FAIRMONT– Although Martin County Historical Society Executive Director Lenny Tvedten knows a lot about the county’s history, he is seeking help from those with more specific information about the history of business in the county for his third book.
Tvedten noted that his latest project is in line with the Martin County Historical Society’s mission statement, which is to preserve and share the history of Martin County by acquiring, preserving, properly displaying, and making it accessible for viewing, research, and research purposes. educational.
While Tvedten has some information about businesses in the area, he wants more from anyone who has been associated with the business or had any direct contact with it. He is also looking for photos, both historical and current.
To make the process as easy as possible for those who want to participate, Tvedten and museum curator Jim Marushin created a simple questionnaire of about eight questions that people can complete.
The questions ask about any previous locations of the business, the person behind starting the business, and any interesting or unique stories about the business or the people who worked there.
The questionnaire method was used for Tvedten’s latest book on Martin County Veterans which was published in late 2021. Both Tvedten and Marushin were surprised and pleased with the response they received.
“I gave them a questionnaire to follow and they filled it out, they gave it back to me and I put it in the form of a story”, Tvedten said.
For this book, Tvedten looks at the evolution of a business. He explained that it can be any business currently in operation and any business that was in operation throughout the county.
“Going back to the ’50s and ’60s, Nelson Ice Cream Company and Crystal Bottling Company, places like that,” Tvedten said of two previous deals.
He said it’s also open to professional organizations like law and dental offices, as well as nonprofits.
Tvedten knows they won’t get information on all of the many, many past and present businesses in the county, but he’d like to give it a try.
“I am looking for what anyone can provide”, he said.
Tvedten said there are a few businesses he has information about, including Sentinel, Fairmont Ford and the hospital, because he has investigated them.
“I think it would be fair to include them because we have documentation,” Tvedten said.
For everything else, he relies on the help and knowledge of the public.
As for spreading the word, Tvedten plans to post her project in area newspapers and on the Martin County Historical Society’s website at fairmont.org/mchs. He said the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce will also send a notice to businesses.
“I don’t know where it’s going to lead. It could become a huge project which would be good.” Tvedten said with a laugh.
He plans to start working as soon as the information arrives. He said that the higher the response, the longer it will take to put the book together.
“It would be nice to get a flood of information,” Tvedten said.
Ideally, he’d like a book larger than his last book on area veterans, which was 160 pages, but he said it all depends on the information and photos people provide.
Speaking of the importance of documenting the history of businesses in the county, Tvedten said: “If it’s not documented, it’s gone. He is lost. It is important that these businesses that served the county in so many ways be remembered and documented for what they have done.”
Anyone with information on area businesses can visit the mchs website or email Tvedten at [email protected] or call 507-235-5178.