Raising money for Harbour House

CRYSTAL FALLS — The Crystal Falls Harbour House Society Board of Directors continues its fundraising efforts to upgrade its 120-year-old museum.

The 1904 home was built by local mason Fred Floodstrand for the Harbour family. The two-story structure features a unique architectural steamboat-style construction with wrap-around porch. In 1982, local philanthropist Howard Koob purchased it and later signed it over to the society for use as a museum. The Harbour House Museum opened to the public in 1984.

The board has faced major repairs on the house due to the age, including a new roof last year.

“All funds raised will first go to paying off the remaining roof debt,” Board Treasurer Michelle Smokevitch said.

The next project they will focus on is replacing windows. “We are now getting estimates and hope to be able to do that this year,” she said.

They also need to look into a new heating and cooling system.

“I want the museum to be better climate controlled,” board President Craig Jarvis said. “Because right now we have all the old ‘Diamond Drill’ newspapers stored at Charlie’s Emporium (owned by a board member, Barbara Luck) and I would like them here.”

He explained that isn’t possible right now with temperatures going from 100-plus in the summertime to 50 degrees in the winter. He also added that all the old windows leak.

Jarvis said they hope to give the large porch a new coat of paint.

“Although it’s a job we could do ourselves, we still need money for the paint, which isn’t cheap,” he said.

They currently have four ongoing fundraisers to continue to preserve the history of Crystal Falls and surrounding areas for years to come.

The society is selling etched bricks for $50 to $500. Individuals, businesses or organizations can choose their sizes — 4-by-8-inches to 12-by-12-inch blocks. They can also select their color and wording as well as art or a custom logo.

When they receive enough orders, they plan to install the bricks to create a courtyard on the north side of the museum on Crystal Avenue.

“We would like to have benches for seating and a trellis to host weddings,” Jarvis said, noting he is the county magistrate as well and authorized to officiate weddings.

Jarvis hopes they will be able to complete the project next summer.

Anyone interested is encouraged to purchase a brick as soon as possible, as the society aims to place their next order in the coming weeks.

The society is again continuing with its headstone cleaning fundraiser, which they have done for the past several years. Volunteers use special solutions and tools to not cause harm or damage to the monuments.

Donations start at $25 for a 11-by-20-inch gravestone and will vary depending on size and condition.

They will also accept requests outside the Iron County area, though it comes with an additional charge of 45 cents a mile round trip.

Smokevitch said the city crews should be done with their spring clean up about May 15 and at that time the water should be turned on in the cemeteries. The society then will be cleaning through the month of October.

Because of the rain and heat last year, they have a few that will start off this year, she said.

Anyone interested can call or text Smokevitch at 906-284-3405 to get placed on the list.

The spring Flower Power fundraiser deadline is approaching, with May 15 being the last day to place an order.

A large variety of flower bulbs, seeds and mats are offered.

Jarvis noted the company offers quality products. “I have purchased in the past and all they grow nice,” he said.

He said half of the flower sales go to the museum.

Another year-round fundraiser is the Rada Cutlery. In addition to knives, they have a large variety of kitchen utensils, cookware, cookbooks, as well as mixes for dips, seasonings, soups and more.

The museum also sells its own cookbooks and other souvenirs.

Anyone interested in purchasing the bricks, flowers or Rada Cutlery can go to the website at www.crystalfallsmuseum-harbourhouse.org.

Individuals who have any questions or would like to donate without participating in any of the fundraisers can contact the museum by email at cfharbourhouse@gmail.com.

The Harbour House Museum, 17 N. Fourth St. in Crystal Falls, will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, May 11 and May 18. They will officially open for the season Memorial Day weekend.


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