December 2, 2022
An anonymous donor is putting $50,000 on the table to encourage others to give to Lindsborg Old Mill & Swedish Heritage Museum before the end of 2022.
Lenora Lynam, Executive Director, said she is thankful for the unexpected gift from an area Smoky Valley resident. Lynam called on those who care about the museum to give generously to meet the donor’s year-end challenge.
“This is a big deal, and this is a fitting way to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the mill in 2023,” Lynam said, “But it is going to take many more generous people to ensure we don’t leave any part of this large gift unclaimed. Right now is the best time to give and help ensure the future of the museum and its treasures.”
The generous commitment means that now until December 31, donations of any amount will receive a “double match” under the terms of the donor’s challenge gift.
So, for example, a one-time gift of $100 before December 31 will secure $200 from the donor, for $300 total to the museum.
People can make their year-end gift to the museum go even farther, however, with a special “triple match” on new or renewing individual and family museum memberships for 2023.
This means that someone purchasing a 2023 individual membership at $40 will secure $120 from the donor – for $160 total.
Purchasing a family membership at $60 will guarantee a whopping $180 from the matching funds – or a total of $240!
Memberships can be purchased online at www.oldmillmuseum.org/members, by calling 785-227-3595, or by check or cash in person at the museum – 120 Mill St. in Lindsborg.
Adam Pracht, Marketing and Communications Director, described the benefit of giving under the match challenge another way.
“It means that every donation before the end of the year stretches incredibly far,” he said. “Our donor is essentially making it so that every dollar of a one-time donation is worth three dollars to the museum. It’s even more amazing for encouraging memberships!”
Pracht explained that every time someone purchases their 2023 anniversary-year museum membership before the end of the year, it basically will have a quadruple effect, equal to four new 2023 annual memberships. That is, one for the actual museum member, and then the dollar value of three memberships from the anonymous donor.
Guaranteeing the full challenge gift will require any combination of total one-time donations of $25,000; or individual and family memberships totaling just a bit more than $16,600.
Ensuring the entire $50,000 gift is secured before the end of the year represents a massive step toward the preservation and growth of the historic buildings of the museum – which include the 1898 Smoky Valley Roller Mills, the 1904 World’s Fair Swedish Pavilion, and an 1870 homestead cabin.
Caroline de Filippis, Community Development Director, expressed her gratitude for the donor’s generosity and leadership with this gift.
“This is amazing news,” she said. “Apart from the dollar amount, what is wonderful about this challenge is that it allows all of our community supporters to show how much they value the museum. No matter your means, no matter how much you can give, this allows you to make a difference!”
November 2, 2022
Two grants from the McPherson County Community Foundation will help Lindsborg Old Mill and Swedish Heritage Museum to make critical repairs to the Old Mill.
“We’re thankful that the foundation is recognizing the value of the mill and museum to this community and its heritage,” said Caroline de Filippis, Community Development Director of the museum. “These are valuable steps to making sure the mill stays strong.”
More than $100,000 of estimated repairs are urgently needed to preserve and protect the Smoky Valley Roller Mills, which in 2023 will celebrate 125 years since its construction.
This work includes repairing brick and mortar on exterior walls, protecting the mill’s foundation with better water remediation and drainage, and replacing deteriorated boards in the scale house that were a safety hazard to guests.
The McPherson County Community Foundation awarded $10,000 in a general grant, as well as a $10,000 Lindsborg David Nutt Grant, named after the Lindsborg resident who passed away in 2017 and whose namesake provides grant funds for charitable causes located in Lindsborg.
The museum has also recently applied for a Heritage Trust Fund (HTF) grant from the Kansas Historical Society for the mill repairs. The HTF grant requires 20% matching funds, which the $20,000 from the foundation is intended to cover.
October 26, 2022
Music by the Mill on October 22 well exceeded its fundraising goal and brought in a crowd of more than 60 people to enjoy a concert from Old Man Lingonberry and food from La Jefa Mexicana.
Between direct freewill donations, new annual memberships, and gift shop sales, about $1,300 came in to Lindsborg Old Mill & Swedish Heritage Museum in Lindsborg from the event. As guests departed for the evening, many commented on the beautiful weather, a fun and upbeat performance, and their excitement about a growing and active museum in the community.
The dollars are earmarked to help with critical repairs to the historical Smoky Valley Roller Mills. These include repairing brick and mortar on exterior walls, protecting the mill’s foundation with better water remediation and drainage, and replacing deteriorated boards in the scale house that were a safety hazard to guests.
Adam Pracht, Marketing and Communications Director at the museum, noted that it was a community effort that led to the mill’s preservation in the ’70s and ’80s. With the mill now operating as an independent nonprofit that is not under any city or county management, he said, it will again take a community showing they appreciate the value of the museum’s historical treasures.
“What was great about Music by the Mill tonight was seeing everyone getting excited about the museum again – or maybe discovering it for the very first time,” he said. “If this spirit continues to grow, there’s a great future ahead of us, but it’s going to take everyone doing their part.”
