Grand Army of the Republic Hall opens to the public

Published 7:24 am Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Grand Army of the Republic Hall — also known as Booth Post No. 130 — will be open this weekend for its annual open house.

The GAR Hall is one of two remaining in Minnesota, said Dustin Heckman, executive director of the Mower County Historical Society.

The other is in Litchfield, Minn.

“It is only open once a year,” he said. “People will be able to walk around and see what it’s like.”

The open house will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Booth Post No. 130 was formed by 16 Union Army Civil War veterans. The GAR Hall was built in 1891 as a meeting place for the fraternal organization and the Women’s Relief Corps, which later held the deed when veterans’ numbers dwindled.

The hall was later re-opened by the Grand Meadow Girl Scout troop. With the assistance of the Mower County Historical Society, the Scouts set to work, taking an inventory of the building’s contents and prepared it for the public. Eagle Scouts have also given attention to the hall by providing maintenance work.

Today, the hall houses Civil War memorabilia and other Grand Meadow area artifacts. It was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places on June 13, 1986.

The open houses are free this weekend; donations will be accepted to assist with maintenance work on the building. For more information, call the MCHS office at 437-6082.

Grand Army of the Republic Hall open house

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday

Where: South Main Street, between First and Second streets in Grand Meadow

Cost: Free will donations accepted