Society board. “It’s been saloons, it’s been a market, it’s been a lot of things. We took it down to studs and totally redid it all. The building itself is over 150 years old so it needed a lot of work.”

Oldiges said the building did not have any insulation and it needed to be brought up to code with electrical, plumbing and other areas.

“We started out three years ago, bought the building and then we had to meet all the state standards. So we tore this building, which looked good,” she said. “It was built in the 1860s. We torn it down to the bare studs and started over because it needed all new wiring and plumbing. There wasn’t a lick of insulation and we now have to meet state standards. It got real sorrowful before it got any better.”

Oldiges said she began planning things out and took the project to Garmann Miller and Associates who helped with drawing up the blueprints.

An original quote to get everything up to state standards was $300,000, a steep price for the historical society, so they turned to volunteers.

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