Tracing Tracy

LYON COUNTY MUSEUM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JENNIFER ANDRIES shows off some of the new technology on the second floor of the museum in Marshall, which features cities in Lyon County. Tracy is featured in different areas of the second floor, including a chronological look at the 1968 tornado (below, left) Photos / Per Peterson

Lyon County Museum’s new second floor details history of area cities

How do you visit every city in Lyon County in an hour or so?

All it takes is a trip to Marshall and a few steps up to the second floor of the Lyon County Museum.

The museum’s second floor, dubbed “Making Lyon County Home,” opened on Jan. 11, and with it, so did a portal to this rich history of area towns in Lyon County. While the museum wasn’t able to show off its new collection in 2020 — the year that marked the 150th anniversary of Lyon County, it is open for viewing now, and what a display it is.

From Minneota to Marshall, Ghent to Garvin and, of course, Tracy, the sprawling exhibit shines an important post-World War II spotlight on the highs and lows of Lyon County cities.

“The exhibit itself is Lyon County History from post-World War II to today, so it’s a little bit more contemporary history,” said Lyon County Museum Executive Director Jennifer Andries. “We tried to make sure that each of the towns in Lyon County is somewhere featured in the exhibit. We’ve got a lot of great feedback from people coming through.”

The exhibit is broken up into story-telling sections, starting with the end of the war, which is depicted in numerous ways, including a video that is broadcast on a large wall above the staircase that shows headlines from area newspapers and historic audio recordings.

“Inside, there’s a section on SMSU (Southwest Minnesota State University) history, agriculture, community, flooding, the Tracy tornado — there’s a section on the entertainment industry,” said Andries.

The Lyon County Historical Society was named as a 2018 recipient of a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant in the amount of $265,585 for the fabrication and installation of the Lyon County Museum’s 2nd floor exhibit gallery, “Making Lyon County Home.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.