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This profile was last updated on 7/11/14  and contains information from public web pages.

Board Member

Phone: (218) ***-****  HQ Phone
Becker County Historical Society
714 Summit Ave
Detroit Lakes, Minnesota 56501
United States

Company Description: Becker County Museum & Research Library by Becker County Historical Society
Background

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

35 Total References
Web References
"It was a way to get ...
www.dl-online.com, 11 July 2014 [cached]
"It was a way to get people to come out to a community-sponsored event and just have some fun that wasn't going to cost them any money," said Amy Degerstrom, Becker County Historical Society director.
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"They just couldn't raise enough money to do it," said Degerstrom, who says that was the only year the water carnival would be skipped.
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"Story has it that one died during a parade in Barnesville and the Jaycees had to push it the entire way," said Degerstrom, who says squirting water from the trolley has always been tradition.
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"It started out as a way to cheer people up and get them to come out and enjoy the summer, and I think it's the same now," said Degerstrom, who says the Jaycees still raise money from local businesses to host the event, which now runs them $40,000-$50,000.
"It's still not something that is designed to necessarily raise money, but if there is money left over that is above and beyond what the water carnival costs to hold, then the admiral gets to decide what charity that money goes to," said Degerstrom.
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"Nobody is paid to do this," said Degerstrom, who is also a Jaycee.
The water carnival has always been a volunteer-based event and is now the oldest and longest-running in Minnesota.
And although everybody has their favorite events, Degerstrom says the biggest draw is the nostalgia.
"So many people have been connected to it for so many years, and I think that brings people back," she said, "and that's what I think is the coolest part about it."
"And because it was a livery ...
www.dl-online.com [cached]
"And because it was a livery stable, it went pretty quick," said Becker County Historical Society Executive Director Amy Degerstrom.
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"They knew the wind was going to be a problem," Degerstrom said.
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"I think E.G. had a lot of money to pay people to wet down his building," Degerstrom said.
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Degerstrom said she learned after reading through various accounts of the fire, fire departments concentrated on keeping the rooftops wet so sparks wouldn't start them on fire.
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"That's where it finally stopped," Degerstrom said, adding that it could have been because that's where the buildings stopped or because the fire departments were finally able to get it under control by then.
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Degerstrom said one of her favorite stories from the fire was that a young kid ran over to Mr. Blanding to tell him the opera house was on fire and his reply was, "close the doors and let the damn thing burn.
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Degerstrom said one thing to remember about this time period is that the fire department operated with horses and mostly hand-powered pumps. There were a couple steam-powered pumps, but mostly everything was done by hand. There were several injuries during the chaos, but no lives were lost in the fire. She said the damage would have likely been much worse if the fire hadn't been during the week and during the day when everyone was at work and out and about in town.
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"It's an interesting story because it's still really present and how we see our downtown, and we're still following the laws that were put in place (after the fire)," Degerstrom said.
It's also a sign of united community, she added, because of the photos and accounts of how everyone pitched in to save what they could of the downtown.
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Degerstrom said the museum is always interested in pictures, stories or other memorabilia from families involved in the fire.
Becker County Museum & Research Library - Board of Trustees
www.beckercountyhistory.org, 15 Sept 2013 [cached]
Amy Degerstrom - Executive Director
The top newsmakers are, clockwise from ...
www.dl-online.com, 30 Dec 2013 [cached]
The top newsmakers are, clockwise from top left, Mark Fritz, Doug Froke, Amy Degerstrom, Brad Green and Erma Vizenor.
...
Amy Degerstrom
And though the previously mentioned four have made headlines due to the projects they have been involved with in 2013, it's Amy Degerstrom's job to preserve those headlines for years to come.
As director of the Becker County Historical Society and Museum since 2010, Degerstrom has been working, and succeeding, at turning the image of the museum around after it floundered for a period of time.
In the last year or so, she has secured the museum as a spot for traveling exhibits from the Smithsonian ("Why Treaties Matter"), the Minnesota Historical Society ("Minnesota on the Homefront," "Minnesota on the Map," ""Minnesota Disasters" and "Electrify Minnesota") and the Minnesota's Historic Northwest, which involves 12 counties including Becker and they produce their own traveling exhibits.
"Faith Matters" was one of those exhibits and featured many area churches, and "Inventors, Innovators and Entrepreneurs," which locally features Lakeshirts.
Degerstrom has also been working on outreach programs, whether it's in the schools, in communities throughout Becker County or just inviting people into the museum for different programs like the Brown Bag Lunch, which takes place the second Wednesday of each month at noon.
"For me, I grew up in local history so it's been important to me for people to know their stories matter," Degerstrom said of growing up in Ada, where he mom worked at the local museum. She added that if people didn't tell their story, history would just be objects with no information behind them.
During her time at the Becker County Museum, Degerstrom has also worked on collection maintenance, which hadn't been organized in many years.
"I want to reacquaint people with the fact that their history matters and we find value in that story."
Degerstrom brings years of experience in history from her schooling to work done at Glensheen Mansion in Duluth to work at Cincinnati Museum Center in Ohio, where she lived for a period of time.
She said she's able to bring her experience from those much larger institutions and apply them to this smaller museum. And she works to diversify those coming through the door of the museum.
"History gets a bad rap sometimes," she said of trying to make it more interesting for everyone.
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Degerstrom said it's difficult for people to think about documenting what's going on now otherwise it will be forgotten history in time.
"It's not just long ago is history. Their contemporary story is their history one day," she said.
Over at the Becker County Historical ...
www.dl-online.com [cached]
Over at the Becker County Historical Society Museum in Detroit Lakes, executive director Amy Degerstrom is presenting "For Your Health," a look back at the county's medical history, as the latest in its "Hidden History Happy Hour" series.
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