What’s cooking at the Isanti County Historical Society?

Kathleen J. McCully, Executive Director
Isanti County Historical Society

Looking back, the last 18 months have been a blur for the Isanti County Historical Society.

We have gone from a building totally destroyed by an arsonist, to seeing it slowly being brought back from the ground up. We are nearing completion and hope to be moving back in May, if all goes well. I have spoken a lot about our journey … That it is a marathon and not a sprint. While we have accomplished a lot in the past months, we have really only left the starting line. Let me explain.

First, we will have a new building—same place, with a new face. We are anxious to get into our new offices. The great room will again be available for rental with a commercial kitchen at competitive rates. The income from rentals is crucial to our operating budget. Since the fire we have not had this income. Please keep us in mind for that special occasion that requires seating for approximately 125 located in a beautiful country setting.

Second, we have been salvaging much information and paper archives, but we lost 75 percent of our history in that fire. It will take many years to rebuild our collections, but many of the oral histories and family stories we had are lost forever. It will take a strong core of dedicated individuals willing to work on this, paid employees and volunteers. I call these people our “Champions for History.”

Yes, we will continue to make history come alive in Isanti County; however, this too will only be possible with a strong budget and much dedication. Our situation since the fire has enabled us to only do a few small fundraisers so we have been operating on memberships, donations from individuals, Isanti County, Cambridge, and 8 of 13 townships.

Third, as we move into 2013, the month of March brings the Annual Township meetings. Representatives from ICHS attend these meetings to ask the residents to provide support for history in their county. Have you ever wanted to be a champion? Well, here’s your chance. If you will attend your township annual meeting on March 12, you can be the one that makes the motion to donate to the Historical Society to help us continue our journey. History is worthy of support, now more than ever.

Lastly, plans are underway to bring the Taste of Home Cooking Show & Expo to the Hardy Performing Arts Center on April 20. Home cooking from scratch is having a resurgence nationwide and the Taste of Home chefs are pros when it comes to putting a dish on the table.

If you want to attend a fun event—this is it. The Expo is full of local vendors, free samples and new wares. The Show is non-stop fun, with so many door prizes and recipe demos that we hardly have time to do everything. Tickets are on sale at www.ichs.ws, at the Historical Society, and at Cub Foods (general seating only). This is one way you can support history while having a fun time and experiencing the opportunity to win big. Yes, its a win-win for us both. We are also looking for volunteers for the show, so if you want to help, please contact us.

Once we move into the new building, we will be planning an open house. Watch for more information and please plan to attend. Following that will be the Isanti County Fair in July where we will once again be serving root beer floats in our brand new air-conditioned facility.

If you are interested in becoming a member, volunteering, or making a donation, visit www.ichs.ws, call 763-689-4229, or email ichs@izoom.net. Hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Oakview Address. Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate on-site research assistance at this time.

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