Updated: September 28, 2021 06:24 PM
Created: September 28, 2021 04:38 PM
Inside an old fire hall, where old stuff used to pile up, is a new way to honor the history of mining.
The Aurora City Hall is now home to the traveling exhibit called, "The Plan, The People, The Promise and Perspectives: The History of Erie Mining Company."
"It's a great honor for the city," shared Aurora mayor Doug Gregor.
The 8 panel display was designed by Gary Lundstrom. And it's just part of the Erie Mining History Project's endeavors. The others include the oral histories, their book, and the scholarship program.
They already won one award from the Mining History Association for their book. And Tuesday, they got another from the association, for the exhibit. And it came with a $1000 a check. It was the first time that one group got two awards from the association.
Lynn Niemi, who is part of the project team, said, "It was very nice. Other people and organizations are appreciating what we did. It's so special."
Tom Michaels, another team member, added, "The people who built it did an amazing job. And what they did in this room, no one saw it until now."
The room used to be an old fire hall and storage space for Aurora. But it's been renovated with care. Former Minnesota Power CEO and mayor of Aurora, Al Hodnik, spearheaded this project. He said, "At the time Pickens Mather was looking for spots for their engineers, there weren't a lot of places for them to land. So they worked out of the basement of city hall here."
Many people worked together on getting the space ready, including mayor of Hoyt Lakes, Chris Vreeland. "That's what small towns are about. I had a lot of fun doing it."
There is also work underway on a new mining exhibit at the Depot.
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