The Blue Earth County Historical Society leads in the collecting, preserving and promoting Blue Earth County's rich heritage for the future.
The Blue Earth County Historical Society exists to remember and honor the people and places of Blue Earth County, past and present, through their stories, photographs and objects. For 111 years BECHS has collected, preserved and presented the past so that you, your family, neighbors, towns and townships will be remembered. We are here to preserve and tell your story!
Our 2012 year-end fundraising goal is $25,000 to support 2012 expenses and help us reach new heights in 2013. Every gift makes a difference!
Marlene Cutkosky Pommerenke, BECHS member and donor now living in southern California, wanted to make sure her father, Harry J. Cutkosky, received both remembrance and
honor. When she heard about plans for the “Remembering Front Street” exhibit, which is now on display at the BECHS Heritage Center Museum, she stepped forward with a lead gift to make it possible.
“It has always saddened me beyond words that Dad built up this business to a success and became known all over Minnesota and Northern Iowa during a period of 25 years—only to be taken from us at the point he was finally reaping rewards for his labors,” Marlene wrote to BECHS Executive Director Jessica Potter.
Harry J. Cutkosky graduated from Mankato High School and attended Mankato State Teachers College. In 1932 he joined the J.I. Case Company in Mankato, a farm implement company, as a dealer. In 1944 he and Ernest Jones purchased the North Front Street business and operated under the name Cutkosky & Jones. Harry was a leader in the community and throughout southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. Tragically, on April 6, 1956, while
traveling near Fort Dodge, Iowa, Harry was involved in an auto accident that took his life. Marlene was just 18 years old. It took 56 years, but Marlene can now rest assured that her father, Harry J. Cutkosky, will be remembered as part of Blue Earth County’s past and recognized in the Front Street story.
Not all stories are as dramatic as Harry’s, but everyone’s story deserves to be remembered and honored. Nearly half of our $200,000 annual operating budget comes from Blue Earth County, but the remainder comes from people like Marlene – and you – through memberships, donations, store purchases and fees collected. Your annual gift allows us to maintain our current day-to-day operations with an extremely small but dedicated staff, expand our services to meet the needs of the region, engage new volunteers and explore new ways to interpret the rich heritage of Blue Earth County. We collect, preserve and present the past through exhibits, vast historical and
genealogical resources, and educational opportunities.
Our year-end fundraising goal is $25,000 to support 2012 expenses and help us reach new heights in 2013 with building improvements, exterior signage and expanded programming. The Heritage Center has been the Society’s home for 25 years and will continue to serve as the museum, gift shop, research center and archives for the
foreseeable future. It is time to make some building improvements such as paint, flooring and lighting in our public spaces. In addition, BECHS needs better exterior signage to create visibility and awareness. With an investment in additional staff hours we will be able to expand programming to K-12 schools in Blue Earth County. The updates in our building and staff today are an investment in our future.
Please take a few moments to donate today and make history. Every gift makes a difference.
On behalf of your Blue Earth County Historical Society Board of Trustees and staff, thank you for your commitment and support.