Emmet County Historical Society board members this week were busy restoring the Brujeld cabin on the museum grounds on South 18th Street, just across the street from Iowa Lakes Community College. The restoration consists of replacing door frames and doors, windows, adding a wood floor and rebuilding a loft. Working diligently on the project Thursday were Don Koons, Don Valen and Wayne Petersen.
For a nonprofit organization that operates chiefly on donations, the museum board has accomplished miracles, thanks to those very donations. One of the most recent additions is the Hugh Greig military memorial addition that now houses the museum's vast collection of military memorabilia.
Preserving our local history is a daunting task. It involves cataloging who brought in an item; authenticating its age and provenance; doing any necessary repairs without devaluing the artifact and ensuring that it's kept in an environment where it will not be degraded.
Museum board members - regardless of what sort of museum you're talking about - tend to be a bit older - Boomers and beyond. That may be because they're retired and have time to devote to the things that really matter to them. It might also be because they feel a sense of "panic", that if they don't work to ensure the preservation and record the history of an artifact, no one else will.
Whatever the reason, we are indeed lucky to have such a group of devoted and dedicated volunteers working to ensure that Emmet County history does not fade away.
We owe them a huge debt of thanks.