One of the areas in the new expansion area will be Lyon County Today, showing the growth of the communities in Lyon County.

Museum awarded expansion funds

The Lyon County Historical Society has been named as a 2018 recipient of a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant in the amount of $265,585 for the fabrication and installation of the Lyon County Museum’s second floor exhibit gallery, “Making Lyon County Home”.

The grants are awarded annually by the Minnesota Historical Society and are made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund of the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment.

The total cost of the “Making Lyon County Home” project is just over $400,000 and a local match of over $144,000 was a key component for the success of the Legacy Grant application.

The local match came from contributions from Lyon County, all eleven municipalities in the county, several townships, many of the major businesses in the county as well as numerous individual contributions.

“I’m thrilled and humbled by the support that the Lyon County Historical Society has received through the cash match for the second floor project” said Andrea Hess, President of the Board.

“That resounding support, was an integral part of the successful grant application. We are continuing to solicit and accept contributions from businesses and individuals who want to show their support for this important part of the Lyon County community. We could not be more excited to see this project completed in time to celebrate Lyon County’s 150th Anniversary in 2020.”

“Making Lyon County Home” will be on the second floor of the LCHS Museum and will contain contemporary, fully immersive exhibits from 1945 to present day.

She added, “It will be a space that will enhance the senses, exhibit everyday moments, and explore the extraordinary growth of Lyon County.”

“There are many unique and moving stories from the past 70 years in Lyon County,” said Jennifer Andries, Executive Director. “The new exhibit gallery will be a fantastic venue to share those stories, photographs, and artifacts.”

Museology Museum Services of Minneapolis will be hired to lead and develop the exhibit gallery. The grant award is the culmination of over three years of planning, designing, and applying for grants. It began with developing an overall theme for the entire museum: “Making Lyon County Home”.

Next steps included the development of a research project, establishing a lighting plan, conducting oral histories, and creating an exhibit plan. The majority of these projects were funded by the small grants (less than $10,000) program of the MN legacy grants. The completion of each phase brought clarity and focus to the project and prepared LCHS to apply to the large grant program for fabrication of the exhibit and finalization of the “Making Lyon County Home.”

The fund raising process is not over, according to Board Treasurer, John Marshall.

“We’re grateful for all the support we’ve received and are hopeful we’ll see even more support from the private sector as we continue fund-raising to expand the match of the MHS grant. We treasure and preserve the history of all of Lyon County, including all 11 municipalities (even a couple that no longer exist!) and all 20 townships.”

The Minnesota Historical Society awarded a total of $$4,849,057 to organizations statewide. LCHS was one of 42 organizations in 27 counties to receive a grant this round.

The grants are extremely competitive and although there isn’t a requirement for a match an organization has a better chance with a cash match for a project.

The support from the community, expressed through the local match, was imperative in the successful grant application. Lyon County Historical Society will begin development and fabrication of “Making Lyon County Home” on the second floor in January 2019 with the intension of completing the project in January 2020.

For more information on the project or to express support through a donation, contact Jennifer Andries at the 507-537-6580 or

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Address: 201 N. Jefferson
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