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Murals being restored in historic courthouse Dickey County, ND 5-17-07

ELLENDALE, N.D. (AP) - Murals showing the area's history are being restored on the ceiling inside the Dickey County courthouse.

“There's a lot of history in those pictures - agriculture, Native Americans and early life in Dickey County so we wanted to preserve that,” said Jerry Kelsh, a Dickey County commissioner.

The courthouse was dedicated July 4, 1912, said Jeanette Robb-Ruenz, the secretary for the Ellendale Historical Society. Over the years, the murals were victims of moisture and age.

The county got grant money to help with the restoration. Artist Craig Gallagher started work May 1.

Part of the project includes restoring four murals at the top of the dome that are painted on canvas attached to the ceiling, Robb-Ruenz said.

One is a painting of the 1863 battle at Whitestone Hill, east of the Missouri River north and west of Ellendale, Robb-Ruenz said.

Another mural shows an early farmstead in the county. Robb-Ruenz said she believes one of the buildings in the painting is still standing.

Gallagher, of St. Michael, Minn., has completed other restoration projects in churches across North Dakota. He said he also did restoration work at Pembina County Courthouse in Cavalier, which is a “sister” design to the one in Ellendale.
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