Archived Story

Progress 2011: Alden’s Keepers

Published 11:43am Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hero: Gloria I. Peterson

Secret identity: president of the Community Historical Society

Base of operations: Alden

The Community Historical Sociey officers are as follows from back left: Vice President Jeanette Lorenz, President Gloria I. Peterson, Secretary Phyllis Meyer and Treasurer Marg Bute, front center. -- Sarah Stultz/Albert Lea Tribune and Cutout by Stacey Bahr

Superpowers: ability to laugh

Kryptonite: keeping positive

Affiliations: husband, Dean; three children; seven grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; dog, Harry

Origin: After Alden residents Ruben Schmidt and Lois Hemmingsen retired from the Community Historical Society in the fall of 2009, Peterson and her officers were elected to the historical society’s board, which operates a museum with historical artifacts and memorabilia from Alden.

Peterson said the museum was close to being shut down, and in the spring of 2010, the board members began work to spruce up and reorganize the building.

A new front display area was constructed on the building, a new back door was installed and the building was cleaned in-depth.

A new sign was also placed on the front of the building, a new storage area was organized in the upper level and the upstairs rooms were wallpapered or painted.

Six new display cases were also made by students at Alden-Conger School, among other improvements.

The museum contains pieces unique to Alden’s history and its residents.

“I think we’ve surprised the community with what’s in here,” Peterson said. “We have some things even larger museums don’t have.”

Hero: Marg Bute

Secret identity: treasurer of the Community Historical Society

Base of operations: Alden

Superpowers: balancing the checkbook, paying bills, taking old things and cleaning them up

Kryptonite: loves chocolate, sometimes is a little short on patience

Affiliations: husband, Jim, seven children, 15 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren

Origin: Bute was elected to the Community Historical Society in the fall of 2009.

“I have always enjoyed history, passing things from the past onto the younger people,” she said.

Hero: Phyllis Meyer

Secret identity: secretary of the Community Historical Society

Base of operations: Alden

Superpowers: learning to compromise, looking for good ways to do things economically, writing

Kryptonite: gets upset when people don’t show their support

Affiliations: 14 children, 28 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren

Origin: Meyer, who got involved with the historical society in the fall of 2009, has always loved history. She said she loves genealogy, too.

She emphasized the society’s mission statement: “Preserving the past for the future.”

Hero: Jeanette Lorenz

Secret identity: vice president of the Community Historical Society

Base of operations: Alden

Superpowers: determination

Kryptonite: eating

Affiliations: three daughters, 12 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren

Origin: Lorenz was elected to the Community Historical Society in the fall of 2009. She has lived in Alden for seven years.