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July 3, 2020

5/29/2020 11:54:00 AM
Schools' History Project brings video, audio, film and artifacts together

An exuberant group of local history buffs have ensured that a big chunk of the many Chisago Lakes Schools’ histories are in a collection and out there for all to enjoy.  

“The Chisago Lakes History Project” began in 2018 as an organizational committee for a memorabilia display for the new Wildcat Community Center foyer, but it has become so much more.
Jack Doepke, C LTV cable television studio supervisor and videographer, said he worked digitizing school photos, yearbooks, brochures, event programs, even making images of three-D items like school athletic, cheerleading and band uniforms and buttons.  Committee volunteers collected stories, scanned yearbooks, and were responsible for writing a narrative for video footage.  Along with Doepke, volunteers included: Lani Freeman, Dean Jennissen, Marcia Smith, Chuck Gramling, Bob Meyer, LouAnn Mattson, Don Bungum, Joe Thimm, and Noel Stensrud.

The Project is both on-line and displayed in the high school new community center annex.  Anybody who is interested in school communities throughout the decades:  the Taylors Falls Bluejays, Chisago City Indians, Chi-Hi Bulldogs, Trojans and Wildcats, will want to see what has been compiled.
The History Project includes interviews done in person with alumni and school officials.

At least two films have been transferred to digital disc of classes from 1933 to 1969.  The movies, credited to Arvid Victor, are clear, fast paced and the highlight has to be a parade of students holding large name cards while cavorting for the camera. You can easily identify who is who. There are still photos going back to the earliest days of school when buses were literally horse-powered.  The Project includes newspaper accounts, school newsletters and more.

The best part about having the History Project on-line, Doepke observed,  is now alumni “...can take a trip down memory lane with this wonderful public historic resource, from anywhere in the world.”

The video archive on the website includes these participants:  Joe Thimm, Gerald Vitalis, Deb Julik-Heine and Duane Olson in Taylors Falls interviews, coming from Chi-Hi feature Diane Johnson, Keith Carlson, Marcia Smith, George Nelson and Mary Schmitz share their recollections. Trojan interviews include Steve Sandgren, Monica Johnson Tosteson, David Ertl and Becky Carlson.  From Chisago City high school there’s Jim Molnar, Leilani Freeman, Jim Froberg, John Henrikson and Carol Froberg Stromgren.

Past administrators Don Bungum, Sig Stene, Clark Malcomson, Bob Meyer and warren retzlaff to name a few, also have interviews in the collection.

On-line under the archives heading you will access non-moving images of newspapers, school review reports and more.

To enjoy the History Project see the www. isd2144.org website, find “Our History” and click on the schools you are interested in.   

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