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Two Harbors Public Library Joins Twin Ports Festival of History

The annual Twin Ports Festival of Histo­ry celebrates the heritage of the Twin Ports region and the world and features events in Duluth, Superior, and Two Harbors. Running from March 30th to April 4th, the festival has many activities, including museum and ar­chive open houses, history talks, lighthouse tours, and more.

The Two Harbors Public Library hosted two programs in their community room on Friday, March 31st. “Cup of History”, led by Dr. Ste­ven Matthews of UMD’s Museum Studies, ex­plored the history of the European discovery of America, as told by maps from the 16th and 17th centuries. Multiple Root Beer programs were also held for various age groups ranging from children to adults. These were led by the Dorothy Molter Museum Executive Director, Jess Endberg, and shared the story of Dorothy Molter, the “Root Beer Lady”.

The Archives Room of the Two Harbors Public Library had an open house from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., allowing visitors to explore the history of Two Harbors through archives such as photographs, newspapers, yearbooks, and microfilm. The library itself has a rather fascinating history, as I learned from visiting with Two Harbors Public Library Director Madeline Jarvis.

The Two Harbors Public Library was built to counteract the 22 saloons the small town (population around 600) offered in 1896. A small city library was created, kept in an of­fice instead of an independent building, and boasted 481 volumes in 1897. In 1905, the library was moved to a room in the new city hall, and a Miss Anna Hanson was hired as a permanent librarian. Philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who was “richer than sin”, offered grants for libraries to be built, and in 1905, the city of Two Harbors and the library board began the process of securing funds for a “Carnegie Library.” In 1907, Two Harbors received a $15,000 grant from Carnegie, and a library was built, opening in 1909. Despite the beautiful space for adult readers, the chil­dren’s section was a last-minute thought, and the original children’s room was in the cur­rent archives room.

Other Twin Ports Festival of History events occurring in Two Harbors included a drop-in StoryCorps, a public conversation sharing stories on health and wellness, which was also held in the Two Harbors Public Library Archives room. At the Two Harbors Depot Museum and Store, there was an open house and a free shuttle to a tour of Lighthouse Point.

Local history is important to fostering a sense of community and place. Learning about the past can bring the present into fo­cus. Local history emphasizes the fact that great historical change only comes about be­cause of individuals who were dedicated to making a difference.

Thank you to our local resident-historians who are making sure our local history contin­ues to be shared for generations to come.

Haley Searls
Haley Searls
Hello! My name is Haley Searls. I’ve loved writing from an early age, though my nonfiction writing at five years old consisted mainly of weather and gardening reports. I still have some of those early articles: “It’s sunny.” “It’s still sunny.” “It’s raining.” I’m glad to say my writing has improved since then. I wrote a guest post for the Silver Bay Public Library blog, and was the writer/editor of the newsletter for my American Heritage Girls troop. I have been writing for the North Shore Journal since June 2022. Besides writing, I love reading, drawing, photography, music, and spending time with family and friends. Two books that have really influenced my writing are Reforming Journalism by Marvin Olasky and Writer to Writer by Bodie and Brock Thoene. As a journalist, I want to share positive community interactions and inspire people to make lasting connections. Article topics that interest me are ones which show community activities and involvement. Such articles include community events, youth accomplishments, library programming, small businesses, local history, local artists and authors, art programs, and cultural events such as theater and dance. If you have an article idea, email the North Shore Journal with my name in the subject line! I look forward to hearing from you!
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