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Moorhead's celebrated Comstock House facing long closure

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The 132-year-old former home of a pioneering Minnesota politician and businessman will be closing its doors to the public for much of the year.

The Minnesota Society Historical (MHS) has announced that the historic Comstock House in Moorhead will "close for the summer" due to lead dust removal, according to the Forum, which describes it as one of the "oldest and most iconic" homes in the area.

However, the paper notes that a "clear timeline" is uncertain, as lead removal will take place after a larger renovation project is complete. Workers apparently discovered the dust issue after removing lead paint from the interior of the house.

Exterior work is scheduled for the spring.

The MHS website is more vague about the closure, saying only "the Comstock House will be closed for renovation in 2015."

About the former occupant

The former occupant, Solomon G. Comstock, was quite the mover and shaker in Minnesota, helping shape the state and its history.

Born in Maine and a lawyer by trade, he came to settle in Moorhead and enjoyed a long career in state politics, according to MHS. He served four terms in the Minnesota House and one in the Senate and was later elected to a single term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The organization also points out Comstock's significant impact on the state's growing business scene – he "helped found the First National Bank" in Moorhead, and also assisted railroad tycoon James J. Hill (whose own historic home is in St. Paul) "obtain right-of-way" for key railways through Minnesota.

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