#10 Pioneer Village museum now in Burlington

File Photo Harmon House at Pioneer Village in Burlington.

After it lost a long legal battle against the North Dakota State Fair Association to keep its pioneer village on the state fairgrounds, the Ward County Historical Society board decided against an appeal. Instead, they wanted a new start in a place where they could grow and expand the pioneer village.

The museum buildings were relocated in spring 2019 from the fairgrounds, where it had been located for more than half a century, to donated land along U.S. Highways 2 and 52 in Burlington. The historical society now holds title to the land and historical society board members were relieved that they would not be required to relocate again.

The historical society hopes to have the open for partial operation to visitors sometime by summer.

However, a lot more work will be needed to get it into shape.

All of the buildings had been relocated by June and volunteers and contractors repainted some of the buildings and did repair work on buildings that had been damaged during the move or had been damaged during the flood of 2011 and not repaired.

A lot of assistance came from businesses and individuals that donated money or time to re-establishing the museum.

Some funds for the move were to come from the state. The legislature appropriated a combined $250,000 toward the move, some $150,000 from the State Treasury and $100,000 from the State Fair Association’s general fund.

The historical society is currently raising money to make its buildings handicapped accessible.

Donations to the historical society through the St. Joseph’s Community Health Foundation’s Twice Blessed Campaign were to be matched by the campaign up to $5,000 provided some grant funding and the State Fair Association also agreed to Other funding came from ind

The historical society now holds title to the land and will not be required to move the museum again.

Dave Leite, president of the historical society, wrote earlier this fall that Burlington Electric has completed its work to provide power to all of the buildings on the museum grounds. Much of the labor for that project was donated. Beeter Brothers Construction completed water lines, including fire and yard hydrants, to the site and sewer lines to the two houses on the museum grounds. Beeter Brothers Construction will also spread topsoil on the museum grounds next spring, Leite wrote.

Most of the exterior work on buildings has been completed and all of the building signs will be repainted over the winter.

Historical society members hope to have landscaping, such as grass seeding and tree and shrub planting, done next spring.

This fall’s bad weather delayed some of the landscaping they hoped to do earlier.


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