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"History is who we are and why we are the way we are," said David McCullough, the American historian who received two Pulitzer Prizes, a National Book Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

McCullough would have felt right at home at the Carlton County Historical Society.

Whether you are figuring out your family tree, who lived on your farm before you, or how people lived here long ago - you will find a warm welcome and friendly people who are as curious as you are and David McCullough was.

Maybe you like doing research and trading insights with people who share your interest. Then you might want to join one of CCHS' affinity groups. Or you might want to start your own group focused on whatever people and events from the past excite you.

The Local Women's History affinity group is forming now - and holding a fun and informative gathering March 23 to see who's interested. CCHS decided this would be a great way to celebrate Women's History Month.

If you join us on March 23, you will hear from six local women history buffs about the women from the past that they're learning about, and you can help shape the future direction of this new affinity group. You'll also get to enjoy a fancy tea party at Oldenburg House and make a fresh flower bouquet at the Green House in Carlton. There are still a few spots open, so either go online at carltoncountyhistory.org or call 218-879-1938 and join the party!

Affinity groups have the potential to expand our knowledge of local history. Here are a few ideas for groups that we're thinking about at CCHS. We hope it will ignite a brainstorm on what you and your fellow historians would like to study, or that you'll want to join one of these groups.

• Veterans' History: How the men and women from our region who have served in various branches of the military have shaped our experience. Their spirit, actions and sacrifices deserve our appreciation. CCHS is working on a book about local people who served in all branches of service and on the home front during World War II. This affinity group could help us learn even more from our historical artifacts and records of a military nature.

• Agricultural History: We need to gather the stories of the people and the farms in our region. A group of local people have photographed many of the barns in our region and published a calendar for years. We would like to develop additional products using these lovely images. For those who enjoy antique farm tools and equipment, CCHS has a collection on display at the Fairgrounds that needs some TLC.

• Lumber and Paper Products History: CCHS has a large collection of documents, photographs, and items related to logging and wood products. Help us tell this story! We have a large collection of documents from Potlatch and need help understanding what they tell us about business and community development history.

• Textiles History: From quilts to wedding dresses, textiles reflect the materials and technologies in use at different times in history. This affinity group can study the age, construction and style of garments and fabrics in our collection ... and what it means about our history.

Carlton County Historical Society welcomes you to join in studying the history of the beautiful spot we call home. Telling these stories creates shared memories, and that brings us together as a community.

Does one of these affinity groups pique your interest? Give us a call at 218-879-1938 and we will get you connected. Or just stop by and see our featured exhibits at 406 Cloquet Ave. and we will get you connected.


CCHS 2024 events

National Quilt Day exhibit at CCHS: March 15

Mojakka Cook-off at the Northeastern: March 17

Local Women's History Gathering: March 23

National History Day & Legacy Education: April 4

Annual Meeting and Honoring Cloquet Rotary: April 25

Kennedy Book Launch and Memorial Day: May 27

Get Cranky: July 21

Carlton County Fair: Aug.15-18

Other hoped-for events (with dates TBD) include a kids' typewriter camp, holiday tea at the Historic Scott House, and a holiday concert with the Esko High School Jazz Band.

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