Preserving the Past for Future Generations

Museum Mtg 5-20-16May 20th I attended a meeting regarding the McHenry County Historical Society Museum in Towner ND.  I had heard about this museum and how it really wasn’t open to the public due to a variety of excuses.  My mom had written a McHenry County history article for the Towner paper in the mid-70s and had mentioned over the years she wished the organization would get it together because of the importance of our history and preserving it for those that come after us.  I had questions to ask at this meeting, about why the doors had been closed for 35 years and the building was left to fall into such disrepair, and what of the donations of artifacts families had given freely for preservation of their heritage.  A lot of questions needed to be answered.
An impressive group of 27 people from around McHenry County came to the meeting to voice their concerns and add their ideas of moving forward with an effort to preserve the McHenry County Historical Society Museum.  The communities of Balfour, Kief, Anamoose, Drake, Denbigh, Newburg, Velva and of course Towner, were represented. Ryan Taylor, Director for ND USDA Rural Development, State Representative Bob Hunskor, and McHenry County Commissioner Larry Haman also attended to give their thoughts and support to this group of dedicated citizens of McHenry County. Danielle Stuckle, Education Programs & Outreach Coordinator, ND State Historical Society, also attended this meeting to lend support, as the McHenry County Historical Society is registered with the State Society.  She will be a valuable resource as we move forward in our efforts.
There was much discussion of the past Board and how to move forward with new faces and energy to build on past efforts and to make all McHenry County proud of their history. Most people were concerned with visiting the current site of the museum and finding out the condition of the artifacts that have been housed there for the past 30+ years. Ryan Taylor asked us to think about what we want the McHenry Co. Historical Society to be for the future and said to build from there.  He also indicated there are grants available and offered the help of Lisa Dahl from the USDA.  Kathrin Volochenko of Kief, suggested we divide up into subcommittees as to our own expertise.  She volunteered to set up a Facebook page for the Society.
After much conversation a motion was made to ask for volunteers to serve on the new Board of Directors and seconded.  Volunteers: Anna Thorson, Jane Gunter, Kathy Holte, Kay Buri, Tim Swearson, Larry Haman, Lillian Domres, Jacque Reis (myself), and J Rom already serving as a director.  Vera Nelson past president and director during the time the society was dormant, was also present.  A motion was made to appoint these 9 volunteers to the board by Elaine Henderson, seconded by Cassondra Boespflug.  AIF  Motion carried.  I and 8 other people were no longer observers!  A motion to adjourn the meeting was made at 7:15 p.m. by Nadia Piatz and seconded by Elaine Hendrickson.  The public meeting ended and the first meeting of the new board of directors for the new McHenry County Historical Society Museum commenced.  It was a lively meeting with lots of energy flowing.  A commitment was made to keep the fire burning to build an organization and facility to be proud of by all McHenry County.

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