St. Louis Historical Society Celebrates 97th Birthday

Society held an annual meeting with exhibits and election of governors.

DULUTH, Minn.- The Saint Louis County Society celebrated a big birthday: 97 years.

They’re a society that loves studying the past, but their Annual Meeting was also about looking ahead to what’s next.

Society officials said in late Summer and early Fall, they’ll be introducing new exhibits.

They also plan to donate 2,800 books to Minnesota libraries and schools, on the history of the Erie Mining Company.

Executive Director Joanne Coombe said it’s been their pleasure to be in charge of this area’s history for all these years.

“Everyday our lives are touched by organizations who save history, we’re touched by photographs, we’re touched by the artifacts we preserve,” Coombe said.

“In terms of a county historical society, this county, St. Louis County, is blessed.”

The Society also introduced new leaders, like incoming President, Michele Hakala-Beeksma.

An Ojibwe woman, soon to be in charge of a collection of Native artifacts.

“It’s very important to, especially to native people, to get involved I think with non–native organizations to make sure our voice is being heard, and be heard in a culturally important way,” Hakala-Beeksma said.

The meeting also featured an exhibit about John Beargrease which included an authentic basket he would’ve used, and an old-fashioned baby carrier for a sled.

Coombe also said that in 2018, the Society served 935,000 people through their exhibits, research centers, and monuments.

Plans are already underway for the 100th Anniversary celebration in the year 2022.

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