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Hometown comic book illustrator Wally Wood.
Hometown comic book illustrator Wally Wood.

Menahga Area Museum: St. Urho and Wally Wood

Field review by the editors.

Menahga, Minnesota

Though the must-see stop in Menahga is the outdoor statue of Saint Urho skewering a grasshopper, try to time your visit to when the town museum behind it is open.

Saint Urho and grasshopper in color.
Saint Urho and grasshopper in color.

Especially unique and noteworthy items in the Menahga Area Museum include an eight-foot-tall full-color statue of Finnish grasshopper-vanquisher St. Urho; and a display devoted to Menahga hometown hero Wally Wood, "star artist" for 1950s EC horror and science fiction comics and, later, Mad magazine.

Much of what else is in this museum falls into the broad category of 19th and 20th century "old things."

There's a 1903 horse-drawn fire engine and a "doctor's coupe" 1925 Model T Ford; an old general store counter; an old printing press; an old safe from the local bank; an old telephone switchboard; an old player piano and pedal church organ; seats from an old movie theater; and recreated rooms-of-yesteryear dioramas with old furniture and showroom dummy pioneers.

Additional dummies are attired as soldiers, babies, a secretary, a fashionable 1960s woman, and a nurse and doctor (perhaps the owner of the 1925 Model T?).

For young visitors there's an exhibit titled "The Wonderful World of Scouting" and a "Kid's Corner," with a 1980s wall-mounted pay phone and a touchable display of pelt samples from Minnesota fur trappers.

Mannequin Military - donations from veterans and their families.
Mannequin Military - donations from veterans and their families.

The bounty of the great outdoors can also be glimpsed at the museum in a wall of scythes and other dangerous-looking hand-held farm implements; a display of butter boxes from local dairies (Meri Maid, Good Thunder, etc.); ice harvesting equipment; and a pair of strap-on wooden "bog shoes" for plow horses -- the equine version of snowshoes.

Menahga Area Museum: St. Urho and Wally Wood

Menahga Area Museum

320 Helsinki Blvd, Menahga, MN
South side of town, in a little park on the east side of US-71. Turn onto Helsinki Blvd and park in the museum lot. If you arrive in the daytime and the museum is closed, call the number on the front door; someone in town can probably let you in.
Tu-F 10-4, Sa-Su 12-4 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Saint Urho: Grasshopper VanquisherSaint Urho: Grasshopper Vanquisher, Menahga, MN - < 1 mi.
Emmaville Store, Population 4Emmaville Store, Population 4, Emmaville, MN - 22 mi.
World's Largest Tiger MuskieWorld's Largest Tiger Muskie, Nevis, MN - 19 mi.
In the region:
Paul Bunyan's Boots, Now Footprints, Pine River, MN - 33 mi.

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