Old Time School 100 years ago

Kathleen J. McCully, Executive Director
Isanti Co. Historical Society

This update brings us to Week 45 after the arson fire. Organization, trimming, cleaning, filing and cataloging is mostly complete for the 61 boxes of freeze-dried documents. Many of the books and family histories are yet to either be replaced or trimmed, but the paper files are almost ready for detailed cleaning and scanning, then to be cataloged in further detail so that they will be very easy to locate through a keyword search. In June, we will be moving on to begin the same processes for all of the items that were hand dried by volunteers, so the cycle begins again.

In addition to the salvage work, ICHS has made the decision to rebuild on our existing site. Over the next few months we will be working on the layouts, plans, elevations, and making the necessary decisions to enable us to begin building by sometime in August. We will have a presence at the Isanti County Fair in the Heritage Coral so we can update you about what we will be doing.

An important part of our mission is to promote the history of Isanti County and we do this with hands-on experiences during Old Time School and Swedish Language and Culture Camp.

During the month of June we are holding four week-long sessions of Old Time School at the West Riverside Museum School. Students who have finished grades 1-8 are eligible to enroll. Students will find out what it was like to attend a rural school in 1900. They are asked to wear old-fashioned clothes, bring two sharpened lead pencils and an old-fashioned lunch (No junk food!) in a basket or pail. Other unique experiences are the use of old-fashioned wooden desks, ink wells, a pump organ, and my favorite—a real outhouse! There is no better way to experience the life another generation than to literally live and learn in their shoes. These weeks usually fill up pretty quickly so register early. Information about registration is available on our website at www.ichs.ws, or by contacting 763-689-4229 or Karen Lood at 689-2830.

So, as you can see, we at ICHS are working hard to pull everything together and move forward to having a new building and perhaps a few new historical programs. This journey seems never-ending and very slow to me. However, when I reflect on how far we have come in 45 weeks, I see great progress and the hope that we will eventually have a work day that does not include soot and soil. I must thank all volunteers, staff, board members, and committee members for their dedication and diligence and not giving up.

If you want to volunteer or to support ICHS, donations are greatly appreciated and can be made by mail, at our website, or directly at Cambridge State Bank. For all other inquiries, visit www.ichs.ws, follow us on Facebook, call us at 763-689-4229, email at [email protected] or drop us a letter at 1700 E. Rum River Drive S., Suite K, Cambridge, MN 55008. We are open by appointment only at this time.