A hub for history in Perkins County

Pure Nebraska
Published: Jul. 17, 2023 at 10:20 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 17, 2023 at 11:00 AM CDT
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GRANT, Neb. (KOLN) - The Perkins County Museum is a countywide museum, and it certainly seems to offer something for everyone.

“We have a an exhibit hall, a house that is from 1905, and a country school that was originally located beside Brandon, Nebraska, and it’s now on our campus,” Perkins County Museum President Brenda Styskal said. “Our purpose with the museum is to educate, inform, inspire, and keep Perkins County history alive. We continue to add to it all the time.”

The Perkins County Museum is located in the heart of Grant, which is the county seat. One of the attractions at the museum that usually draws visitors is the one-room school. “The schoolhouse has been completely repainted,” Styskal said. “It has been re-shingled through a Boy Scout project a few years ago, and inside, through the generosity of Perkins County residents, we have lots of old school books, school desks, and we even have the original teacher desk that we just received back for the school house. It’s pretty fun.” The schoolhouse, also features examples of projects that students might have completed in the one-room school.

The Perkins County Community Foundation Fund has certainly contributed to the success of this local museum. “The main focus of the foundation’s contributions to the museum has been helping us maintain the structurally integrity of our buildings,” Styskal said. “One of the projects that we did that was quite extensive was to renovate and repair the wrap around porch and the two side porches. It was a major project, and if that had not been accomplished, those porches would have literally ripped the front off the house. Now, it’s a safe, beautiful gathering spot. It’s a wonderful place to sit in the summer.”

The Perkins County Community Foundation Fund also helped improve the museum’s exhibit hall and restrooms. When you visit the community of Grant, you’ll not only want to visit the Perkins County Museum. The town also features the Meadowlark Art Gallery that is marking its 20 year anniversary. Grant is home to the International Wheat Center where Nebraska Extension experts work to research different kinds of wheat varieties, and provide support for area producers. And you’ll want to make sure to shop local on main street, and make time for places like Soulful Salvage, which is a popular re-purposed antique store. “We weren’t going to own a shop at all, but this business came up for sale we we thought we needed a place to put our stuff after we are done with it,” Lisa Jones said. “We’ll take stuff and build it from scratch or take antiques and refurbish them.”

The community of Grant draws plenty of tourists, along with those summer visitors to Lake McConaughy. Of course, the Perkins County Museum is one of those must-see attractions for those visitors. “You can’t really appreciate where you are at if you don’t know where you came from,” Styskal said. “By preserving all of the wonderful artifacts, you get all of the wonderful stories of the people who settled this area, and the sacrifices they made.”