September 29, 2022
Adam Pracht, Marketing and Communications Director, represented Lindsborg Old Mill & Swedish Heritage Museum on McPherson Chamber’s “Chamber Chat” segment on Thursday, September 29, talking about upcoming events and recent changes at the museum.
Our thanks to the chamber for featuring the museum and to Ad Astra Radio for supporting distribution of the segment.
The embedded audio player above features the full segment, provided by Ad Astra Radio and used by permission.
September 23, 2022
Digging into one’s genealogy can be like solving a mystery. Fortunately, a workshop in October can connect those interested in their Swedish roots with a few Sherlocks.
Lindsborg Old Mill & Swedish Heritage Museum hosts a Swedish Virtual Genealogy Workshop with ArkivDigital four times per year, and the next opportunity will be 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 22.
Lenora Lynam, Executive Director of the museum, organizes the workshops and said she is excited about what the presenters in October will have to share.
“The resources attendees will learn about at the workshop are incredibly valuable, but often hard to find on your own, or difficult to navigate,” she said. “Many of the sources are mostly in Swedish! Our featured speakers are experts in these fields and can help guide people to learn so much more about their family history.”
Sessions will include learning how to research in Swedish-American church record books, looking up Swedish military records with new and better search tools, and understanding the U.S. naturalization process and the paper trails of family history left by that process.
Other sessions will help attendees discover additional research options when there are few available records and an introduction to DIS – a nonprofit dedicated to facilitating computer searches in genealogical research – and its digital database, DISBYT, that contains a wealth of Swedish genealogical information.
Three featured speakers will lead the sessions:
- Seema Kenney is an experienced software instructor and a professional genealogist, certified in Genealogical Research by Boston University.
- Kathy Meade is the North American representative for ArkivDigital AD AB (offering digital images of Swedish historical records) and has worked in Swedish genealogy for about 20 years. She serves on the advisory board for the Swedish American Genealogy Research Center at the Swedish American Museum in Chicago and volunteers helping with genealogical research at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library in Illinois.
- Eva Dahlberg is with Skåne and Norrbotten Research and is vice president of DIS computer genealogy society in Sweden.
Full details and a link to register are available at www.oldmillmuseum.org/events/#genealogy. Registration is just $50, but is limited to 100 attendees.
September 21, 2022
Music lovers, history enthusiasts, and community supporters will love the new FUNdraiser at the Lindsborg Old Mill & Swedish Heritage Museum on Saturday, October 22.
“Music by the Mill” is a new fall event featuring great music, delicious food, and the opportunity to support community heritage going back more than a century.
Local Lindsborg band Old Man Lingonberry will be the featured entertainment at Music by the Mill, to be held 4-6 p.m. by the Smoky Hill River and the museum’s historic 1898 Smoky Valley Roller Mill.
With genre-crossing influences for a wide, family-friendly appeal, Old Man Lingonberry is Tyler Atkinson, Taton Tubbs, Tyler Tubbs, and Jesse Crawford.
Taton Tubbs, who plays percussion and sings for Old Man Lingonberry, said they cover songs in genres including Americana, folk, bluegrass, hip hop, funk, rock, and grunge.
“It’s always a fun challenge to take a song like ‘Purple Rain’ and turn it into an alt country cover,” he said. “Mostly we just play music we enjoy, and so far other people seem to be enjoying it also.”
Videos of their past performances are available at www.facebook.com/oldmanlingonberry.
Taton Tubbs said they were excited to receive the invitation to be the featured entertainment.
“We just love getting to share our music with folks,” he said, “And to be able to do it in a fun, picturesque, and relaxed setting is even better.”
While taking in the tunes, guests can enjoy mouth-watering, authentic Mexican food – tacos, tortas, quesadillas, and burritos – from the La Jefa Mexicana food truck!
No ticket or admission fee is required, but freewill donations are encouraged. All proceeds will go to the continuing support and maintenance of the museum. In addition to the roller mill, centerpiece attractions also include the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair Swedish Pavilion, an 1870 homestead cabin (one of the first above-ground structures in the area), and McPherson County’s first courthouse – called Sweadal.
Caroline de Filippis, Community Development Director, said Music by the Mill will be a fun way to show support for the heritage of the Smoky Valley and Kansas.
“We want to invite everyone to come celebrate with us,” de Filippis said. “The museum and river is a beautiful place that will be filled with beautiful music. We can’t wait to see the community come together and support this incredible treasure.”
September 9, 2022
The Lindsborg Old Mill & Swedish Heritage Museum is asking the community for ideas for how to honor a more than 100-year-old elm tree on museum grounds that has to be removed, as well as putting out a special call for assistance in covering the unexpected expense.
Lenora Lynam, Executive Director of the museum, said that removing the tree is the last thing the museum wants to do, but that there is little choice.
