Lenny Tvedten’s book, Tales of Martin County’s Past, will be released in February 2019. To celebrate, the Martin County Historical Society is hosting a book signing and open house at the Pioneer Museum on February 21 from 3-7 p.m.
Tvedten has been writing columns regarding local history for over 15 years. This book is a culmination of many of those columns and covers the first pioneers to the area up through an interview with Walter Mondale.
Tvedten, a retired Fairmont fifth grade teacher, began his second career as executive director of MCHS in 2001. Since that time, he has helped develop a school visitation program, the addition of a research library at the museum, the acquisition and renovation of the Pioneer Parsonage, and much more. But perhaps what he is best known for in the community are his newspaper columns.
“I was contacted by the Sentinel in I think about 2003 and asked if the historical society would like to contribute to their newspaper,” Tvedten said. “I started submitting some articles, and the feedback was positive, so I’ve continued since then and broadened it to include the Fairmont Photo Press, the Truman Tribune, and the Martin County Star.”
Many of those readers encouraged Tvedten to consolidate those 15 years’ worth of articles into a book. This also gave him a chance to include historical photos to accompany many of those stories, something the original columns didn’t have. “By putting these articles in a book and including pictures from the substantial collection in our picture file, it tells the story much more completely and creates more interest.”
“Had I known that I might put these articles in a book, I would have been more diligent in organizing and filing them more carefully over the years,” he said. “Of course, hindsight is usually 20/20!”
The publication of Tales of Martin County’s Past was made possible in part by the people of Minnesota through a grant funded by an appropriation to the Minnesota Historical Society from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
The official release date of the book is February 15. After that date, the book will be available for sale for $20 at the museum, located at 304 East Blue Earth Avenue, Fairmont. Copies of the book will also be for sale at the open house. Light refreshments will be provided that evening, and tours of the museum and parsonage are encouraged.
For more information, call the museum at 507-235-5178 or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.