The Cherokee Area Archives recently had a changing of the guard. After years of service from Delores Richardson and the late Pat Ellerbroek as co-chairs of the Archives, Richardson has taken the position of secretary on the Archives board. Heading the new board will be Margaret Woltman and Joyce Pyle as co-chairs.
The Archives will also see Sharon Fliear and Phyllis Parrot in the new role of co-directors and be in charge of overseeing the Archives on a day-to-day basis. Rounding out the officers for the board will be Tony Peterson as treasurer.
Although the leadership has changed, the mission of the Area Archives has not. Their goals are to preserve Cherokee County history and make it accessible to the public.
The Area Archives grew out of the collection of Nestor Stiles who spent a lifetime preserving materials of local history. His collection passed to the hands of his daughter Marguerite Stiles Whiting after his death in 1960. Whiting continued her father's preservation work and enlisted other members of the town to work along with her.
The Archives became an incorporated organization in Feb. 1980. In November 1982, Whiting conveyed her father's collection to the Archives and thus begun the foundation of what the Archives is today.
The Archives has been permanently housed in the basement of the Cherokee Public Library since 1998, after years of temporary homes in the City Hall, Chamber of Commerce and the old police station that was once located next to the library.
Over the years there have been many contributors to the Archives. The Archives contains many family records including photographs and historical documents of Cherokee and surrounding communities.
The biggest assets that the Archives have are all of the volunteers working closely with the library staff and the public. The Archives along with Senior Aides Program has one employee, Linda Mortensen, who is on hand to answerer any questions the public has. Everybody else involved with the Archives are volunteers including the Archives board.
Volunteers spend hours filing, cataloging and preserving all present materials and materials that come in to the Archives. They also seek items for preservation before they are lost. The Archives always needs more volunteers. The Archives is open Monday through Friday from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments may be made for other times if necessary.
Adding more historical data is an ongoing project, if you have old photos, letter, documents, maps, diaries or copying such archival items. If you would like more information about the Cherokee Area Archives or to volunteer call the Cherokee Public library at 225-3498 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the library at 215 South Second St.
The group receives no government money. Operating funds are raised through an annual fundraising letter.
Present board members include Delores Richardson, Merle Simonsen, Joyce Pyle, Tony Peterson, Gil Bremicker, Marilyn Cedar, Joe Beals, John Cook, Jr., June Pigott, Margaret Woltman, Jean Cook, Pat Behrens, Bertie Beals, and Anne Wilberding.
Volunteers for Cherokee Archives include Emma Lou Phelan, Judy Schoon, Margaret Rhodes, Elaine Meserole, Joan Haburn, Linda Mortensen of Senior Aides Program, Kris Johnson, Phyllis Parrot, Rowena Steinberg, Marj Hicks, Lucille Ohlson, Dorothy Royer, Pat Behrens, Ann Wilberding, Claudeen Bugh, Sharon Fliear and Mary Chisman.