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Pequot Lakes Area Historical Society: President outlines wants and needs of a local museum

Museum director imagines ways to improve the use of the nearby park.

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This bench sits outside the Pequot Lakes Area Historical Society Museum, which is located in the Cole Memorial Building in Pequot Lakes. (August 2019)

The annual Pequot Lakes High School All-School Reunion is coming up on Aug. 8. We hope a big crowd shows up and we want everyone attending the reunion to visit the Historical Society Museum on that day.

We will have attendants at the museum from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Whether you were born in Pequot Lakes or somewhere else, by virtue of your attendance for X-number of years at PLHS, you have an automatic connection to the Historical Museum because we represent the history and foundation of your town.

You will be surprised at the items that pique your interest or the names that ring a bell. Good ideas pop into the mind automatically.

Ideas are necessary to get things started, but the first item on any wants-and-needs list is energy. If we honestly look at reality, we see that this is true. Our good ideas don’t amount to much if we don’t have the energy to carry them out.

So we’re looking for energy in ourselves for one thing, but we also want to incorporate the energy inherent in new people - young, old, in between.

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We want and need members. We’re not simply looking to add names to a list or money to the coffers. We are looking for “new blood” and new points of view that will give us a new look at the past. We want to see the past take on new relevancy as we head into the future, and new people will help with that.

Learning opportunities abound in this field and we are not currently taking full advantage of what we have here in our area.

With the topic of good ideas in mind, here are ideas I have that would make the Cole Memorial Building more visible.

  • Lower the speed limit on the old highway (as it is no longer a highway).
  • Paint a crosswalk leading from the city park to the bobber water tower.
  • Vacate the service road and parking spaces on the north and the east sides of the Tower Park.
  • Incorporate that ground into a grassy extension of parkland between the tower and the Cole Memorial Building, presenting a welcoming, inclusive invitation to visit both features and creating a true Tower Square.
  • Parking, then, would be extended across the current service road, connecting the two existing parking lots, and handicapped-accessible parking could be relocated to that space, which keeps it close to the entrance doors.

A very attractive wrought iron sign? Vintage lighting? Keeps me awake nights.
Board positions will be opening up by the end of the year, and we will be filling them during the annual meeting in January 2022. The historical society will continue to meet at 7 p.m. the first Thursday of the month through October. Anyone who is interested is welcome to attend.

Karen Bye is president of the Pequot Lakes Area Historical Society.

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