Lanesboro turns phone booth into time machine

A phone booth outside the museum lets people listen to oral history.
A phone booth outside the Lanesboro Museum lets people listen to oral history of the city and gives directions on how to share stories of the city.
Courtesy Lanesboro Arts

Payphone booths have become a thing of the past.

But one relic in Lanesboro has found a new, um, calling.

As part of a storytelling project Lanesboro Arts is launching Saturday, a decommissioned payphone in downtown Lanesboro will play a rotating selection of stories about life in the southeastern Minnesota town.

Like the time a group of boys found Betty Michaud skinny dipping when she was in eighth grade.

"They said, 'You've got to get out,'" Michaud said. "And I said, 'I'm not getting out while you guys are here!'"

A phone booth stands outside the Lanesboro Museum.
A phone booth that lets people listen to stories of Lanesboro.
Courtesy Lanesboro Arts

Lanesboro Arts program director Adam Wiltgen said the idea was to connect the decommissioned phone to the area's history.

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He said stories run the gamut.

"Going hunting and riding the caboose as a kid, or someone's first experience, who lives here now, visiting Lanesboro," Wiltgen said.

Lanesboro Arts will hold an event to celebrate the project on Saturday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

And you can record your own stories at the Lanesboro History Museum, by calling 507-881-0051 and leaving a message, or by using the hashtag #LanesboroMN on Twitter.