There are stories to be told from the Opera Hall
While the Opera Hall undergoes a facelift, the Society for the Preservation of Minneota Heritage is uncovering a myriad of items that been donated over the years during its inventory process.
"We're not sure who donated some of these items," said SPMH President Wendy Sarazyn. "And we're not sure what some of the items are. Many of them have been (in the Opera Hall) for as long as I can remember."
The Opera Hall is located on the second story of the former Big Store building that now houses the Minneota Public Library. The historical Opera Hall once held stage performances, roller skating and even basketball games.
The stage floor, which remains in relatively good shape considering its age, will be painted black. The numerous signatures on the stage walls, many which are fading away with time, will be photographed and organized for posterity sake before any painting will be done.
"We want to keep the original floor because of its history," Sarazyn said. "We should still be able to see some of the original nicks and marks on the floor made many years ago. And we want to document the signatures on the walls."
The Opera Hall walls are currently being painted. The ceiling will also be painted.
The former ticket/coat room has been cleaned out and may still be used for any future events.
"We want to hold events up here again," said Sarazyn. "Even if we don't charge for something, we could still have people go to the window and get a (souvenir) ticket."
A recent inspection of the Big Store building revealed an unexpected need for repointing the brick exterior at an estimated cost of $47,000.
The repair is vital in maintaining the 119-year-old building's integrity.
The SPMH has recently launched a fundraising campaign to raise some of the much-needed funds to make all the needed improvements and repairs, as well as future maintenance and repair costs.
The archive room of the Opera Hall is also being remodeled and cleaned. Other repairs and improvements are also being done to the bathrooms, windows and others areas.
A LULA elevator is being installed to make access to the Opera Hall easier.Because of the unknown, it's important that the historical group try its best to find out the answers for historical reasons.
"These items are a part of Minneota history," Sarazyn noted. "We have the items that are connected to Minneota. Now we need the story to go with the item."
Some of the items currently without historical backgrounds is a Hibbard barrel butter churn, a General Electric Ironer, a Maytag gyrator, an ABC Spinner, a three-burner stove from the Insurance National Company, an item from the Nesco Enamel and Stamping Co., and a pair of fanning mills from the A.V. Gillund Company in New York.
Anyone with information on any the aforementioned items, or any other items that may be located in the Opera Hall, is asked to call Sarazyn at 507-531-7958 or Sandy Josephson at 320-815-7829.