The Joachim Regional Museum in Dickinson, North Dakota featured an Estonian exhibit centred on Estonian settlers in the southwestern part of the state this summer, from July 5th through Labor Day. Miriam Lind Lagus of Wisconsin provided all the Estonian artifacts on display and also gave a talk about Estonia and Estonian culture on Sunday, July 30th at the museum.
Photo: Miriam Lind Lagus and her husband Arne Lagus in front of the Estonian exhibit at the Dickinson Joachim Regional Museum.
The exhibit included four panels of information, a folk costume and artifacts. Lagus provided much of the information included on the panels. The artifacts included kitchen utensils, fabric and clothing. Of note was the number of mittens on display and the exhibit emphasized the Estonian folk culture associated with them. For example, the exhibit noted that an estonian bridegroom is to wear mittens on his wedding day to ensure the birth of a son. Another example provided was that a person with a stomach ache would fill a mitten with hot oats and press it to the afflicted area nine times as treatment for the pain.
The research was completed by Carl Larson, president of the Joachim Regional Museum board. Larson's cousin is a friend of Miriam Lagus. The exhibit was funded by a North Dakota Humanities Council grant of $3,000 for research of Estonians and Dutch settlers in the area. About 10 Estonian families settled in the southwestern portion of Stark County near Daglum in the early 1900's.
Larson told the Dickinson Press in a pre-exhibit interview that the Estonian homesteaders became Americanized quite quickly and blended into the community. The museum's policy is to uncover cultures that have contributed to the region which have had little attention given to them. For more information visit the museum's website, www.joachimmuseum.org
North Dakota museum featured Estonian exhibit