Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Mark Hebert

Going up (and down) at the PC Museum

Chairlift at Phillips County Museum offers history unseen by some


Mark Hebert

Phillips County Museum Curator Lori Taylor tests the museum's new chair lift which carries guests to the second floor of the building.

For years, the second floor of the Phillips County Museum was off-limits for some visitors, not because they weren’t welcome up there, but rather they could not physically make the trip up the 15-steps to the top landing.

Those days are gone, thanks to an idea and proposal made by Karla Sudbrack and the Mulfinger Endowment Fund.

“Every year, we ask our Historical Society to submit project proposals and then the committee meets and they decide which proposals to fund,” Lori Taylor, Phillips County Museum Curator, said. “Karla Sudbrack proposed the idea and it was approved.”

Sudbrack said she has been to the museum to see the new chairlift and was happy with how the project turned out.

“It’s good,” she said. “We have one at our Church (Saco Lutheran) and I felt we needed one for the museum as well.”

The Mulfinger Endowment Fund was set up by Henry Mulfinger, the long-time Postmaster in Valley County who retired in Phillips County years ago and has since passed. The stipulation on the Phillips County Museum using money from the Mulfinger Endowment (he donated about $170,000) was that the museum not touch the principal for 20 years, but in the meantime, they can spend the interest gained. Most recently, aside from the chairlift, the museum was able to place the awning around the building’s west side. The chairlift project (completed on June 17) cost approximately $7,000, fully installed.

“We have several visitors that can’t make it upstairs, so this makes the second floor accessible to them,” Taylor said.

In 2014, then Malta High School students Ronnie Erickson and Kyle Mitchell, under the tutelage of history teacher Delmer Henry, spent the better part of three months filming the rooms on the second floor of the museum before taking the raw footage back to school to edit and narrate a film. The result was a 12-minute video which displays portions of the museum that are now accessible to anyone who visits thanks to the new chairlift.

“The video is wonderful, but we change exhibits so often that it doesn’t stay current,” Taylor said.

Carl and Louisa Dyrdahl's wedding picture from 1898. Louisa's wedding dress is now on display at the P.C. Museum.

Among the “new” items upstairs at the museum since the video’s creation are a World War II portable Oregon (from the Traci Taylor/ Kodalen Collection) and a wedding dress from 1898 worn by Louisa Dyrdahl when she married Carl Dyrdahl in Oldham, South Dakota (the dress is housed in a wonderful display case which was also paid for by the Mulfinger Endowment.)

“She had the shoes, the purse, the gloves, the headdress, it is just absolutely gorgeous and is still in very nice condition,” Taylor said. “We don’t have the headdress on display because it is just too fragile.”

The hours of the Phillips County Museum are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on this Saturday, July 21, at the H. G. Robinson House, special events will include an antique and collectible sale and quilt show in conjunction with the Malta Merchant’s Crazy Days (see Crazy Days story on page 1A.)


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