Historical Society selects a familiar faceTrue or false? Knife River once had a population of 10,000 people.
By: Matt Suoja, Lake County News Chronicle
True or false?
Knife River once had a population of 10,000 people.
In January, Mel Sando will be able to answer questions like that in an official capacity after he is installed as the administrator for the Lake County Historical Society. Current administrator Rick Tokarczyk is retiring.
Sando started out in maintenance for the scoiety about three years ago. He also redesigned the museum displays using the knowledge he gained in obtaining an advanced degree in fine arts with an emphasis in design and technical theatre.
“You have to wear a lot of hats,” Sando said. He knows he will face the balance of dealing with hisotorical matters while keeping an eye on the financial side of the society.
Tokarczyk, who has been with the society since 2006, said the job is challenging. “I’m very confident in Mel’s ability,” he said. “He’s got a lot of connectivity to the community.”
Sando has some goals in mind, including reacting with history to current events. An example? With the possibility of a new marina being built, he would like to have an exhibition of the “History of the Harbor.”
He also wants young people to have a better understanding of history. “The entire city of Two Harbors is a historic campus,” he said. He wants younger generations to have an appreciation of what it took to build the area. “It’s not just a site or two.”
School groups do come down to the museum intermittently, but that might not be enough for Sando. “I would like to expand the opportunity … with more of a presence in the classroom before a visit,” he said. In the future there could possibly be storytelling and theater events presented by the historical society.
“I want a much bigger presence in the community … [and] collaborate with downtown business,” he said. People tend to associate the society with Two Harbors, he said, and he would like to promote other areas in the county as well.
The society is in viable financial shape, he said, with the help of donations. “We survive on the generosity of patrons and members,” Sando said. The LCHS gets some grant funding from the county. A membership drive is planned for January to add to the 400 current members and 60 businesses.
If you would like to make a donation or become a volunteer for the LCHS, call 834-4898.