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Granite Falls to restore Volstead House

The Andrew J. Volstead House in Granite Falls will be restored this year as part of project focusing on its foundation. The late Congressman owned the house from 1894 to 1947. Today it is operated as a museum by the Granite Falls Historical Society. Tribune photo by Tom Cherveny

GRANITE FALLS — A National Landmark structure will continue to tell the stories of its late owner, prohibition and farm cooperatives well into the future.

Granite Falls city council members awarded a $25,150 bid at their meeting on Monday to Gene Dwyer of LS Engineers of Le Sueur to provide engineering to stabilize and restore the foundation of the Andrew Volstead House Museum, according to City Manager Bill Lavin.

The Minnesota Historical and Cultural grants program is providing up to $153,990 towards the restoration project.

The Granite Falls Historical Society is providing $23,013 as well.

Andrew Volstead, who was born in 1860 and died in 1947, served as a U.S. Congressman and authored the 1919 Prohibition Act as the chairman of the judiciary committee. He was also the author of the Capper-Volstead Act which made farm cooperatives possible.

The Minnesota Association of Cooperatives turned his house into a museum in 1979, and donated it to the City of Granite Falls. Volstead had purchased the residence at 163 Ninth Avenue in 1894 and owned it until 1930.

It is a registered National Landmark.

Council members also awarded a $18,947 bid to Baker Brothers Inc., of Granite Falls, to remove a house and garage along an overflow channel near U.S. Highway 212 on the city’s western edge. It was the former residence of Diane and Marv Pattern, who operated Granite Floral and Greenhouse. The property represents the final residential and commercial site to be removed as part of the city’s flood mitigation program.

In other business, council members instructed City Engineer Dave Berryman to develop plans for extending city utilities and a street to accommodate the development of a new nursing home. The Granite Falls Municipal Hospital and Manor has petitioned for the improvements to develop the facility on Jordan Drive, which will connect Chippewa County Road 38 and Skyview Drive on the city’s east side.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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