The Polk County Historical Society may have held its official 80th anniversary celebration Sunday at the museum in Crookston, in the form of an ice-cream social, but as the program was presented by PCHS President Jerry Amiot, it became clear to the dozens in attendance that the PCHS is making sure its ninth decade in existence commences in busy fashion.
"We are doing a number of events to commemorate our 80th year," Amiot told the gathering.
Amiot read a story from the Fertile Journal newspaper dated May 18, 1933 that invited people to attend an organizational meeting two days later that would potentially result in the formation of the Polk County Historical Society. Two days later, on May 20, that meeting was held, and the PCHS was born.
"Over 80 years, it's been a lot of hard work by a lot of volunteers," Amiot said. "We've come a long ways, but we have a long ways to go."
One of the most prodigious volunteers over the decades has been Alice Dale. She served as museum director for many years, has been a PCHS member for three decades, and has been on the PCHS board since 1993, for which she was secretary from 1998 until 2010.
Sunday, Dale was a guest of honor, of sorts, and was bestowed with the title of "Museum Director Emerita" by Amiot. At a previous event, she was given a rare lifetime membership in the PCHS.
"Alice has been a joy to work with, and this is her special day," Amiot said.
"I appreciate everything everyone has done over the years," Dale said when given the microphone by Amiot. "It's been a very good experience for me."
The good experiences will continue, as the PCHS hosts the following upcoming events:
• On Aug. 15 at the being-restored Carnegie Building, Kristina Gray, who's contributing weekly historical articles to the Crookston Daily Times, will sign copies of her new book, "Images of America: Crookston," from 3 to 6 p.m. She told the group Sunday she's pondering a second book that expands her historical look back to all of Polk County. The Crookston book will be for sale for $22, Gray said, but is also available at Amazon.com for $16 until Aug. 5.
• The museum will be the site for the annual Pioneer Days on Sunday, Sept. 8 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m
• The director of the Minnesota Historical Society is being invited to a PCHS event on Thursday, Nov. 7.
• The third annual PCHS Christmas Concert is being planned for early December.