Harbour House seeks help

CRYSTAL FALLS—For 35 years, the Harbour House Museum has offered residents and visitors of Crystal Falls and the surrounding area an opportunity to tour and do research in a unique 1904 home.  
    “This year is no exception, but we need your help,” said curator Gloria Frederickson. “In order to keep the museum open and going, we need volunteers for fundraising, grant writing, tour guides, research and board members.”
    Frederickson said some of the railings on the upper porch have fallen off due to age, location and weather. The remaining railings are in good condition and will stay up.  
    “We are in the process of repairing and painting needed spots on the upper deck,” she said. “Funds are needed to rebuild the lost railings and we are looking to replace the deck and top roofs. The lower deck and railings have recently been replaced with the help of some very devoted volunteers and many donations and grants. We need sponsors for sections of the railing at $250, post at $100 and spindles at $10 each. Any donation would be much appreciated.”
    Summer visiting hours are limited to Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., June through August, with special tours available by calling 875-6219. Single person rates are $2 and $5 for a family.
     On Wednesdays the archives room will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the basement of City Hall for research.
    “We would love to be open more with your help,” Frederickson said. “If you have a few hours a month to volunteer your time, we would greatly appreciate it.”
     The historic Harbour House Museum was built in 1904 for John and Ellen Harbour and their five children. Even then it had the notable columns and railings on upper and lower decks.
    “We have various rooms upstairs, featuring our veterans’ room with scrapbooks, portraits, uniforms and memorabilia from our veterans and their families. We have an iron mines and lumber room with items and photos of that era. We also have a map of locations of the east Iron County mines, production years and the railroad locations available for $10.
    “There is a children’s room with circus carousel and performing acts that will delight any child of any age, also games, toys and dolls kids can play with. Our women’s room features clothing, hats and shoes from times ago plus a fainting couch used when corsets were worn plus sewing and vacuum machines. The sports room includes trophies, photos, scrapbooks, fishing, hunting and trapping gear and a flask from a very successful rabbit hunt. Last but not least there is a room with a private collection of Ojibwa Indian artifacts.”
    The downstairs is like a 1900 home with a parlor, drawing room with a piano, organ and other musical things. The museum has a library containing issues of the weekly Diamond Drill newspaper dating back to 1887 and a unique boat with moving waves. The dining room has furniture of the era and dishes and a tea service. The kitchen has the old wood stove, table and ice box with other artifacts from 1900. Throughout the downstairs, businesses and historical items and photos are displayed.
    This year’s schedule will include a cleaning bee on Saturday, May 25, a cemetery tour on Saturday, Aug. 31 at 9 a.m. and a possible series of walking tours detailing the history of Main Street and its many different businesses over the years.
    Crystal Falls Museum Society – Harbour House Museum is an all-volunteer, donation funded, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of the history, traditions and heritage of the Crystal Falls Area.
    “Your support is needed, and any time or monetary donation would be gratefully appreciated. We have so much to offer and so much new information available,” Frederickson said.
    For more information contact: Crystal Falls Museum Society, P.O. Box 65, 17 N. Fourth St., Crystal Falls, MI.   49920
    The website is crystalfallsmuseum-harbourhouse.org. Email harbourhousemuseum@up.net or call Frederickson at 875-6219.