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With the death of Mona Nelson on February 6, 2008, a moment of reflection is appropriate. Mona led the Kandiyohi County Historical Society and formation of the Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums. Other leaders since the 1920s, both volunteer and paid staff, have shaped local history in Minnesota, too. However, collectively the record and analysis of Minnesota’s vibrant historical organization community certainly is difficult to find. Many of the blog’s subscribers know many of the legendary leaders of this community. If you could  nominate one of those leaders as worthy to be remembered, who would that be, and why?

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4 Responses to Remembering Our Own

  1. No discussion like this can take place without mentioning David Nystuen and Charlie Nelson. Those two spent their careers traveling the state helping local and county historical societies. Russ Fridley also needs to be mentioned. He accomplished much during his tenure in the 60s,70s and early 80s as the director of MHS.


  2. Barb and Larry Sommer says:

    Thanks to Mark Peterson for his comment about MHS and mention of Dave, Charlie and Russ Fridley. When remembering the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, others who come to mind include Bob Wheeler, John Wood, Henry Harren, Rhoda Gilman, Lucile Kane, and Helen McCann White. Jean Chesley from Red Wing was a gracious and long-time leader in the field of local history.


  3. Barb and Larry Sommer says:

    Another name to add to the list of remembering our own – Alan Woolworth.

    Barb and Larry Sommer


  4. Please add my late mother’s name to that list. Marie Gerin-Lajoie, who passed away this past May, worked for years on contract for Bob Wheeler researching the fur trade. I remember the family taking a summer trip while I was on break from Junior High in … ’66? From Cornwall, Ontario to Minneapolis to visit and for her to pick up a trunk full of historical documents to peruse later. My recollections of the visit are relatively few, but fond. she continued working for him into the 70s, if memory serves, even after we’d moved to Ottawa.


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