Itasca Heritage Center Museum And Judy Garland Exhibit
Explore the people, places and resources that make up Itasca County history. The Itasca Heritage Museum captures the flavor of the turn of the century and the stories of the people, places, and resources that shaped this region. Come and explore with us the Woolly Mammoth during the Ice Age, marvel at the resourcefulness of the Ojibwe, the first inhabitants of this area. Wonder at the variety of cultures represented by the immigrants who came to the new country. See with the eye of a photographer (Eric Enstrom from Bovey, MN) who took the famous picture, “Grace”. Discover how the Mississippi River allowed access to this great land that provided the nation with lumber and iron ore. Learn about the life of CK Blandin, his paper company that still operates today and his contribution to the paper and logging industry. And new to the museum is the Itasca County Barns exhibit which shows a nice collection of barns found throughout the Itasca County area. Each family barn has a written oral history and artifacts to go along with the photographs.
The Itasca Mercantile Shop at the entrance to the museum includes American Indian goods, old-fashioned candy, regional history books and Wizard of Oz Memorabilia. Central School, a restored grade school originally built in 1895, is now a unique market place which not only features the museum but Auntie Em’s Coffee Shop, a Stain Glass Shop, Yarnworks and other gift shops.
Judy Garland Exhibit: A Family Scrapbook.
Judy Garland was born Frances Ethel Gumm in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. During their 12 years in this area, the Gumm family operated the New Grand Theater. The story of this family of entertainers is what you will discover in the exhibit “A Family Scrapbook” which includes rare photographs, artifacts of her childhood, family life, and movie career. It’s a must see.
The museum is located on the third floor of the Old Central School in Grand Rapids at the intersection of Highways 169 and 2. It is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays; and on Sundays during the summer from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information call 218-326-6431 or visit their website at: www.itascahistorical.com.