IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WZMQ) – The Jake Menghini Historical Museum recently hosted an event that brought around 20 local artisans to its grounds. The event, titled “The Romance of Wood,” was inspired by the beautiful forests that surround the area and have been an integral part of the community’s way of living in the Upper Peninsula.
As part of the event, the museum curated hand-carved wooden designs for displays in its new summer exhibit. According to Judy Carlsen, a museum board member, and a member of the museum partners, this exhibit is a tribute to the forests and the wood products that are made from them. Carlsen emphasized the importance of these products in the lives of their immigrant ancestors, who used wood to create everything they needed.
The theme was Carlsen’s idea, inspired by her interest in writing. The displays include house furnishings, bowls, dishes, and more.
“We even have some shoes out there that are made out of wood that the people that owned this property brought from Belgium or Luxembourg when they came here in the 1860s,” informed Carlsen. Carlsen noted that the response from museum-goers has been incredibly positive, noting that many people gasp that they can’t believe that they drive by every day, and have never seen the inside of the museum. “They’re just delighted,” she added.
“We have a wonderful 1870s log cabin on the property, that came from the Holmes farm between here and Felch,” referenced Carlsen, explaining that the museum is a great place for a student field trip.
“Our permanent displays are on the boardwalk, they include a school, a funeral parlor, and a dentist and a police station, grocery store,” Carlsen informed. She added that the museum creamery was in Ripley’s believe-it-or-not.
In addition to the exhibit, the museum is currently seeking volunteers for the rest of the season. Carlsen encouraged local groups, and even younger students, to get involved, as the museum has successfully worked with students from the Yak Club, and the Leo Club in the past. For more information about the museum, or how to get involved, interested individuals can visit the museum’s website.