World of

 Accordions Museum





"En verden av trekkspill"




All photos and text: fo2:2re  and

Translated by: Selwyn Wright

Copyright 2001-2008

      Not a church, but a museum  


>> Back to Norwegian version


Where can you find this? Answer: In the small town of Superior which is located up towards the Canadian border in the State of Wisconsin which is incidentally the Norwegian district where many of the immigrants settled at the end of the 18th Century. We were actually in Minneapolis to listen to Irish music with two row diatonic accordions and Cajun/Tex-Mex with one row diatonic accordion in different constellations, but after an electrifying evening at the Nye's Polka Lounge, see our article, our hosts convinced us that we too should visit the World of Accordions Museum





A couple of hours drive North of Minneapolis lies the small town of Superior by the lake of the same name. When you finally arrive there and stop outside the correct address 1401 Belknap Street, most people would think they are at the wrong address. The reason for this is that it is actually a Church building. Inside the Church building has been made into a concert hall. The basement area is the museum and workshop. Higher up in the building you will find the archives of written documents plus many examples of early reproduction play back devises. The collection was very impressive. The lady behind all of this is Helmi Harrington, Ph.d, who during this years Coupe Mondiale in Washington D.C. was awarded a prize and honored for the outstanding work she had carried out to make the museum to such a high standard of worldwide exhibits.





Helmi Harrington






It was really impressive as well as surprising to discover that the museum had so many old and varied exhibits of instruments including tuning equipment for church organs. The first had only eight full notes and the bellow was vertical. The museum is split in to various sections. It has a chronological section with exhibits from before 1930, and then from the grand period during the thirties, through the thirties, fifties, sixties to the present day. There is another section devoted to the different manufacturers as well as one with exhibits from a wide range of different countries. We will let the photographs speak for themselves. There are actually more than 1.000 accordions of different makes on display. Right next to the museum is a workshop with many work places where courses in accordion repairs are run.











  Kirkerommet omgjort til konsertsal          


Several well known accordion players have given concerts in the Harrington Arts Center, which is the name of the church after it was converted into museum in 2002. The museum was officially opened in 2004 and is a must for all Scandinavian accordionists touring the Mid West to visit. We strongly recommend that you visit the museum. It is truly a heavenly place for accordion lovers in every sense of the word.






























  The accordion repair room