“It is this beautiful, grand tree with almost as many years of history as the roller mill itself,” Lynam said. “But it’s dying from Dutch Elm Disease, and leaving it up could put other trees in the community at risk.”
Dutch Elm Disease is caused by an invasive fungus and carried from tree to tree by elm bark beetles. The leaves of infected trees turn yellow, wilt, and brown – ultimately killing the tree. In the United States, an estimated 40 million trees have been killed by the disease.
In the case of the museum’s tree, the disease progressed quickly and means removal will need to happen quickly – both to prevent spread of the disease and to prevent falling dead limbs from damaging the museum building. Removal is expected to happen over the weekend, September 10 or 11.
With the removal, the museum is also asking for help in two areas from supporters and community members.
First, they are holding a special fundraising campaign to help defray the approximately $3,000 unbudgeted cost of the tree’s removal. Those who are wanting to give should go to www.paypal.com/paypalme/lindsborgoldmill to make a one-time gift (and indicate “Tree Removal” in the description) or visit www.facebook.com/oldmillmuseumlindsborg and follow the “Donate” link on the post about the tree’s removal.
Second, the museum would like for the removed wood to not go to waste and for at least part of it to memorialize the long-lived tree. Those who have creative and meaningful ideas for how the elm wood could be used – so long as the use will not risk further spread of Dutch Elm Disease – should send the suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 785-227-3595.
Caroline de Filippis, Community Development Director of the museum, said they are also planning to plant a replacement tree near the elm after it is removed – most likely a Northern Red Oak, which will grow to have a similar look to the elm but is not vulnerable to Dutch Elm Disease.
“It will take time to grow,” de Filippis said. “But our hope is that in time it will become just as big and beautiful as this century tree we are having to remove.”
August 25, 2022
Lindsborg Old Mill & Swedish Heritage Museum is inviting the community to pick out some work clothes, roll up their sleeves, and come out on Saturday, October 1 to spruce up the museum’s buildings and grounds.
Caroline de Filippis, Community Development Director, said this is a perfect opportunity to show support.
“We’re celebrating our 60th anniversary as a museum this year,” de Filippis said. “It’s a wonderful milestone, but it also reminds us of how important regular maintenance is to keep this place beautiful.”
The work day will run 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., but volunteers can come and go as their availability will allow. Meet at the main museum at 120 E. Mill St. in Lindsborg to volunteer.
Necessary work planned for the day will including organization and cleaning, landscaping, and fence repair, so please wear comfortable clothes that can get dirty or torn as part of the day’s work.
The museum will be providing refreshments to volunteers, as well as lunch for full-day workers. In order to plan accordingly, the museum is asking volunteers to please register with a quick survey at www.oldmillmuseum.org/events.
August 18, 2022
One of the region’s most beautiful and historic attractions has hired for two critical new positions, essential for the Old Mill Museum’s growth and development.
Lindsborg Old Mill & Swedish Heritage Museum – located on the south end of town – has hired Caroline de Filippis as Community Development Director and Adam Pracht as Marketing and Communications Director. They both started on August 16, and join Executive Director Lenora Lynam for the museum’s full-time staff.
“I have enjoyed getting to know Lindsborg,” de Filippis said, “And am excited to be a part of keeping the history and heritage of Lindsborg thriving at the Old Mill.”
Caroline is passionate about the betterment of society through supporting individuals and organizations to reach their full potential. She has a background in communication marketing and sustainable development with experience working in the public and private sector. She holds a Master of Science in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability and a Master of Art in Communication Marketing.
She consults organizations part-time and is a member of the Lindsborg Convention and Visitors Bureau committee. Originally from France, Caroline immigrated to the US via Scotland with her husband and son a year ago. In her free time, Caroline enjoys nature-based activities, reading, and experiencing and learning about the community.
Calling Lindsborg home since 2015, Adam Pracht brings to the Old Mill and Swedish Heritage Museum more than two decades of experience in marketing, public relations, finance, and communications.
“This is an exciting new adventure to start in this role for the museum,” Pracht said. “I’m looking forward to using my experience and expertise to benefit my hometown.”
He was a recipient of Robert F. Kennedy Award for writing about the disadvantaged while he pursued degrees in journalism and Spanish from the University of Kansas. He also holds a Master’s of Education in “Transformative Education: Higher Education Administration” from McPherson College, where his thesis was a comprehensive marketing plan for the college.
Most recently, he served as Marketing and Volume Purchasing Coordinator for Smoky Hill Education Service Center in Salina. He oversaw a complete brand redesign, including a new logo, and helped provide critical supplies to schools and non-profits through the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. His current priority is getting community feedback and to start developing a detailed marketing and communications plan.
Pracht lives with his wife and three children at his Lindsborg home. In his spare time, he also works as an audio producer for the Escape Pod science fiction story podcast, where he has been part of a four-time Hugo Award-nominated team. He’s also an amateur wood carver, singer and musician, and photographer.