Arnolds Park Renovations Result In Big Changes For IGL Maritime Museum

Thu 5-17-2018

            (Arnolds Park)-- The extensive renovation project going on at the Arnolds Park Amusement Park has resulted in some big changes at the Iowa Great Lakes Maritime Museum as well, which has been expanded. Mary Kennedy, the museum's curator, tells KUOO news the off-season was extremely busy for them...Mary Kennedy01 

            "Well we had a winter of it, moving many things in the old museum to install a new fire extinguishing system so everything in this museum got moved and then replaced and rearranged. We've taken all of the amusement park items out of the old museum because they will go in the new amusement park museum, which is the addition, the new amusement park museum, so it's all amusement park out there, and we do have the slide and the sugar bowl in place as of right now, the barrel is coming. So it's been a real exciting time not only with the new, but with the old, giving the original Maritime Museum a whole new look and it's been kind of a learning experience for me, too, because I do tour groups and I'm having to revamp my tour now, which is good. I think when people come they'll see things they haven't seen before even though they may have been here, and it's just good to change things around, but we're very excited about the new museum, of course."

Kennedy adds the new amusement park museum has made some space available in the Maritime Museum for some new exhibits, including one that features an old tent...Mary Kennedy02 

"It sounds kind of different, but it's definitely something that is historical here. People used to tent here many, many years ago when they came, and a man offered me the tent that his parents honeymooned in in 1935 and it is very similar to the tents people used to use here, so it's given me a new artifact to tell people about and for them to learn about, so that's something that's been very exciting for me. We rearranged the Hafer section so it is easier to talk about the Hafer boats which are near and dear to our hearts because they were built in Spirit Lake and just a general rearrangement, changing boats around and it's been a lot of work, but it's also been fun in a way, besides the fact it's been a lot of work. A lot of dust, also."

Kennedy also expressed her gratitude for the assistance provided by lakes area resident Tom Kuhlman who helped with the rearranging and built a special display for some vintage boat motors in the museum.