Duluth Maritime Museum Director Thom Holden Retires
Posted at: 02/01/2013 2:15 PM
| Updated at: 02/01/2013 9:45 PM
By: Justin Liles
Just steps away from Duluth's shipping canal you'll find a building that houses a replica pilot house, engine room and cabins representing life on the big lake. All brought to life by Lake Superior Maritime Museum Director Thom Holden. Park Ranger Denise Wolvin says, "He has meant a great deal. He's a great historian. He knows what he is talking about and has that great passion for the programs we offer."
Thom has been behind the wheel for over 35 years, arriving in 1977 after working at the Fort Wilkins Historic Center in Copper Harbor, Michigan. Over his career he has built exhibits, worked with schools, community groups and given tours and lectures. "We offer enough changes in the building so that people still come and even the locals who keep coming back," says Thom. Wolvin says, "It's been really fun watching him spark an interest in kids."
Thom's love for taking pictures of boats and Lake Superior can be seen in exhibits he's built. Wolvin says the exhibits mean a lot, "It means the world. People from Minneapolis come up here don't really realize the history of the importance of the Twin Ports. Thom has really brought that forward for everyone."
Thom is now sailing off into retirement and there are two things Thom says he hopes to accomplish in retirement.
"One is I want to be able to take a nap when and where I want to. That's always fun. I do have a fondness for blue overall bibs. So if my wife lets me I'm going to wear those as much as possible."
It's spending time with his wife he looks forward to the most. He goes on to say, "My wife has been a nurse for her career and I worked afternoons and nights. So much of the time we've been married for 40 years we've been kind of passing one another and this will allow us to reconnect."
Thom's personal touch will live on in the museum exhibits after he retires, but his mustache Wolvin says is irreplaceable, "I tried to grow a mustache but it just didn't work out. I'm going to make a fake one so if people are going to have a hard time adjusting to a different face. The mustache will be OK. So, as Thom sails to new adventures we say thank you for all the memories.