New Addition to Museum

The Garnavillo Historical Museum now has a formal registration book stand thanks to the generosity of Lee & Verna Lenth of Littleport, Iowa. Lee designed the stand and incorporated a piece of white oak, 12″ x 12″ x 2 1/2″, into the base of the stand. The piece of white oak was reclaimed from an original joist of the Motor Mill that was replaced in 2010. Lee, a member of the Garnavillo Historical Society, also serves as a board member, volunteer, and tour guide for the Motor Mill Foundation. James O. Crosby, a prominent Garnavillo, Clayton County, and Iowa resident, was involved with the construction and operations of the Motor Mill, located on the Turkey River south of Elkader.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the commercial milling history of the Motor Mill. The growth rings indicate the tree was between 60-80 years old when it was cut in the 1860’s for the joist. Adding the 150 years since, would make the piece of wood over 200 years old.

Lee & Verna presented the stand in memory of Lee’s maternal grandfather Herman Gruel, who was born in Garnavillo in 1874, and his great grandparents Wilhelm & Christina (Muller) Gruel, who emigrated to Garnavillo from Prussia in 1873. Wilhelm worked as a stone mason and carpenter, contributing much to the early structures in the area.

Thank you Lee and Verna!

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