Sep 18, 2023 Member Spotlight – Lindsborg Old Mill & Swedish Heritage Museum
Chamber members gathered at the Lindsborg Old Mill and Swedish Heritage Museum Thursday, September 14 for a Chamber Connection, and its executive director, Lenora Lynam, shared not only its interesting past, but also its innovative present and a vision for the future.
Formerly the McPherson County Museum since 1962, the museum transitioned in August of 2021 into a private nonprofit governed by a board of directors.
The Lindsborg Old Mill and Swedish Heritage Museum sits on 15 acres of historical buildings and a camping and picnic area on the south end of Lindsborg. In addition to the 1898 Smoky Valley Roller Mills, an active business through 1955, one of the other popular attractions is the Swedish Pavilion, built for the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. It moved to Lindsborg as a gift to Bethany College and served for 60 years as a classroom, museum, and home to the art department under artist Birger Sandzén before being moved to the museum grounds in 1969. Thanks to over $550,000 in grants, those buildings are undergoing some much-needed repairs that assure their historic integrity.
Using their strategic plan as a guide, the Lindsborg Old Mill and Swedish Heritage Museum has set some rigorous objectives to achieve by 2025 that include:
- Increase offerings (events and exhibitions)
- Increase attendance by 133%
- Increase gift shop sales revenue by 55%
- Grow membership by 190% and increase community support
- Increase endowment fund by $1 million
- Complete 6 major repair projects
The museum may preserve history, but its director of marketing and communications, Adam Pracht, is excited to do so with the help of cutting-edge technology. He is working with a European developer to design an augmented reality tour of the Old Mill. Because the mill is turned on only one day per year, most of the 6,500 annual visitors never see it in action. For just a $5 add-on per group, guests will be able to “see” the mills in motion, watch video and photo galleries, listen to the machinery audio, see historical photos overlaid on current locations in the mill, and more.