More good news for historical society

It wasn’t that long ago that the Ward County Historical Society, or at least its Pioneer Village, seemed in jeopardy. After a protracted conflict with the North Dakota State Fair, the organization found itself ousted from the property with very short notice.

Funds were short, the process of relocating the Village a challenging one and the options at first seemed limited. The historical society, though, remained optimistic that they could come up with a solution and that numerous options were available to them.

The Ward County Historical Society now officially holds title to the future site of its Pioneer Village.

The land, donated to the historical society, is located on the south side of U.S. Highway 2 and 52 near the new Dollar General store in Burlington. Dan Caswell, relocation chairman said he donated about $100,000 to the historical society for the move. The DeSour Valley Economic Development Corp. made a similar donation, he said.

Additionally, Senate Bill 2146, currently under consideration in the state Legislature, would provide $450,000 to the State Historical Society to award a grant for the move.

The first of the buildings will be moved next month. All of the buildings must be relocated by June 15 under an agreement with the State Fair. The State Fair will give $50,000 to the historical society toward the move if the move is accomplished by that time.

The conflict between the historical society and the State Fair was an unpleasant one, pitting long-time assets to the community against one another after it became clear there was not going to be a mutually satisfactory resolution.

It could have been a disaster for the historical society and bad for State Fair community relations.

Instead, however, supporters have turned it around and with any luck an enhanced Pioneer Village is not far away.

Congratulations and godspeed to the historical society and its relocation.

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