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Mystery Cave opens season with new visitors center


Fri, Apr 9th, 2004
Posted in Features

When visitors come to Mystery Cave this season many will be surprised to find a 5,000 square foot visitors center fully equipped with exhibit halls, gift shop, restrooms and adequate parking. Built of southeast Minnesota limestone, the building sits naturally in a meadow amid the forested area.

Mystery Cave, which is part of the Forestville Mystery Cave State Park, opens Saturday, April 17 for weekend visits. After Memorial Day, the cave will be open daily. A formal ribbon cutting is planned for June. There are two exhibit halls in the $1.6 million center that display interpretive panels covering such topics as the local geology, ground water and how the cave was formed. One interactive display will have a weatherman giving a cave climate report. Hint, the cave is a constant 48º F.

According to Cave Manager, Warren Netherton, the exhibits will allow visitors to the cave to become more educated.

“We asked ourselves ‘what stories are difficult to tell’ and designed the exhibits accordingly,” Netherton said.

One display will consist of an aerial photo of the area and when a window is removed the visitor will be able to see what is underground.

“This is a unique area of the state, and the exhibits allow us to educate the visitor in a different way than what was possible before,” Netherton said.

In addition to the visitor service areas, the center is equipped with substantial office space. This includes a specialty library for staff that covers topics unique to caves. There is also space for storage as well as a room devoted to archiving the many materials related to Mystery Cave - from old maps to photo negatives.

One unique feature is a locker room for cavers. Spelunkers will find lockers, washing machines and showers for those who like crawling through small openings underground.

“To do a simple thing like change a light bulb in the cave can involve several people and take a couple of hours,” Netherton said. “It will be nice to clean up afterwards.”

Outside, a cement wall is equipped with hooks where gear can be hung up and power washed clean.

Netherton said that while the cave can handle spelunker groups through special arrangements, they hope to be set up next year to handle groups of cavers on a regular basis.

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Morten sentenced to 82 months in prison

Fri, Apr 9th, 2004
Posted in Features

Calling him a danger to public safety, Judge Robert Benson on Monday sentenced Trevor Lee Morten to 82 months in prison for the manslaughter death of Timothy Loeding.

Morten, 30, of rural Spring Valley, pled guilty to shooting L ..... 
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Mausts seek settlement of Preston suit

Fri, Apr 9th, 2004
Posted in Features

The Fillmore County Journal has learned that Robert and Elaine Maust have offered to settle their suit against the city of Preston for $300,000 and inclusion of Heartland in the state JOBZ program.

The settlement offer was made ..... 
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Commissioners’ Report: Rural addressing and E911 moves forward

Fri, Apr 9th, 2004
Posted in Features

Jeff Cooper, Fillmore County Information Systems Director, presented costs and contract figures related to software and support staff required in the process of rural addressing and eventual implementation of the E911 system to the Fillmore County Bo ..... 
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Spring Valley man sponsors 4th annual Trout Day May 1

Fri, Apr 9th, 2004
Posted in Features

“I just love to fish!”

This love of fishing has led Jim Wernimont of Spring Valley to put on a non-profit Trout Day event at Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park the past three years. The event is intended to bring people togeth ..... 
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This old (new) house

Fri, Apr 9th, 2004
Posted in Features

“This is my old house with upgrades,” Roxie Tienter said, describing her new 2,800 square foot house in Forestville Township.

The house looks like it was built in the 1930s: a two story gothic house with a high pitched gable roo ..... 
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A View from The Potting Bench

Fri, Apr 9th, 2004
Posted in Features

This week our rhubarb patch started showing its first growth. The bits of curly red new leaves among the remains of last years plants bring a promise of tasty treats in the near future. I was tickled to notice that Rhubarb is currently a “trendy” foo ..... 
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Another View: Water problems at courthouse over stated

Fri, Apr 9th, 2004
Posted in Features

The local media reported on the March 9 Fillmore County Board meeting that dealt extensively with roof leaks on the courthouse project. It is my opinion that Hill Roofing of Austin, the contractor on the project, is being blamed for things it is not ..... 
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Snowshoe Thompson

Fri, Apr 2nd, 2004
Posted in Features

One of the benefits of doing genealogical research is discovering new family connections. Such was the case when my research led me to Snowshoe Thompson, a Norwegian emigrant who became a mail-carrying hero to the gold miners of the Sierra Nevada Mou ..... 
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