Fitting this beautiful building into a single frame on my camera didn’t do it justice. Built in 1893 as a city hall, then converted to a courthouse for Hurley, WI., it is now a museum and the building is on the National Register of Historic Places. The original clock, still runs. We go to so many museums, I always try to find items you won’t see in any other locale.
This is Iron country and mining was prominent, so I stopped in the mining room first. This is the head frame of an iron mine. But, I quickly got bored with mining technology. We had limited time because the museum closed at 2 p.m.; we arrived at 1:oo.
The electrical switches on the walls are buttons. The wiring is enclosed behind a trim board on the wall’s surface.
In Hardwood, I spent time with the Dan DuFresne family. Dan DuFresne was like an uncle to me. This milk separator looked very much like his.
But, I had never seen a milk cooler such as this. Dairy is big in Wisconsin, too.
I kind of whisked through the rooms because our time was so short. This kitchen scene has nothing new in it but it reminded me so much of hard Michigan winters. Wet clothing drying by the kitchen stove was a fact of life, especially with kids getting wet and chilled coming in to dry off, then half an hour later, wanting to be bundled up again to go outside and play in the snow.
Then I discovered the weaving room. Five women were working on woven rag rugs. I counted five looms in the room. Two women were working the looms. This one uses polyester materials sewn in strips with mixed colors. Polyester wears like iron and keeps its bright colors longer than natural materials.
This weaver was using a loosely woven rags for her rug. There is a garment factory in town and the materials used here would go into the dump if they hadn’t set up a non-profit rug making center in the museum using these old hand looms.
I’ve seen weaving demonstrations before, but I didn’t know that as one rug ends, (no more material of the appropriate color) two cardboard pieces are slipped into the warp and another rug of the same size is started. Eventually, the weaver will cut between the two pieces of cardboard and the stray threads of the warp become fringe.
This woman is tying the fringe on a denim rug she just completed. She separates and strands into an uneven number say five or three and ties them by hand into a knot.
This woman made this rug to order. The customer wanted something that resembled Navajo rugs. She had to wait until the right color material landed on their doorstep. This rug sells for $40.
They have material packed away, choosing colors, planning rugs. I was enthralled.
This is a one of a set of four placemats.
I was hooked. There are so few things you can buy when you live in a motor home. I bought three rugs and skipped the rest of the museum, which I highly recommend should you ever get to Hurley. Hurley sits on the Michigan/Wisconsin border.