The Northfield Historical Society will be hosting two events May 16. Beginning at 6 p.m. the society will honor its 2012 volunteers of the year: Ian Iverson and Barbara Rippley. During the two-hour event the public also will have the opportunity to tour the collection storage rooms of the newly named Joan Olson Research Center.
At the same time, patrons will be able to view the newest exhibit at the Northfield Historical Society, called “Northfield Eats.”
Rippley and her husband, LaVern, have been NHS members since its founding in 1975. In 2004 volunteer archivist Olson asked Rippley, a book preservation and repair librarian at St. Olaf College, to help repair bound copies of the Northfield News. After completing that project she helped with other jobs in the archives. When Olson retired, Barb stepped up her volunteer time by committing to four hours per week. Most recently Rippley has helped with the collection storage move, and she’s played an integral part in the major effort to reshelve the collection.
Iverson’s passion for history began at a young age as he listened to his grandfather’s stories about coming of age during World War II. He became acquainted with Northfield history as a middle school student taking Earl Weinmann’s social studies class, which prompted him to join the Junior Curator Program at NHS. The following year he became part of a select group of eighth graders, led by Weinmann, who spent the first two hours of each school day at the Scriver Building as a part of the Student Community Outreach Program Experience.
In addition, Iverson credits his two years as a tour guide in the Junior Posse Program for giving him a “thorough understanding of the Northfield Raid and significantly improving his public speaking abilities.” Iverson, hopes to continue spending time in the archives after he graduates.
As part of our volunteer appreciation night the society also will conduct tours of the newly named Joan Olson Research Center, named for the NHS volunteer archivist from 1998 to 2008. Olson worked with the collection three hours daily during her tenure, providing a professional service sorely needed by the society. Prior to her volunteer work, Olson was the first archivist at St. Olaf 1969–98. She also volunteered as archivist for St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield.
“Northfield Eats” provides a glimpse of the long history of local restaurants. Using photos, artifacts, and stories, the exhibit features establishments still open, and those that
have passed into history.
Northfield has had a long history of eating establishments run by determined and creative individuals. In addition to serving food, many of these places have served as gathering spots that only add to community character. Some have had short lives, while others have been in business for decades.