To the editor, 

This fall we will be voting for many important people and positions in the upcoming election. One of them is the “Referendum on funding the Kanabec County History Center.”

Years ago, the Minnesota State Legislature mandated that every county fund a history center. They recognized the importance of recording and maintaining our being.

Our forefathers and mothers worked hard to forge a manageable presence and a good future for citizens of Kanabec County. Their past success and failures are who we are today. Our history tells the story of how our early founders made a living farming the land and how we served these farmers.

The history center maintains a one room school house, “The Coin School.” Most every summer grade school children attend a one-week reenactment of this type of learning in a mixed age group. What a great experience for our children.

There is a record of logging in the 1890’s and how we almost lost Knife Lake. Due to the fact that there were no reclamation laws, it became a mud hole. A New York Times reporter recorded a before logging and after logging report on his observations of Knife Lake. Then in the 1920’s WPA reconstructed the flow way on the south end of Knife Lake, recreating the lake. This recorded history helped with the funding of the current flow way dam, maintaining and forming the present body of water for the entire county.

There is no other concentrated effort to record our daily history other than this active center, and this recorded history of Kanabec County will cease if the funding stops. This is the only history we have of Kanabec County. It is not taught in our schools. This center is a real asset to our present day being.

We must fund it and maintain its effort to help us understand who we are as Kanabec County by passing this reasonable referendum.

Gerald McCabe


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