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Museum Comes to Life

By Staff | Jun 19, 2015

Submitted Pancho Villa (Ron Carbajal) and the sheriff (Kenny Blessum) converse at “Museum Comes Alive” on June 7.

Visitors to Rugby earlier this month had the chance to see an area museum come to life.

“Museum Comes Alive” was held June 7 at the Prairie Village Museum. An estimated 180 visitors came through, seeing and hearing costumed volunteers tell stories of how people in the late 1880s to early 1900s lived. Last year’s event brought in 120 guests.

Event organizer Pat Bye said of this year’s 180 guests, the museum saw several from the surrounding area, as well as cities like Bismarck and Minot.

“We had a good variety [of guests], that was kind of nice,” Bye said. “It was a fun event!”

Museum Director Cathy Jelsing said: “The best part of this year’s Museum Comes Alive event were the stories exchanged between our costumed volunteers and those who toured the museum that day. Several volunteers commented on how much they enjoyed hearing stories associated with the buildings, household items, cars and machinery in our collections.”

Bye said nice weather also played a factor in the event.

Bye said the idea came during a brainstorming session. She had seen an event at a museum in Canada in which participants were dressed in costume and acted in character.

The event, in its second year, serves as a way to bolster membership and give a taste of events to come.

“It also was nice to have so many people renew or become members of the Geographical Center Historical Society during Museum Comes Alive,” Jelsing said. “Our goal is to reach 300 memberships this season. Currently we are at 198 memberships. It’s great to have that kind of support in the museum’s 50th year.”


There are several more events to come for the Prairie Village Museum.

Rhubarb treats will take center stage at the rhubarb festival, which will be held from noon to 4 p.m. on June 28.

Former Rugby resident Tanner Lind will present art workshops for kids from 3:30 to 5 p.m. and 6:30 to 8 p.m. July 20-24. Terry Jelsing will present art workshops for adults from 6:30 to 9 p.m., July 13-17, 30 and 31.

There will be a camp for kids 7-12 Aug. 4-8 and 10, where attendees will learn about the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and their history and culture.

On Aug. 9, the Museum will hold its 30th annual Village Fair from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Another round of Prairie Talks will take place at 3 p.m. on Sept. 13. The topic is “Theatre of Public Policy.”

The Museum will hold its holiday dinner on Dec. 11, from 5-7:30 p.m.

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