Kathleen Klehr, the longtime executive director of the Scott County Historical Society, has retired, effective March 29.
Over the years, Klehr helped create 117 exhibits, led a rebranding effort that included redesigning the society’s website and helped to develop a mobile recording studio to gather and preserve stories. She also guided the museum through a structural redesign and the revamping of its garden.
A six-year WWII project included collecting stories from the war front and at home and became a book titled “Never Forgotten: Stories by Scott County World War II Veterans.” The 2010 exhibit accompanying that research, “Heroes Among Us: Scott County’s World War II Veterans,” won state and national recognition.
Klehr expanded the Historical Society’s collections, acquiring materials ranging from farm equipment to a circus carriage. During her tenure, the society’s reliance on Scott County money declined from 87 percent of its budget in 2005 to 56 percent in 2018.
School board weighs graduation venue
The debate continues at St. Francis High School over whether this year’s graduation should be held inside the gymnasium or outside at the football field.
School board members are expected to consider the subject again at Monday’s meeting after earlier supporting the indoor option, with officials citing budget concerns. The district estimates that having commencement inside the gym would cost about $7,000 less.
Proponents of the outdoor venue say they worry about seating constraints in the gym, with each student limited to four tickets. Students have been collecting signatures for a petition and have also started a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs.
Though commencement has typically been inside in recent years, it was held on the football field most recently in 2017.
Historical Society to screen TV episode
In 1963, Excelsior starred in an episode of the popular TV series “Route 66.” The Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Historical Society will screen the episode at 7 p.m. Monday as part of its Tapping History series at the Excelsior Brewing Co.
“Route 66,” which aired weekly on CBS from 1960 to 1964, was about two guys cruising cross-country in a Corvette convertible and interacting with locals along the way. Locations shot for this episode include Excelsior Bay, the Commons, Excelsior Amusement Park, a house on Third Street and a Hopkins raspberry farm.
U.S. Route 66 is a storied highway that ran from Chicago to Santa Monica, Calif., from 1926 until it was gradually replaced by the interstate highway system. The, 2,448-mile route went nowhere near Excelsior. Apparently the show’s title was a metaphorical reference to open-road wandering rather than a description of the characters’ actual route.
Monday’s event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6 p.m.; seating is first-come, first-served.